When just starting as a web professional, I was excited to design ‘cool’ websites. But as I’ve matured in my field, I’ve noticed the growing important relationship that the web and business play together. This is even made more clear with the emphasis on ROI and strategy lately.
Considering the web and your web presence as a business tool, there must be policies and guidelines in place to ensure proper use of the tool. This is even more important in large organizations like a college or university. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think policies should be implemented to become a hinderance, but to ensure proper and maximum usage of the business tool which is the web.
Thus the need for Web Governance. WelchmanPierpoint provides the following definition of Web Governance:
Web Governance is the authoritative administrative structures that set policy and standards for Web product management. It includes:
the implementation of a Web Governance Framework;
the establishment of Web Policy;
and the codification, implementation, and enforcement of Web Standards.
For definitions on Web Governance Framework, Web Policy, and Web Standards, visit their website.
I would make sure that in any web governance or policy document, close detail is paid to the realm of social media and the management of that.
Our two-year college is about to begin a major web project in the next month. An important outcome of the project are strategic documents, one of which is a web governance model. Our college has yet to indentify any policies and/or guidelines, let alone a Web Governance Framework. This has negatively impacted our institution’s ability to be innovative online.
When developing a Web Governance Framework, WelchmanPierpoint offers some invaluable advice:
Often organizations will default to the Web team as the group responsible for policies and standards; after all, they are the experts on Web technologies and best practices. However, having only “Web people” seated on the governing bodies means you may loose the perspective from the lines of business.
Business stakeholders have a vested interest in how the Web impacts “the bottom line,” and therefore should have a seat at the table when defining Web policies and standards. Without representation from the lines of business the governance framework will lack legitimacy.