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10 steps to salvation: Creating digital governance that works

For organisations to succeed in the digital age, they need to adopt new frameworks and ways of working. The key to doing this is to dust off and turn inside-out existing governance frameworks, reinvigorating them with more nimble ways of working. Governance is no longer a separate policy or individual decision maker. It is everyone working in digital. It is every digital touch point and policy. It is the digital strategy, the customer strategy, the media strategy, the KPI framework, analytics, and SEO.

Twenty-first century governance is the supportive mesh of digital success.

Presented 01 Oct 2014 at Confab Europe Barcelona
http://confabevents.com/events/europe/program/10-steps-to-salvation-creating-digital-governance-that-works

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10 steps to salvation: Creating digital governance that works

  1. 1. 1 0 STEPS TO SALVATION: CREATING DIGITAL GOVERNANCE THAT WORKS C O N FA B E U R O P E 2 0 1 4 K AT E T H OMA S
  2. 2. What we’ll cover • The governance problem • What does good governance look like? • 10 steps to achieve this
  3. 3. The governance problem
  4. 4. Governance is your life raft Processes People Technology
  5. 5. Without it you’re lost. Enterprise web governance ensures the proper stewardship of an organizational web presence. Lisa Welchman
  6. 6. Old style governance • Fixed world of wires e.g. big mainframes, expensive technology suites • Online was owned by the IT department • Early online publishing not dissimilar to print • Transferring old governance frameworks made sense
  7. 7. The governance group hug! people tech process This is digital This is governance
  8. 8. Disruption! Challengers! Start-ups! 1998 2000 2005 2003 2005 2006 2009 2010 2010
  9. 9. And new ways of doing everything
  10. 10. New world order Everyone is a publisher.
  11. 11. The digital-content-governance group hug! tech content process people This is digital This is governance
  12. 12. The digital-content-governance group hug! tech content process people This is digital This is governance
  13. 13. Alas, failures of governance abound. Some tell tale signs of inattention to governance: • Not everyone is on board the digital train • Poor documentation and format • No clear process for sign-off or approval • No shared understanding of managing non-standard requests
  14. 14. With an impact on people building digital Crazy workflows! 1. Request to web team 2. To and fro with client 3. Upload to CMS 4. Screenshots of CMS preview 5. Copy into PPT 6. Add narrative showing interaction 7. Regs & Compliance review 8. Two-week turnaround 9. Back to web team 10. Upload to live
  15. 15. And trying to use it x x
  16. 16. Why is this happening? No-one wants content to be wrong. Or sets out to work crazy hours via a dumb workflow. So what’s the problem?
  17. 17. It’s because the frameworks in place don’t work. They’re: – outmoded – focused on print – not agile – typically convoluted
  18. 18. Governance needs a facelift • Focus is analogue, not digital • Websites are is now the shop front: don’t make it hard for people to see in • This is all new; businesses didn’t have to do this 10, 15 years ago • They now have to do their job AND do digital
  19. 19. How do we need to think differently about governance? • It’s not what it used to be • Governance isn’t a document, a committee, a gatekeeper – It’s a new way of working • Twenty-first century governance is the supportive mesh of digital success
  20. 20. What does digital governance mean to content? • It means content and context is mapped, prioritized and understood • Teamwork! • Content is – On-brand, correct – Compliant – Accurate – Measurable and working hard
  21. 21. What does good governance look like?
  22. 22. Digital governance: scope Technology and operations CMS set up, database configuration, infrastructure Joiners, leavers, movers Local ownership and control, training, access management Workflow Support requests, change requests, automated approval Content Content governance: the heart of any governance framework • Text Sourcing, writing, translating, adding, editing, removing • Images Picking images – library or photo shoot? Formats, sizes • Metadata & tagging Technical details count! • Tone of voice It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it • Visual style Stay on-brand: ensure the site perfects personalised experiences • Content management Keeping people and systems in sync • Analytics Your compass of truth
  23. 23. Governance framework Global Steering Guidelines Planning Tools Optimization Global steering committee Global KPI framework Agency (and inter-agency) management Global guidelines Local guidelines Global / local content calendars Tactical planning Content updates Digital asset manage-ment Evaluation Optimization Content distribution Processes / people Software / tools Documents / policies Analytics
  24. 24. Example of a digital-content workflow Set-up Planning Sourcing Formatting Editing Creation. Reviewing and publishing Monitoring Removal
  25. 25. And digital content deliverables Content plan Content KPI framework Approval principles Content briefs Editorial guidelines Content templates
  26. 26. 10 steps to salvation
  27. 27. 1. Strategy • Start by defining a plan and a common vision for the organisation • Align digital with strategic business goals – User centred strategy – User centred content • Have an entrepreneurial information leader
  28. 28. 2. People: you’re lost without leadership • Your executive must be on board – If the head honchos don’t get digital and live and breathe the vision, you’re wasting your energy – nothing will ever happen – Your CMO and CTO must get on • CMOs will spend more on tech by 2017 than CIOs do now • If you’re in a leadership role, employ the right people: trust them to do their job
  29. 29. 3. Tech • Hardware, servers, software, systems are tools • Tech doesn't have to be big • Start small, prove your principles, grow
  30. 30. Follow the leaders Start small, prove your principles, grow Like the Hearst corporation • Hearst magazines uses WordPress to power their (corporate) website
  31. 31. 4. Spring clean! • By now you know – what you’re trying to achieve (strategy) – who’s leading on it (people) – the tools you’ll need (tech) • Now it’s time to get rid of the dead wood – Small teams – Smart work practices – Begin as you intend to continue: it’s happening – it’s no longer a project; it is/will be, your reality
  32. 32. 5. Content • Not all content is the same – Learn to spot the difference – Use insight to learn what’s important to your users • A content strategy frames all activity; no (strategic) ticket, no start – You need a content vision, to prevent a whole world of wrongness
  33. 33. Just ask…
  34. 34. Who are all losing market share to digital disruptors
  35. 35. 6. Workflows • Workflows map dependencies and lays circuits that link relationships – Remove friction • Design them to be inclusive, nimble, empowered, empathetic, smart • Build with muscle and power so you can pull the plug before it’s too late
  36. 36. Great work flows = productivity! Lessons from the public sector: • Transparency helps accountability • More at stake than the bottom line • Long term vision – efficiencies of investment in research, policy over decades • Shared cultural understandings
  37. 37. Reflowing the workflow Crazy Perfectly sensible workflow 1. Request to web team 2. To and fro with client 3. Upload to CMS test server 4. Send link to test site to Regs & Compliance for review 5. One-week two week turnaround 6. Back to web team 7. Upload to live
  38. 38. Reflowing the workflow Crazy Perfectly sensible workflow 1. Request to web team 2. To and fro with client 3. Upload to CMS test server 4. Send link to test site to Regs & Compliance for review 5. One-week two week turnaround 6. Back to web team 7. Upload to live
  39. 39. 7. Corridor chats • Let’s get social: colleagues and higher ups • Create a framework everyone understands • Engineer corridor chats with decision makers to keep the wheels oiled • Harness all resources you can: sell digital!
  40. 40. 8. Your audience • It’s time to check in with the people paying your salary: customers, students, clients: • Is your governance framework working for them? • When they need to do something with you, to find that phone number to keep their lights on, are you helping them? • Is governance supporting the strategy, which is supporting users/customers
  41. 41. 9. No rest for the wicked • Not resting on your laurels: – Test always with data against smart benchmarks – How effective is digital? – How much have you spent? – Are people reading/doing/acting on your products? – Are you joined up. – What needs to change? – What’s working, what’s not? • Everything today is measurable: make this a fundamental part of your framework
  42. 42. 10. Yoga time • Be agile, nimble, flexible • You’re not locked into anything • You need to be future prepared – Future proofing, but without the expectation of perfection; you don’t know what’s coming, so set things up to be ready to move
  43. 43. 10 steps 3. Tech 2. People 1. Strategy 10. Yoga 9. Data 7. Corridor chats 6. Work flows 5. Content 8. Audience 4. Spring clean
  44. 44. Take aways
  45. 45. Takeaways 1. Content - the heart and lungs of digital; governance - the muscles/ligaments and central nervous system 2. Content strategists must own governance and lead the conversation
  46. 46. Takeaways 3. Governance applies across the content lifecycle; it’s not a checkpoint before launch 4. Embrace the new way of working in digital – give governance a hug
  47. 47. Thank you
  48. 48. Acknowledgements! A big thank you to Alex Papageorgiou for her hand-drawn graphics. (She saved you from death by PowerPoint and my slides from looking very boring indeed.) And for ongoing inspiration, to members of the DigitasLBi content strategy team, past and present.

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