By Stephanie Baskerville on August 29, 2017

What is Content Governance? Top Benefits and Best Practices


In the face of exponential growth in the variety and volume of content, organizations everywhere are transforming their content management practices in order to manage, organize, and secure their content. Where is your organization in terms of content management?

Let’s go through this quick check list to figure out:

  • Is your organization every day creating content (emails, documents, contracts, brochures, blogs, infographics, etc.)?
    If you’re like any other organizations, your answer should be yes. And if so, you need some type of content management system.
  • How are you managing your content at the moment? Are you utilizing a content management system?
  • If you already use a content management system, are you happy with the ROI? Do you have content governance in place? 

You’ve already invested in the content management system, so now you want to ensure you get the ROI you expected. In order for you to get the most out of your content management system, you need to have content governance in place. Great content governance is achieved over time by adopting core principles early on.

What exactly is content governance?

Governance, as defined by Microsoft, is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that control how an organization's business divisions and IT teams work together to meet organizational goals. In other words, content governance is the mechanism that enables the most effective use of your content management system.

Why have content governance? 3 pain points and benefits

Research shows that while governance remains largely absent, the pains around content management persist:

1) 62% of organizations feel it takes too long to find their content

2) 52% feel they are duplicating efforts in content creation

3) 46% experience insufficient re-use of content (Source)

Here are 3 major pain points many organizations experience and how content governance can help solve them:

Pain Point 1. You cannot not manage content

Benefit : Every organization and every unit is managing content in some way. If you are doing it (and must do it) anyway, why not make sure you’re doing it correctly, so that it can be done more efficiently? This saves you time and money in the long run, and content governance is what can help you with this.

Pain Point 2. Content overload & chaos

Benefit: Content governance prevents content chaos. Many organizations today suffer from information overload. Without people and process to design, police, and enforce standards, ad hoc content management prevails. This is a common issue that we often witness. Content governance provides directions and guidelines, which prevents chaotic content from taking over your organization.

Pain Point 3. “This is all too overwhelming!”

Benefit: Content governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes and thus, having it in place helps minimize the confusion felt by you and your team. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start with minimum viable governance, and optimize the model over time.

Content governance 5 best practices

Microsoft says that an effective governance plan must anticipate the needs and goals of your organization. It’s therefore strongly recommended that you tailor a content governance plan to your own, unique environment by using the following five best practices:

1. Determine your initial principles and goals

Have any of your previous projects failed due to a lack of clear objectives and goals? Rather than jumping in too quickly, take time to develop your content governance vision and the standards that will be used to track compliance and monitor the benefits to your organization.

2. Classify your business information

You need to organize your information according to an existing classification system (for example, products, knowledge fields, processes, or human groups), or create a custom classification that is unique to your business. After you’ve organized your information, you can apply those classifications to the content governance plan.

3. Develop an education strategy

How are you going to ensure that your employees know how this new content governance strategy works and what they’re expected to follow? Outline a plan for training your employees. Be sure to cover the kinds of training that your various user groups may need (for example, your sales team will need to be trained differently from your IT team), and determine the targeted method(s) of training (online, group session, etc.).

4. Review and Revise

Successful content governance is an ongoing project. Review and re-evaluate your content governance plan to determine if there are any adjustments that need to be made to it.

5. Don’t forget the metrics

Like any other project, it’s very important to set performance metrics for your content governance plan so that you can measure its success.

A content management system and content governance are essential to economic survival!

Maintaining a content management system and implementing content governance to effectively manage it isn’t just a competitive differentiator anymore. Nowadays, to be a truly successful organization, it is essential that you’re managing and governing your organization’s content in the most efficient way possible.

Here is additional content that you will find useful:

Have questions about content governance or want to discuss how we can help?Contact us today!

Published by Stephanie Baskerville August 29, 2017