Content Governance: Divide Between North and South

April 17, 2015 at content strategy

Governance, by its very nature raises questions on accountability, budgets, and risks.

In Chandigarh, I have often seen a ‘Divide between North and South’ in terms of administration’s focus for providing basic facilities including the quality of streetlights and roads, or rain water drainage system. It means that the city administration helps people in a few select locations enjoy more privileges when compared to other locations, as this report published by The Tribune also claims.

Here, I see a close mapping between city governance, and content governance.

For instance, many organizations have a content strategy but without a well defined governance (shall I still call it content strategy?) and so they end up with relatively more focus on a few content types, or on a specific segment of customers.

When I drive through the broken roads, I often think of governance.

The Common Grounds

At high level:

  • City Governance needs to define the administrative goals of a campaign or project (such as construction or recarpeting of roads)
  • Content Governance needs to setup and define the business goals of the content

So correspondingly:

  • City Governance generates confidence among people who feel that they are treated fairly (such as by votes); else they feel marginalized
  • Content Governance brings order and consistency, and hence the right steps towards the goals (such as conversions); else there is chaos

In either case, the basic steps are common:

  • Determine goal
  • Determine audience
  • Determine benefits (and ROI)
  • Identify staff, technology, budget
  • Working protocol
  • Governance

In either case, Governance ensures that:

  • Every user or stakeholder gets fair treatment in the larger interest of common goal (conversions, better driving experience for all)
  • There are standards, processes and guidelines to ensure compliance and adherence to policies, to setup accountability
  • People take ownership, for execution and review

How City Governance is different from Content Governance

City Governance: It is not possible (and not required) to have representatives from different areas and regions in a city, to have a position in the administrative office. Those who feel marginalized due to poor governance do not have a direct role. Better governance for a specific region does not mean that the ‘common good is served’ because the marginalized are often at a disadvantage. People in all regions within the same administrative office are tax payers, they all vote, and so they all should have access to same facilities.

Content Governance: Different departments, teams and stakeholders have a realistic chance to participate and share their concerns, opinions, or thoughts. We need to remember that not all content is of equal value to every unit or team in the organization, and not all teams value the content in the same sense. A content team that is cross-business-groups, cross-products, and cross-locations can work towards the unified goal to ensure that nobody feels marginalized.

We do not have too much control over city administration. Do we?

As content strategists, we need to ensure that there is no divide between the North and the South

We need to ensure that no entity feels marginalized, and here are some pointers to do that.

  • Plan for a governance model from the beginning, to ensure that every decision we make aligns with the business goals.
  • Work towards a layered structure for effective governance, such as for strategy, execution, and advisory.
  • A checklist always helps, to ensure compliance and to see if the execution is on track for the budget.

Content Governance can be unlike city governance which is a good news for all of us.

You also think the same?