The Importance of Content Governance, An Introduction

A great content strategy will deliver great content, or as our Principal, Zach Wahl, would call it, “NERDy content.” However, even the best content requires the proper level of care and attention in order to remain great. Governance provides support for content to grow and evolve so that it continually benefits the organization. 

For many, Content Governance is a difficult topic to approach, as some find it to be dry and cumbersome. While Governance might not be the most exciting part of a content management strategy,  it is critical in ensuring that a content strategy continues to create value over time by adapting to an organization’s changing landscape and priorities. Talking about the value delivered by governance can be hard to do, but it is easier if we take a different approach and talk about what happens in the absence of content governance:

  • No consistency in the quality of the content. There may be some exceptionally good content, but there may also be some really poorly written content.
  • Duplicates… duplicates everywhere. Duplicates and near duplicates seem to sprout out from every section of the site. Folks are re-inventing the wheel constantly.
  • Check-box content. Content is created for creation’s sake. New content is a box to be checked and a chore. 
  • The site is overrun with zombie content. There is obsolete content out there that just refuses to die. What’s worse is that this out-of-date may infect newer content with inconsistencies and outdated information.
  • Finger-pointing and finger-wagging. There is no real accountability, no clear responsibilities, and everyone just blames the next person.
  • Audiences riding in the blind-spot. Segments of the site’s audiences are not considered or simply excluded and the decisions around content can run them over.

Does this sound familiar?

Content Governance defines a framework for working with content. It provides strategic direction to content initiatives and steers the organization’s efforts towards achieving its vision. Investing a little time in defining a governance plan goes a long way in ensuring that the content that exists across a department or an organization is engaging, consistent, and continuously satisfying users’ needs well into the future.

Content Governance, however, is not only about making rules and establishing policies. Focusing too heavily on rule-making can calcify content operations if they are not properly aligned to organizational priorities and content needs, and they can spark conflict if stakeholders’ concerns are not holistically addressed. 

In my upcoming blog series, I will discuss how Content Governance is enhanced by opening spaces for conversations and facilitating decision-making. Each article will focus on one of the three key elements that is required to make this happen:

Part One: Involve the Right People

Part Two: Provide Meaningful Inputs

Part Three: Encourage Action

Do you need help defining a content strategy and governance at your organization? Let’s continue the conversation. Contact us at [email protected] and tell us more.

Guillermo Galdamez Guillermo Galdamez Guillermo Galdamez is an information professional specializing in knowledge management, taxonomies, and enterprise search. He enjoys collaborating across organizational boundaries to deliver solutions that help clients meet their strategic objectives. More from Guillermo Galdamez »