SharePoint is a powerful tool for modern organizations, helping manage, sort, and find information. Being an invaluable resource to control information, a set of rules and guidelines is essential to avoid any chances of failure. Challenges like maintaining consistent user behavior can quickly result in a loss of control. A governance plan for SharePoint helps avoid any miscommunication and mismanagement that could compromise the organization's security, quality, or compliance.
SharePoint governance is a system of rules, regulations, procedures, policies, and processes for the shared resource. The policies should define clearly the roles and responsibilities for permissions and access. The restrictions should be imposed on every internal and external user of the platform, regardless of their job role or designation.
Information is a critical aspect of any modern organization as large amounts of communication and documentation occur every day. With so many teams and users accessing the system at the same time, an absence of rules can create problems. Having an efficient governance plan for SharePoint helps the organization comply with different business processes and regulations.
Here are the biggest benefits of having a SharePoint governance plan in place.
User adoption – A governance plan with defined rules and procedures makes sure users don't feel confused when using the sites. When they know their permissions and restrictions, it is easier for them to explore the platform without any fear.
Quality standards – A well-designed governance plan helps the users understand the requirements to maintain a consistent level of quality across pages and sites.
Scalability – As a company grows, it needs to be in sync with governance standards. A governance plan created early helps ensure everything stays organized as the company expands.
A SharePoint governance framework is a system with formal usage guidelines, rules, regulations, dos and don'ts in the environment controlling how the IT teams and departments work together to achieve business goals. A SharePoint governance framework should consist of:
A Governance Plan – This is a formal document outlining the rules around the platform's usage. The plan helps monitor the activities of different users and maintain security while keeping the system compliant with regulations and standards.
A Governance Committee – It is a team that reviews, monitors, and revises governance rules for SharePoint at regular intervals.
User Communication – The SharePoint governance plan is created for users who decide the success or failure of the system. An effective governance plan is centered around user communication.
Though every organization has unique requirements deciding the specifics of a SharePoint governance plan, here are some of the indispensable components of a robust governance plan.
Policies and procedures are the essences of a SharePoint governance plan. These are the rules defining what users can do and what they cannot. They contain permission levels for small to big use cases covering everything from editing to admin rights.
Each employee should know about and be responsible enough to fulfill the roles and responsibilities. The governance plan should be designed keeping the roles of employees in mind. This would help make it easy to set up and manage permissions and access rights.
It is important to have a clear idea of how the company's branding looks to make sure the SharePoint sites have a consistent look matching the brand identity.
Things can, at times, go wrong when a backup plan helps restore them to their previous versions effectively.
An important consideration is how the governance plan scales up with the organization. Make sure the plans match the growth expectations.
Crafting a great governance plan is of no use if it is not well-implemented. Users and administrators of your SharePoint platform should be aware of the ins and outs of the governance plan and trained to execute the policies outlined. Once the teams are trained, the implementation should be consistently monitored to see that they follow the newest procedures.
Your SharePoint committee might be doing a great job at managing the governance plan, but some issues can still get in. Use forms to collect feedback from users once in a while to keep the plan effective.
A SharePoint governance plan can as simple and as complicated as possible. It depends on the company's maturity with the platform and its size. Larger enterprises generally have different needs as compared to small to medium-sized firms. In short, there is no universal SharePoint governance plan, but sample plans can help you with a good starting point.
A governance plan should start with a description of roles and responsibilities within the organization. Here are some other things you can consider including in your document:
There are many templates for the SharePoint governance plan available on the internet. They may not meet your organization's needs exactly but can help you come up with a plan that suits your needs and processes.
A SharePoint governance example can help you draft a document for your organization with ease. These templates and examples are intended to give you a starting point, modifying the contents to your needs, rather than having to create the plan from scratch.
Here are some of the best practices you can consider when working with a SharePoint governance plan.
If your mix is not right, the SharePoint governance committee can fail. Too many managers and there will be a lack of hands-on experience for the system; too many users means decision-making is difficult.
The committee should meet at agreed intervals. Members should understand the importance of periodic reviews and make sure they don't miss the meetings.
Though the committee meeting allows specific employees, the findings should be shared with others in the organization.
SharePoint governance can prove to be a powerful tool if done correctly. A governance plan helps manage the platform in such a way that it works for your organization's unique requirements. With changing work practices and environments, your SharePoint governance plan should be flexible and scalable to changing the behaviors and habits of users.