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Effective Web Sites Implement at least Basic Governance

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What should be at least covered in Web governance?

Web governance should be defined prior site launch or at best prior site development. However, many companies operate Web sites without Web governance or define Web governance after site launch. If Web governance is not defined, Web sites risk growing organically (again), decreasing site visitor experience and lowering return on investment (ROI). Companies without Web governance should define at least the basic Web governance categories to secure current level of site visitor experience. In a second step, complete the remaining categories.

Web governance defines the rules for content editors, business owners, developers, administrators and designers to operate, maintain and evolve Web sites and/or Intranets. Web governance relates to the definition of: “who can do what and how, and what happens if you do not comply”. The definition of policies (what), processes (how), ownerships (who) and enforcement (if you don’t comply) needs to be a collaborative corporate-wide consensus.

There are no generic best practices for Web governance, as it exists for example for Web site design. However, frameworks exist that guide companies through the process of agreeing on Web governance. One proven approach to define Web governance is to split it into different sub topics (e.g. categories such as for navigation, design, content issues, etc.). Frameworks provide then, for each of these categories multiple questions, which serve the Web team as a starting point to define their specific Web governance (e.g. Web governance framework provide totally about 200-300 questions, or 20-30 questions per category).

Defining Web governance generally spreads over six months to find consensus. Companies that do not have enough time to complete all aspects of Web governance (due to a started redesign or prior a new Web site launch) should agree at least on the following basic Web governance categories:

These categories cover the major aspects to ensure the targeted site visitor experience. Partially completing Web governance is a short-term solution. To effectively operate, maintain and evolve Web sites, the governance team should continue to address the following categories.

Nicolas Brki is the founder of www.effinfo.com, a European Web-Advisory research company. Before, Nicolas was a senior advisor at Giga (now Forrester). Nicolas helped global companies to increase the effectiveness of their Web sites, Intranets and enterprise portals.

Prior GigaGroup, Nicolas was the technical director of a French consultancy focusing on Internet technology solutions and a consultant at Accenture’s Centre for Strategic Technology.

Effective Web Sites Implement at least Basic Governance
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About Nicolas Brki
Nicolas Brki is the founder of www.effinfo.com, a European Web-Advisory research company. Before, Nicolas was a senior advisor at Giga (now Forrester). Nicolas helped global companies to increase the effectiveness of their Web sites, Intranets and enterprise portals.

Prior GigaGroup, Nicolas was the technical director of a French consultancy focusing on Internet technology solutions and a consultant at Accenture's Centre for Strategic Technology. WebProNews Writer
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