Continuing my high level SharePoint business governance strategy series, today we are looking at methods of managing governance documents to ensure that information is easily accessible to all, aiding in communication of and adherence to governance rules.

You are probably hoping to find some useful templates here, but no. All types of templates I have found are way too large, not in size, but in page count.

Even if I would hand you a template you would most likely not use it, as it doesn’t reflect your organization and your needs.

The other reason you’re not finding any template here also has to do with my view on how to treat documents and content.

I don’t believe anyone will read a 98 page long document and even if you chunk it up in smaller documents and publish them in a document library, no one or very few will ever read it. Not to mention update it!

This has to do with human behavior; we are lazy in nature (and often very stressed) and if the information we look for can’t be found where it is needed then we very seldom bother to look for it.

Ease of Use

We have to put the right content where it belongs as well as make the information easily accessible and easy to read and change.

I will give you some points on how to do that.

  • Don’t write documents; publish content.
  • Publish content in a Wiki, make it easy to suggest changes.
  • Don’t publish a five page document; no one will ever browse for a key word in there.
  • Make it searchable; you can even create its own search scope.
  • Don’t publish in different areas; link to it from where users would think it could be found.
  • You can’t have too many links to this content.
  • Create an index that auto-updates when content changes for old school users. ;-)
  • Make videos and podcasts (voice); a 30 second video says more than two pages of reading.
  • Communicate what content you have made so the organization knows it's there.

Varieties of Content

Now you start asking yourself, what content should I have?

This all depends on your solution. A large implementation with lots of features requires more documents than a small. Also many organizations have procedures and policies that need to be followed and quality assurance might demand certain documentation to be approved by e.g. CFR part 11, etc.

I will point out some content you most likely will want to have.

Business Related Documents

  • Governance Roles and responsibilities
  • Governance Organization
  • Policies and procedures
  • Project plans
  • Business goals and objectives (all they way down to department level if possible)
  • Business communication strategy (Internal if intranet)
  • Business organization charts with responsibilities 

IT Related Documents

  • Emergency recovery
  • System configuration and setup
  • Solution roadmap
  • Policies and procedures
  • Help material
  • Infrastructure overview
  • Information structure overview

Editor's Note: Other articles by Frederik Leksell you may be interested in:

-- SharePoint Business Governance Strategy: An Overview