Intranet Governance

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Intranet Governance

There was no publicly available information on examples of large corporations' intranet governance structures in any industries, including highly regulated ones such as insurance, healthcare, and financial services. However, we were able to pull together some helpful findings on recommended practices and considerations that have been included below.

Helpful Findings

  • It is important to ensure that the intranet governance structure is simple enough to allow employees to make minor changes without getting frustrated.
  • Create a governance team and have them create a roadmap for the intranet structure based on data. This can include employee surveys and feedback forms.
  • It is important that there are clearly defined roles for who will be responsible for various jobs such as tech issues, design, content, and overall responsibility.
  • Key parts of an intranet governance structure include details on what sites and pages will be included and who can edit them, what image resolution to use, rules related to company apps, and rules related to reviewing content, archiving and removing old content.
  • Employees need to be involved in the governance process since companies need employee buy-in in order to have an intranet that is effective and utilized. This includes simple things such as telling employees what types of profile pictures are acceptable, and more complicated issues such as defining the standards for acceptable content.
  • Intranet governance needs to be broken up into guidance and doing. Guidance includes creating a roadmap, engaging shareholders, and having a strategy in place. Doing includes ensuring that employees can easily access the intranet, know how to function within the intranet, and can get support easily when needed.

Research Strategy

We began our search looking for published corporate intranet governance structures. Unfortunately this led mostly to PR and communications firms, such as Ragan and Elevate Point, that were marketing their services to help corporations create governance structures. We also found articles from CMSWire on what makes for an effective intranet, and why employees don't use their company's intranet. None of the sources provided examples or case studies of the intranet governance structures for any corporations.

Next, we looked for larger companies in highly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and insurance, so we could find some larger companies in those industries to further research. For insurance we focused on State Farm, Berkshire Hathaway, and Liberty Mutual; for financial services we looked at JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup; and for healthcare we examined Community Health Systems, Hospital Corporation of America, and Tenet Healthcare. Although we did find some limited information in annual and other reports on the companies' websites, none of the companies examined had published a corporate governance structure that was publicly available. For example, Berkshire Hathaway published Corporate Governance Guidelines, but intranet governance was not specifically described; Liberty Mutual won an award for Digital Workplace of the Year, partially because of content on its intranet, but there were no details on intranet governance; and Tenet Healthcare did not mention their intranet in their annual report or their corporate governance page. Similar results were obtained for the other companies we examined.

Our next strategy was to look for general "best practice" type examples of intranet governance structures. To ensure that we were focusing on high quality information, and not getting pulled in by marketing information designed to earn business, we focused on information from top consulting firms such as Deloitte, Bain, KPMG, PWC, and Boston Consulting. While we found reports on the auditing committees role in governance, and how the intranet is an important communications tool for companies, there were no publicly available examples of intranet governance structures.
Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "Intranet governance ensures the intranet is kept updated. Policies, procedures, general information, third-party applications — should all have owners, schedules and more. It generally starts with a core group of content owners."
  • "Intranets should be a place where employees can be productive, no matter where they are. Workers who are at a construction site, salespeople on-the-go, staff in the mailroom or distribution areas all should be able to get information at a moment’s notice. More than that, those who work from home should be able to work when they want to be productive."
Quotes
  • "An effective governance structure is a harmony between leadership, support and executors (power users). Policies and processes that are simple but comprehensive provide the best path to longevity and effectiveness. It also helps if you’re able to automate aspects of processes for timeliness and consistency."
Quotes
  • "The two biggest reasons why most intranets fail is a lack of executive support — and the funding that comes with it — and governance, according to Toby Ward, chair of the Digital Workplace & Intranet Global Forum."