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Designing a Content Governance Model for Success

Unplanned events can force swift changes in content strategy, and that can be hard to do if your company lacks a way to handle them. A content governance model can define processes to help you take on content creation and revisions with speed and efficiency.

An effective content governance model provides oversight over all systems and processes as your business evolves, and ensures that your content will remain aligned with your strategy and vision. A content governance model forges partnerships with operations, IT, and business, and formalizes the process of reviewing and approving changes to processes or strategy. Having a model can help you to analyze and determine solutions, while being mindful of potential impacts to geographical locations and future process and strategy changes.

There are three steps to creating a content governance model:

  1. Set up and design a governance framework
  2. The framework is the baseline for the initiative and defines the principles and practices of the governance model. When designing your framework:

    • Select your leaders and committee members. Define their roles and responsibilities, and have fair representation from all business groups that utilize or benefit from the content strategy. Identify a content owner for each brand covered by the model who will be the final decision-maker for that product. Think about whether the content process is used globally or regionally and have representation from the areas that will utilize or benefit from the content.
    • Define the systems to manage the content. Does the governance process cover a single system or an ecosystem? Does your scope include all aspects of systems that should be governed, whether they are single or multiple systems? How far-reaching is it?
    • Develop a charter. It will record the purpose, duration, and scope of the governance model and stand as a contract. It will provide vision and direction, document the lead, owner, and all key stakeholders involved or impacted, as well as their roles and responsibilities. It will define how stakeholders work together and what they are committing to do. A charter will also prevent misaligned expectations and miscommunications. It’s important to let key stakeholders decide what their goals are and what their obligations will be.
  3. Develop the governance model
  4. Create a detailed roadmap including completion dates for all of the model’s components, such as:

    • Change management and communications
    • Process harmonization
    • Data management and integration to standardize metadata across regions and applications
    • A change control board to prioritize changes to your process and strategy

    Make sure your model design is comprehensive. It should cover overarching ways of working as well as specify the details. Consider, too, how this governance model aligns with others in your organization. It’s important to tie those together, and consider the allocation of resources and competing priorities.

  5. Measure, anticipate, refine
  6. Continually measure your model’s effectiveness and anticipate changes. Your model, your metrics, and your resources should evolve as your strategy and processes evolve. Put measures and a structure in place so you can quickly pivot in response to unanticipated changes. Strategic thinking in the present can ensure future success.

    Ideally, you will have your content governance model established as you implement new strategies and processes. If you haven’t established it yet, all is not lost, but you must make doing so a priority. No matter where you are in your content journey—implementation, steady state, or planning for the future—a governance model is key to safeguarding your business processes and strategy.

For more on effective content management, see 4 Content Management Tips for Emerging Life Sciences Companies.