Pushing through your Governance Fatigue

If it’s been a while, now is a good time to review your existing governance policies and procedures. Many organizations grapple with the scope, scaling, and administration of their collaboration and communication tools. If you’ve spent any time at all in a platform owner or admin role, you’ve likely begun to recognize the value of spending more time planning out new deployments, and retroactively implementing governance principles across their existing environments.

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

While governance is not a new topic, it continues to be one of the primary concerns of organizations where SharePoint remains business-critical. Our fatigue around the topic is just an indication of where collaboration platforms like SharePoint and team workspaces like Microsoft Teams are within their lifecycles — but hopefully that fatigue does not cause organizations to ignore common sense. Whether on-prem (in the case of SharePoint) or online, the Microsoft 365 stack is being broadly adopted and deployed (and the number of net-new deployments is still growing!). Don’t get caught up in the myopic focus on features and solutions, ignoring that proper planning and ongoing governance are critical to its long-term success.

Governance is a set of defined roles, responsibilities, policies, and procedures that will help your company to proactively manage your information technology resources in a way that maximizes business value. These governance policies will help guide and inform your initial environment design, your information architecture, and of course roles and responsibilities.

Many companies struggle with implementing sound governance policies because of disconnects between IT and business users over ownership and accountability of these activities. Perceptions over the state of governance activities may differ wildly — from defining governance roles and responsibilities to the strategic value of strong platform oversight and management to the business. Many of these fundamentals are not included by business users in their collaboration plans, as it is historically more of an IT activity. And IT teams often fail to correlate governance issues between server and system management with what is happening inside SharePoint, which is often owned by the business users. As a result, support costs can go up, and end user satisfaction — and user adoption — can go down.

What are your perceptions of where your company fits into this spectrum? Do you have a plan in place today? Is governance a major initiative for your current planning? I’d love to know your experiences.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (https://rencore.com/), leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.