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Take Control with Digital Governance

No matter the size of your healthcare organization, or how complex your website, web governance is critical to ongoing success.

Digital governance involves more than creating spreadsheets of published dates or periodically reviewing content– although those are a good start! Attend this webinar and learn how to create a digital governance model that delivers an exceptional user experience, maintains consistent messaging, distributes the work, and helps you think strategically about all the moving parts of your website universe. You’ll walk away with a format to create a governance framework that suits your organization.

In this video, Jill Jensen explains why digital governance matters to healthcare marketers.

You’ll learn:

  • Four components of governance and how they work together
  • How to improve the governance process you’ve started, or where to start if you haven’t yet
  • The benefits of creating a core strategy statement
  • When to use governance tools – like a content matrix – and why

Transcript

Cole: [00:00:07] Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Geonetric’s June webinar. Thanks for your patience as we wait for a few people who are still logging in. While we wait I do have a couple of items to share with you.

 

Cole: [00:00:19] First off our new white paper “Getting Started with Governance” will be available very soon, but you can request an early copy in question four of the survey after the webinar. Also in the Ideas section of Geonetric.com, you can find the rest of our white papers, on-demand webinars, and blog posts.

 

Cole: [00:00:41] Coming up next month two of our Senior content strategists will be presenting a session on content marketing. You can register for this and find all of our upcoming and on-demand webinars at geonetric.com/webinars.

 

Cole: [00:00:56] If this is your first webinar with us, Thank you so much for being here. A little bit about Geonetric: we are a marketing agency and technology partner that helps healthcare organizations generate marketing results. We offer a suite of services including website design and development, marketing campaigns, SEO, content development, and more. We work with health systems, hospitals, and clinics around the country. You can learn more at geonetric.com.

 

Cole: [00:01:25] Again everybody welcome to the webinar. The webinar today will run approximately one hour. If you’re listening on a speaker phone we do recommend that you mute your line to prevent audio quality issues. We will answer questions at the end of the presentation, so please go ahead and answer those in the questions box. We depend on your feedback to make our webinars the best they can be, so please take a moment to complete the survey at the end of the webinar. And, finally, a recording of this presentation will be posted on Geonetric.com in the Ideas section.

 

Cole: [00:01:57] So today’s presenter is Jill Jensen. As Geonetric’s web strategy and editorial director Jill’s strategic organization skills, ongoing interest in industry trends, and extensive writing and editing background helps clients create intuitive Web site structures and tell their stories through clear and memorable copy. With 35+ years of experience, this digital slash content strategist and wordsmith has done it all–information architecture, content strategy, creative and technical writing, web writing, copywriting, and ghostwriting for a wide range of clients. So without further ado, take it away, Jill.

 

Jill: [00:02:42] Thanks and welcome! Our exciting topic today is digital governance. And even if the fireworks are a bit much there’s no reason to be intimidated by governance. It really just means good management. We’ll talk about what’s involved. Where to start and how to use the activities you’re already doing. If you’re in business today you probably have both a physical presence–the bricks–and an online presence: the clicks.

 

Jill: [00:03:10] Real world businesses know they need to create organizational plans to align operations and keep moving forward in their physical spaces. Digital properties need the same kind of thought planning and organization. You wouldn’t–well you shouldn’t–structure your Web site the same way you structure your business but you do need a system to make sure your online channels appeal to your prospects and customers and create a seamless experience from first contact through follow up care.

 

Jill: [00:03:44] That’s digital governance. The best definition comes from Lisa Welchman when she worked at Cisco Systems in the free for all 1990s she recognized that Web sites needed a management system that dealt with more than just the technology. Her definition emphasizes accountability roles and decision making authority in three key areas strategy policy and standards. Because our digital world now includes more than web sites we need to create a framework to coordinate everything we do online and connect those efforts to offline activities. Sounds like managing chaos right? Well that’s governance.

 

[00:04:28] Although your web site is the foundation of your online portfolio digital properties also include social media accounts, private portals, content marketing hubs and blogs, news collections, electronic data of all sorts, videos and other media assets, and the hardware and technology of our digital devices.

 

[00:04:50] We build Web sites because we want to help prospects and customers solve their problems. We do that by delivering useful information products or services. On a Web site messages about those products or services are called content, and it can come in the form of words on a page, Images and videos, or even forms we ask visitors to fill out to contact us or purchase from us.

 

[00:05:17] Content comes from everywhere and new stuff appears all the time, but that’s only one reason our sites can quickly get out of hand. Websites also become confusing and messy because we don’t have the resources to keep track of everything. Another huge problem is that we don’t know who has the authority to say yes or no to new or outdated content, design, or functionality. And we don’t have any documentation to guide or support what we’re doing. It’s really easy for content to explode all around us if we don’t use a governance framework to get a handle on it.

 

[00:05:56] When content grows without strategy, structure, or guidance our internal teams can’t manage all the digital channels, and online visitors end up frustrated and confused. Eventually we just need to clean up the mess and figure out how to keep everything under control.

 

[00:06:15] The answer is digital governance. Governance is important because it gives us a coherent documented framework that increases productivity by avoiding miscommunication and uncertainty through developing a set of procedures and a well-defined direction that speeds your time to market. Good governance helps reduce risk to your reputation and legal status and helps avoid potential fines. It also increases customer engagement, conversions, and overall effectiveness because it enhances your brand and gives users a consistent high quality experience that builds confidence and trust in your site and, by extension, your organization. And all of that positively impacts your bottom line.

 

[00:07:07] A recent study from Ernst and Young says digital governance is a high priority for 51 percent of chief financial officers because it lets their organizations make their right investments across a range of competing priorities, business units, functions, and geographies. And it helped their businesses grow 10 percent over the previous three years.

 

[00:07:32] Digital governance lets retail outlets like Amazon and Target provide clear information and points of action for millions of individual products. If content volume of this sort wasn’t managed carefully, site visitors wouldn’t be able to find anything which means they give up and buy elsewhere. But those Amazon and Target Web sites also set the bar for the rest of us. Even if you’re not a retailer, online visitors expect to interact with you in ways that are similar to what they experience at these well-known sites.

 

[00:08:09] In fact a 2017 Vistaprint study showed that as many as 60 percent of consumers were less likely to purchase from a small business if they had a bad impression of its website. You can improve the results for your hospital or health care system by creating a governance plan that coordinates everything and everyone involved in your digital world so you can deliver the best possible customer experience and set up the best chance for business success. We need to integrate our online and offline omni channel world. So let’s start online.

 

[00:08:49] A governance framework gives us the tools to deal with the online content explosion and its related operational issues if we think strategically. But as these two well-known strategists recognized: our most important decisions may be about what not to do. That’s because we’ll always face resource constraints whether it’s time, money, technology, people, or skills, or we’ll just have too many ideas. We will need to make tough choices to create the most value. Governance helps.

 

[00:09:24] In the early days of our Web sites, just like in the early days of our companies, we mostly focus on getting things off the ground, seeing if the enterprise can stay afloat, and watching it grow. But soon it’s not clear who’s responsible for what or who, if anyone, is making decisions and everything seems chaotic contributors write and publish on their own internal wars break out of what should be on the home page linking among pages is haphazard at best content never seems to die. Even if it’s wildly out of date inaccurate or a danger to anyone who finds it the Web site grows out of control in your team is taking fire from all sides. But the problems involve more than just content and by creating a governance framework you can move more gracefully from chaos to responsive management. For all your digital efforts to be successful online or off we want to know what needs to be done. What roles and responsibilities will help us accomplish these activities. What standards processes workflows guidelines and policies. Do we need to set up and follow.

 

[00:10:40] How do we keep all contributors up to date and ultimately who gets to make decisions about the components of these efforts. That last question may be the most critical and the most contentious but governance helps us clarify decision making responsibility as well as identify and document processes and standards and define roles for teams and individuals. As the content marketing Institute says most digital governance challenges come from not knowing who’s supposed to decide things. Setting up decision making authority isn’t about micromanaging. It’s about supporting people in doing their jobs.

 

[00:11:23] Governance is really just another word for organizing and managing both strategic and tactical components that helped deliver that comprehensive experience your customers expect online and off. And it’s the framework for helping your team keep track of all the moving parts. That means you need to know your organizational goals because they’re the foundation for everything you do. And knowing your goals helps you develop a course strategy statement to guide your digital teams a strategy statement might say something like this: “To support benefit health systems goal of creating an exceptional user experience for our current and prospective patients families caregivers and loved ones. Our Web site will offer an accessible easy to use and appealing way for people to find our services and take action to get the help they need. We’ll do this by focusing on users in an expandable Web site that prioritizes services over organizational issues, Answers typical questions in engaging ways, Connects services with providers and locations, and makes it easy for people to get the care they need as quickly as possible.” This type of clear statement helps everyone in your organization understand the purpose of the Web site. That means they are better able to help you create and maintain it because even before they make requests They’ll know what’s appropriate for it and what’s not. The strategy statement also helps with governance by identifying key components shown here in bold like: create an exceptional user experience, offer accessible easy to use and appealing options, find services and take action. Make sure the site can be expanded which means navigation paths don’t lead to dead ends and so on. Then by turning those strategy elements into questions we can evaluate requests for additions or changes by asking does this request allow us to create that exceptional user experience? Does it help us focus on users? Does it help us answer typical questions in engaging ways and more. If the answer to most or all of the questions is yes. The next step is easy. Respond favorably then move forward. If some or all of the answers are negative though the next step is probably to reject a request. But that’s your opportunity to keep the communication lines open and show how the current site actually meets the requested need. Or continue the conversation to find some alternatives.

 

[00:14:15] So let’s see how we might use the core strategy statement to respond to our request while we keep our governance framework in mind. Our hospital might offer robotic assisted surgery for several conditions and it’s just been approved as an option for gynecologic care. Of course our gynecologic surgeons and women’s health providers want to let patients and prospects know about this great addition to their treatment choices and because one of our organizational goals is to increase volume in our surgical suites.

 

[00:14:48] We want to find ways to promote this service too but we need to think about how to do that so we can continue to focus on consumer benefits and keep delivering a good online user experience as well as keeping the content on our site from getting out of whack. So we turn the strategy elements again into questions and ask Does this request allow us to keep those.

 

[00:15:17] Exceptional user experiences and prospects patients have families in good shape. Does it let us create an accessible and easy to use appealing way for people to find our services and take action. And we need to consider how this request fits our overall governance strategy. Because the site already contains a strong page on robotic assisted surgery. It just lives in a different section but we know that cross linking within the site helps boost SEO and customer engagement. So that’s OK. But another factor is our limited resources to write in the user focused style we want for our web copy. So should we respond to this request with a yes or no. We may have compelling reasons to answer yes especially if a new page might offer significantly different and valuable content. But if we factor in our current state we can probably come up with creative ways to deliver the outcome we want and maintain good governance.

 

[00:16:20] For example we might take several actions such as expanding the current user and benefit focused page in the surgery section with a subhead and a paragraph to highlight the new use for robotic assisted surgery in women’s health. Then we might cross link from that page to some new marketing text and calls to action on one or more pages in the Women’s Health section. Then we can also use our social media and other digital channels to promote the new service with links from those channels to the women’s health pages where the surgery section cross links appear and we can find even more adject activities we haven’t thought of yet.

 

[00:17:03] The core strategy statement also provides guidance on who needs to make decisions about what Remember what the content marketing Institute says digital governance challenges come from not knowing who supposed to decide things. So with that core strategy at the heart of our governance plan we help clarify that decision making. So people have the support they need to do their jobs effectively in our governance plan decision authority covers two primary levels and areas of influence. First is strategic authority. It deals with high level objectives setting budgeting audience identification and ensuring we have the right resources. This is the authority typically includes key organizational leadership and it might take the form of a web steering group a second level implementation authority involves everything needed each day to do the work of developing maintaining and updating the website. Everyone who works on the site and the digital team holds implementation authority by doing their jobs every day working groups set up to handle complicated or complex tasks. Also hold implementation authority your governance plan may identify other activities or approaches or responsibilities. But most if not all will probably fall into these two major categories of decision authority yes. This sounds like work and it’s no small project but the good news is you’re already doing a lot of it or you couldn’t function and your daily work would come to a halt. So your opportunity is to recognize that these everyday items guidelines standards processes procedures all those kinds of things are pieces of your governance framework. Write them down keep adding to and updating your repository over time and start training everyone involved.

 

[00:19:04] For now let’s see how a governance framework establishes the levels of authority it helps us carry out our day to day efforts. First a governance framework is unique to each organization. You won’t find a template you can copy components of your plan should be part of your everyday actions and using the people and processes that already exist modifying them if necessary. If nothing exists establishing a framework can help identify activities for your website that also get you started on governance your governance framework formalizes and documents existing or new relationships and tasks and creates a system of guidelines and procedures that everyone can follow while also respecting constituent needs and subject matter expertise. Ultimately your plan needs to remain realistic. Easy to use and open to change over time. It must be able to evolve with you. That means you need to understand your business your field your role and how each aspect fits into the organizational structure. Essentially a governance framework helps everyone by establishing decision making authority. In at least four key areas people process documentation and training. Your framework may include other topics. These four give you a solid foundation. If you’ve had a website for a while you probably have several components in place and your governance plan can build on them. What if your web or digital team is brand new. Or if you need a major change in focus. Just pick a few current activities to get the ball rolling. Then you can decide which to prioritize or which need to happen at the same time. People the first quadrant means to identify the people who work on your site and to define the rules they fill.

 

[00:21:05] From content writer strategist visual designer front end developer and technical support to senior leadership and everything in between. A good first step is to use or develop job descriptions. If you don’t have them in particular you need to know or figure out who will be the ultimate approver or approvers for each activity. For example something like a web steering group that includes key leaders from around your company. They already use organizational goals to set priorities and make decisions for your website. But if this group doesn’t exist setting it up will give your governance framework a major boost. That’s because this group can act as a forum to talk through challenging issues resolve competing interests and align your website efforts with the intentions of the organization. You also want to describe roles and responsibilities for web development and maintenance because these folks deal with day to day concerns depending on your situation. You might also set up working groups for certain cross team efforts and be sure to include infrastructure roles needed to keep the Web site online and available to the public. This team might be internal or you might contract that work to an outside vendor. The second aspect of governance is process and that means the processes needed to ensure consistent work output that flows smoothly. Examples include having a separate editor review content after it’s written or determining how revisions are made. Identifying your approval process for how and when something gets published.

 

[00:22:46] Agreeing on and using a style guide dictionary and other editorial standards are figuring out what has to happen for a color swap a new image or a different navigation path to appear on the site and how you decide it’s time to retire a piece of content. Revamp the design or change or add a content management system. For existing web sites use the processes and standards you already have in place for the process part of your governance framework for new sites or teams that process area is the foundation of your overall governance plan. Even if who does what and other procedures are informal. That’s what you want to document and modify So the website delivers consistent and easy to use experience. Choose a point person to interview those who fill the roles under web development and maintenance in the people quadrant. Once a process is written down. Everyone affected can review and suggest changes. So the final version better reflects the standards or consensus for how to accomplish the work process is one area of web site governance that takes a significant amount of time and effort but it can save you in the long run because you don’t have to reinvent things and everyone will know what to do. You’ll need to keep processes active and flexible to accommodate ongoing changes that help your site stay relevant. Documentation the third foundational aspect of governance means you’re capturing all those processes in writing and keeping them in a central repository. The goal is to provide the people who work on your site with a reference source so they can figure out what to do on their own or with minimal help.

 

[00:24:33] And by writing down the processes from the quadrant we just talked about as well as the roles and job descriptions from the people quadrant you’re actually doing the work of the documentation quadrant which means governance is really more possible than you might have thought. You want to document everything from goals and objectives roles and responsibilities and key performance indicators to processes workflows and approvals taxonomy and meditative guidelines. Any CIMS and template requirements and more training. The last of our four big governance topics means you want to set up a regular schedule to share everything you’re doing. The idea is to keep everyone up to date on the status of the Web site team rules and the processes to use effective training happens regularly and includes both current contributors and those who are or will be new to collaborating with the primary team. It also helps to share what you’re doing with your entire organization so everyone understands how to make requests that don’t create problems for the site. And of course you want to capture your training efforts and schedules in your documentation repository. Try something like a weekly lunch and learn to cover a topic that’s an immediate issue or develop a quarterly update in a two or four hour meeting to share everything that’s happened since the last training. Just doing something is more important than the format you choose. The digital governance framework for your organization might include other topics such as budgeting strategy and more. But starting with the four quadrants in this chart will give you a solid foundation to build on. Because content is the heart of your web site. It’s the easy place to start thinking about governance. You wouldn’t build a web site if you didn’t have some kind of message and lots of options to share. That’s the content but if the content isn’t well organized.

 

[00:26:39] If it’s hard for people to find the information they want. If the labels menus and links are confusing or if there’s just too much stuff people won’t stick around to sort it out for themselves. If your site visitors have a tough time finding what they need it if you feel overwhelmed by the amount of content you have to maintain governance can help you get it under control. But you can’t govern what you don’t know exists. So run a site inventory or create a diagram that lays out the structure of your web site. This will help you see each section of content each page and the relationships among them. If your site is large it’s even more important to understand how much content you have how the patients pages connect to each other whether you really need all of them and how to make decisions about them. Review that inventory and assess the value of the content you’ve uncovered as a way to keep your site under control. In addition to a regular audit of content for accuracy and clarity you want to look for what’s called raht items that are redundant outdated or trivial as part of geometrics content strategy work we typically inventory and audit ascites content and make these types of recommendations once you inventoried and audit your content you can begin the governance process by creating a spreadsheet to to show the parent child relationships for pages in a section do that for all sections of your site. Just put each on a separate tab in your spreadsheet at generic we call a navigation and content matrix and it’s something we often create in a content strategy and development project.

 

[00:28:29] But beyond the parent child page relationships this document tells you the location of pages in the overall site and section structure and that lets you see how to link pages and pieces of related content and figure out streamline pathways to help visitors quickly get through your site to the information they want this document also captures page titles and keywords you can use for link text and metadata. The Matrix spreadsheet can become part of your governance plan. When you add columns to track important activities related to each content element for example we can add columns on the left that might include one labeled written so you can enter that date. The page was written have the initials of the writer or editor. Another column shows when that content was either placed into the CNS or published and a third column shows the date of the next checkup that date the revision was completed or whatever fits your process guidelines. You can also capture notes and recommendations for topics and specific content that belongs on each page as well as its you are real in the current site’s structure or anything else you want to track. You may end up with a big document but it’s the blueprint that helps you manage your web site and grow it in a predictable way over time. Let’s take a quick review. We started with Lisa Welshman’s definition of governance focused on accountability roles and decision making authority. That’s why team structure shows up here while you can and should create spreadsheets to help track specific content related activities. You also need to set up the decision making authorities and identify key roles and people.

 

[00:30:22] We touched on them multiple ways a governance framework provides value to the teams involved with your web sites and digital properties from increasing productivity and reducing risk to improving customer engagement and conversions as well as positively affecting your business bottom line. And we looked at key questions for governing our digital universe such as what needs to be done what roles and responsibilities will help us accomplish this work. What standards processes workflows guidelines and policies do we need to set up and follow how do we keep all contributors up to date about everything and who gets to make decisions about these efforts. We spend some time understanding how a core strategy statement provides the foundation for digital governance by building on organizational goals guiding teams through developmental tasks and helping colleagues understand what fits the website and what doesn’t. Before they ask and we saw how this statement helps us respond to requests for services that relate to on turn ongoing and long term governance especially those for content the content marketing Institute reminded us that governance is not about managing day to day work it’s about setting up decision authority and the framework to support people in doing their jobs. Then we explored for foundational governance components people process documentation and training and saw how some of them actually overlap. Finally we looked at using a matrix spreadsheet as part of a governance plan. The Matrix helps track specific pieces of information. So it serves as the blueprint for resetting your approach to content organization and a better organized approach helps you keep your website under control while growing it over time in a coherent way that serves both current and future needs. Time to celebrate and start drafting your own governance framework or revising your current plan.

 

[00:32:36] So let’s look at some questions in each quadrant to ask yourself and your team. As you get your governance efforts underway in the people quadrant you want to look at the two types of decision authority for strategic authority you need to know if you have a web steering group who is included and if they’re the right people. What decisions can they make are their processes documented and shared widely. For implementation authority identify the roles and responsibilities on your team and decide if they reflect the actual work that needs to be done. In fact one of your biggest challenges will be to separate the work that needs to be done from the people who currently hold the jobs but when you determine the work first you’ll be better able to match the right person with the right job. You also want to set up job descriptions and review them regularly to keep improving the match of responsibilities to skills in the process quadrant. You want to capture what’s happening in at least three key areas. Editorial and content design and implementation and technology. Ask yourself how you develop content for your web and other channels and what are the steps in your writing editing review process that can help you deliver a consistent quality product that follows your brand standards who are approves and what are the steps to publish a piece of content. How could you make changes to the site design and what are the steps to make that happen. Who approves those changes. And what’s the update process for implementation. Figure out how you make sure the site stays online and how.

 

[00:34:16] Any technical changes can be approved or made for the documentation quadrant. Writing down everything you do for the other key topics actually builds that repository of documentation that serves as your governance plan so capture everything you can about people process in training. Finally these are some questions to focus on for the training part of governance. You need to train everyone so all contributors work toward the same goals and your organization knows how to support you. You also need to offer training regularly and make sure the appropriate people attend OK. Take a deep breath. It’s a lot of information. Where do you begin. Well if you can only do one thing for yourself or your team. Start by documenting your processes. Find out and write down everything you currently do especially what’s happening with content design and your technical functionality. Put it all in your documentation repository and create that repository. If you don’t have one now then be brave. Reach out to other teams and departments who have a stake in the website and lay the groundwork to create the web steering group or committee or team or whatever you want to call this decision authority if it doesn’t exist. Figure out how it works and who gets to make decisions about what. Again write it all down share that information with everyone who’s affected remember you’re building your documentation repository as you go. So just to sum up quickly we talked about the definition of governance ways to approach the topic the value of using a governance framework and key questions to help us think about it. Then we saw how a content strategy statement can guide governance.

 

Jill: [00:36:11] And we looked at establishing two levels of decision authority to help everyone do their jobs effectively. Next we explored for foundational governance areas people process documentation and training and what’s involved in each. We touched briefly on the navigation and content matrix tool that we can use to begin capturing governance information related to our Web site content. Finally we looked at questions you can use for each governance component. Those will help you start on the basics of a governance framework we’re build on what already exists in your organization. Governance is a big project and we’re always happy to help. We can get involved in building a core strategy statement with you where we can conduct resource audit interviews for current processes or organizational structures. We can make overall governance framework recommendations or recommend specifics for a content governance strategy and help with any other processes or structure recommendations boom. So now that you’re all fired up about governance what are your questions or comments.

 

Cole: [00:37:25] Thank you, Jill. A lot of great information there. I apologize I’m getting a message that my audio is not very good. If I’m not coming through crystal clear I apologize in advance but we’re going to try to get to as many of your questions as possible so we’ll start off with one from Caty and we had a couple come in that were similar to this, Jill. She says “What department typically leads establishing governance.

 

Jill: [00:37:54] Most often it’s the one that’s responsible for the Web site. So that’s often the marketing department. It can come from anywhere but usually the folks who have the most to gain and the most need for getting the structure in the framework of the Web site under control are the folks who own the web site. So that’s often the, like I say, the marketing department.

 

Cole: [00:38:19] Great. So next one um kind of similar I guess. “How would you recommend getting your company’s leadership on board with digital governance if they currently aren’t?”

 

Jill: [00:38:33] One of the key things is to show them how the documentation of the processes in particular but any of the steps can help you save time and money. Anything that can help an organization Save Money is usually a way to get your leadership on board. So the first thing you might have to do is actually create documentation for a small set of activities–things that you know are repeated on a regular basis. We’ve got it for writing process because that’s usually a fairly repeatable sort of thing. Certain things you have to do in order to write, edit, revise, get a final document ready for publication. So something that you can pick out that really has a more definable process and a more linear or structured set up to it. Once you can show that by doing that you’ve been able to either increase your throughput, or reduce the amount of revisions that you’ve had to make, reduce rework, anything that you can show will save you time whether you track that in in literal minutes or whether it’s a reflection of the dollars that you save by not having to do something over again, or by not having your Either whoever your clients are come back to you with with changes that they need. It’s kind of like do it right the first time and it saves you money in the long run because you didn’t have to repeat something any of that kind of stuff that you can do and track so that you’ve got some numbers that you can put with the actual work that you’re doing will help you then show leadership that this is an ongoing and necessary thing that can help them save money. Like I say when I found that study information about how the chief financial officers understand that governance is a huge win for them because it allows them to see where the priorities are. And you’re going to have competing priorities all the time. But once you can say that you do this for this area then it also helps you solve a problem in another area. You have more ammunition to help you create that convincing case for what you want to do. It won’t necessarily easy but so be prepared to you know keep that tracking going on for you know maybe as much as a year but start small. Figure out what you can and just be just be a persistent presence in their lives.

 

Cole: [00:41:14] Had a couple of questions come through from Kevin and Aaron about getting the presentation or slides available afterwards. Yes to both of you. This will be available if not later today than probably tomorrow online on geometric dotcom in the ideas section of the whole presentation as well as we will send an email with the slides and a PDF so we’ll jump back in here to another question from Katie. This one’s kind of kind of a multi-part question I guess so let me know if I need to repeat anything, Jill. Implementation authority: would you please discuss the pros and cons of having a web team that is composed of two or more departments. So she gives the example of reporting to different senior leaders versus managing the web team under one senior executive.

 

Jill: [00:42:08] I. Would vote for the least amount of Hierarchy that you need to have. But I understand that you know some organizations have internal structural issues and internal politics that you need to deal with. So that’s partly why the web steering group as an overarching authority is really important because then that group can help set the priorities and clarify those lines of responsibility. As long as everybody’s on the same page about what the roles are that need to be filled and what the work is that needs to be done. The managers you know you would hope would be able to get along and understand that the people doing the work, it shouldn’t really matter who’s reporting to whom. But the again that’s why if you don’t have that steering group that’s talking about this from a high level you may run into difficulties so the fewer levels of hierarchy and management that you can deal with the better. So it would be great if you could have everybody who’s on the web team managed under one umbrella. But if you can’t do that then set up a level of authority above that that helps you where that’s the group that will say these folks are responsible for X. These folks are responsible for why, here’s the reporting system, here’s how we come together and keep those communication lines open because it’s the the constant communication as you well know that’s going to end up shooting you in the foot. And so you want to make sure that you’ve got some level where though all those teams and all those people come back together to have that conversation at some some higher level.

 

Cole: [00:44:06] Jill, what kind of people or roles which you recommend being on those steering committees?

 

Jill: [00:44:14] Typically those are going to be there needs to be somebody, if it’s not at the you don’t necessarily need the president of your organization but you need somebody at A senior level. Those folks should be able to make decisions. And have a view across the organization and the various competing. Competing priorities because they’re always going to be those. You need. People who have the. Authority to. To make decisions and to talk with each other and to talk with their counterparts. So that you’ve got some. Sponsor. Some. Some level of support. That gets you. The. Ability to. Kind of cut through the. Red tape. And. Clear those paths. And speak on your behalf to. Whoever the larger. The more responsible or the more authoritative people are. So. There should be people that can take. The questions that the. Team has that the Web. And support folks have. From the digital perspective. Into. Leadership. Presidents boards of directors those kinds of things. Make your case. And. And know that. They will have the support of the. Senior leaders when those conversations are finished. I hope that helps.

 

Cole: [00:45:38] Great. We got a question about what if marketing and IT both believe they own the web site? I am sure our good friend Heather Stanley would be glad to talk a little bit about the levels of delegation sometime in the future, but Jill is there any insight, any advice you can give in that situation?

 

Jill: [00:46:04] I’m chuckling here too because that’s a pretty typical area of either conflict or disagreement or confusion if we can be generous about that. Try to come up with either some meeting of the minds and often this just starts with getting those two groups of people together in one room and discussing why you’re creating the website in the first place. Because once you know what the organizational goals are and probably it’s going to be some kind of marketing or publication information sharing sort of thing. And that is that’s the level of delegation or the level of responsibility that needs to drive whoever owns the owns the Web site. It isn’t that I.T. is not important by any stretch of the imagination. Everybody has a very definite and valuable role on all of this. But by setting up and kind of showing in that area of strategic authority and implementation authority it helps folks see that everybody is important to making sure that the website serves the needs of the customers that you have because it’s really not about how you as an organization come at this. It’s are you creating a user experience that people want to engage with. You know one of our biggest challenges is to help organizations understand that the Web site is not about you, it’s not about your organization, it’s about how you can help the customers, the prospects, the people that you want to serve. And so you always need to think about it from that user perspective and make sure that then everybody who’s involved in inside your organization has the organizational goals in mind so that they see where their role is to serve those customers down the road. You may have internal customers obviously you’ve got departments and divisions who want to do certain things but even those have you know you’re working for the client of your client. They want to share information for their users. And so how can you do that the most effectively? And typically that’s starts with a discussion probably between I.T. and marketing. But you’re going to be basing that on what are the whole goals the organizational goals for the Web site.

 

Cole: [00:48:30] Kind of in a similar vein. We have Monica was kind of wondering how you can keep the web steering group from being overly involved in decisions that are the domain of the web development and maintenance group.

 

Jill: [00:48:45] That goes back to again you probably need more information than I’ve been able to share here today to understand what a steering group really is intended to do and to talk about what it means to have that high level budgeting. A strategic view of the site strategic view of the work that needs to happen so that they understand that this is the level that they’re talking about and not this. That the difference between strategy and tactics is huge. And that’s the discussion that you need to have. Frankly when you when you talk with your senior people about the strategic view that they already should have and you identify the right folks and that you know from your implementation group that you will actually deliver what’s expected. You build a level of trust between those two groups. That’s the the high level strategic authority doesn’t need to really deal with the day to day stuff because you’ve you’ve got that covered. So making sure that you’re delivering what you have said you would in a timely manner and that you’re responding to those requests and then documenting and having a communication channel open so that at all times you’ve got those regular steering committee meetings and that’s where the steering groups hears from the folks who are on the frontlines of the limitation area. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep talking to each other. But go into the you know do a little more research on your own that what that what Webster what a steering group in general might do and how you might apply that to your web development efforts.

 

[00:50:22] And that can help you talk with your senior leaders as you get them involved and show them how this kind of structure and this kind of an effort will help keep people doing the things that they need to in like to do best and that senior leadership doesn’t really have to get involved in the data area because you really are actually delivering what you say you will.

 

[00:50:48] Well we’re kind of rundown on time here so I did want to just remind everybody of a couple of things.

 

[00:50:55] Quick before we get going. First off if we didn’t get to your question today we will be sure to follow up with you. Afterwards there was just maybe one too many variables that we wanted to make sure that we covered off line with you so. But jumping back I did again just want to reiterate that our white paper getting started with governance that was written by our own Jill Johnson here will be available very soon. And when you take the survey at the end of the webinars I believe it’s a question for you Mark. Yes. For that we’ll make sure that you get a copy of it right away. And again a reminder that coming up in July we are going to have a weapon on content marketing for health care so you can go to Joan Ettrick dot com slash webinars to get signed up for that.

 

[00:51:39] And we will see all of you in July. Thanks so much for attending and have a great rest of your day everybody.

Take Control with Digital Governance