Building a new website takes a considerable amount of investment from your company. Therefore, after its launch, it is extremely important that your team is ready to maintain it properly. The sooner you plan the future governance of your site, focusing on the rules and responsibilities around content maintenance, the easier your governance plan will be to enforce.
When we discuss governance for a public facing website with our clients, the following primary topics are included:
- Who owns the content for the different portions of the site?
- Who should have the right to edit, delete, approve, and publish content?
- How can content items be shared in different parts of the site or between different sites?
- What are the rules for metadata, tagging and taxonomy?
- When and what content needs to be expired and/or archived?
- Who owns the management of the CMS solution, including user access and security settings?
All these topics are important to define how a website managed with Sitecore, or indeed SharePoint, and how the content management system (CMS) needs to be architected and developed, ensuring the required governance model is followed.
Web content ownership
Based on our experience, we believe that the sooner you have all the stakeholders involved in content ownership discussions, the easier it is going to be creating a governance plan that the stakeholders support. Do not wait until the website is ready to go live before you start involving your HR or marketing team about what pieces of content should be put together and how that content is maintained. Content Editors' resistance is one of the main points of failure of any content governance planning. To mitigate that risk, content editors must be involved with the creation of a good governance plan.
What content goes where?
Along with deciding who can create or edit content, your created governance plan needs to identify where content is created and displayed. You may not want content authors creating news releases under the section defined for your board of directors' bio pages when you have a specific Media Centre that was established for exactly that purpose. A proper governance plan identifies the appropriate channels for specific types of content and controls where and how those channels are displayed in the site.
Sitecore can enforce exactly where each content type is created and which groups of users can create or edit that type of content. A good governance plan will take that in account and will help your development team to prepare a content tree organization that will facilitate that creation. With proper governance, a content editor does not need to worry about where content should go and how to display it. Instead a good governance plan provides the proper channels to display content in appropriate places, freeing up the content editor to concentrate on the actual content.
Different user access levels
One of the most common questions clients always ask about a CMS is how granular its settings are. Does it offer the possibility of giving a specific group of users the access to edit a selected collection of content, or a specific section of the website? Can it have separated groups for editing, translation, approving and publishing content? Can it trigger specific actions on different states of pieces of content? For example, when is content submitted for approval? The more granular a solution is, the more it can accomplish and meet advanced and complex requirements around governance.
Sitecore CMS offers one of the most granular security editors that exist in the market, as shown below.
When enough governance is enough
Since Sitecore offers such robust permissions and workflow, the governance plan must identify when and how much governance is required for specific workflows. Too much governance for specific tasks can lead to some content editors avoiding those tasks altogether. For example, let's say you have a workflow that is configured to send an email to a specific approver every time new content is created or edited. Depending on how much content is created daily, the process could take too long for such a simple task and the editor will feel like the system is spamming their email inbox.
Instead of creating an overbearing governance model, your plan should provide the necessary governance to ensure content integrity without overtaxing the editors that create and maintain the content. Finding the appropriate level of governance ensures that your editors will complete their tasks and your site will present quality content that is up-to-date, accurate, and timely. With BrightStarr's expertise, companies can implement a sensible governance plan employing Sitecore's security editor that achieves the business and user goals of the organization.