Web Governance: The senior managers guide

Paul Boag

Getting senior managers to sign-off on a strategic review of your web presence is tough, especially if it involves paying an outside contractor. To help with the process I have produced a guide for senior management.

Hopefully if you have been reading my series on web governance, you can now see the value in stepping back and thinking strategically about your web presence. You may even want to get an outside company like Headscape to help you through the process.

However, just because you are keen doesn’t mean it will happen. Without senior management buy-in and funding available, you will be left struggling to work on web governance alongside the day to day operational stuff you are no doubt swamped with.

Unfortunately there is no way you are going to get senior managers to read my entire series on web governance. I have therefore written a short factsheet, outlining the main arguments for approaching your web presence in a more strategic way. Hopefully it will help.

Download the web governance factsheet

or read the copy from the factsheet below.

Web Evolution vs Intelligent Design

Evolution is a powerful driver for change, but it can be inefficient and chaotic too.

Take your web presence. Back in the late 90s it was a simpler beast, a single celled organism if you will. Over the years it has evolved becoming ever more complex.

Its had to evolve to survive. In order to compete with the competition its had to be more attractive, more engaging, more powerful. If it didn’t your customers would be lured away.

But complexity has come at a price. Each new evolutionary leap of your site has cost money. You know you have to invest, but sometimes it feels like you are pouring money into a hole with no idea what return it brings.

With the rapid rate of online change, it feels like running to stand still.

Worse still, as the web and your presence on it have become more business critical, the whole thing has become a greater risk.

You have found yourself in a minefield of legal requirements surrounding privacy, accessibility and data protection.

Internally there is increasing conflict over the priorities for your website, with different departments doing their own thing and leaving your site with a distinct split personality.

Doing so will make you more agile, reduce your costs, provide trackable returns on investment and improve customer retention. Most of all, with everything pulling together, the sum of the whole becomes more than the parts.

Unfortunately internal politics, time constraints and lack of expertise makes it hard for an organisation to look objectively at their own evolution. As with intelligent design you require an outside perspective.

That is why we recommend you bring in outside help to carry out a SWOT analysis, develop a roadmap, define responsibilities and establish an ongoing programme of controlled development.

Only then will you benefit from a truly intelligent site.