Where would an employee go with questions to how a specific task is done on your website? Continuing our series on web governance, this post is about about the policies and procedures component of web governance. Previous posts dealt with mapping your web governance and the roles and responsibilities in web governance.

Policies and Procedures are the ‘Why’ and ‘How’

In my blog post about roles and responsibilities in web governance, I looked at the ‘Who’ (roles) and the ‘What’ (responsibilities). Web governance policies answers why you should (and why you shouldn't) do web tasks in a specific way and is comprised of rules that guide the decision making process. Procedures describe how specific web tasks are done, so you can be sure you have a uniform and high quality approach to your website.

Policies and procedures are important because they set the frame for how your web team should work. If an employee has a question to how a task on your website is done, policies and procedure should be the first place to look.

What are web governance policies?

Web governance policies are rules that guide the day-to-day work of your web team and ensure that any laws governing your websites are kept. If there is a reason for doing things in a specific way in relation to your web presence, you should have a policy for it. Policies can cover accessibility compliance, compliance with other rules, laws and standards, social media usage, content review and much more.

Examples of web governance policies:

  • When publishing new content to the company website, the content should be reviewed for compliance with the corporate tone-of-voice guidelines.
  • All pages on the website must contain a link to our privacy policy.
  • When linking to or attaching documents to web pages, these must be uploaded in PDF file format.
  • All content on the website should be available in at least English, as this is our corporate language.

What are web governance procedures?

Web governance procedures are guidelines that tell you exactly how to do a specific task, to ensure uniformity in the web presence. If you have a web task you want done in the same way, every time it is done, make a procedure for it. Procedures include usage of web analytics, organization of articles, styling and so on.

Examples of web governance procedures:

  • Upon uploading a new picture to the media library, you must click on the tab 'crop' and make sure that crops for thumbnails, highlights and sidebars exists.
  • When writing a blog post for the corporate blog you must
    • Include all the elements described in the document 'how to write for the company blog.'
    • Send the document to the marketing manager for review.
    • Send the reviewed document to the UK and DK marketing managers for translation.
    • Search statistics must be analyzed on the first Monday of every month in accordance with the document 'Internal search maintenance.'

Getting started with policies and procedures

When implementing web governance in your organization it is a great idea to include all members of the web team in the forming of policies and procedures. They probably already follow some unwritten rules of their own, so by starting out with writing these down you'll already have a lot of the work done, while your employees will feel ownership of the policies and procedures.

To make your policies and procedures work, you'll have to make sure they are enforced. A nice way of doing this is to have training sessions where employees get to work with the procedures and can ask questions if needed. A more informal way could be encouraging employees to remind each other of the policies and procedures once in a while.


More about web governance

Blog post: "Web Governance Roles and Responsibilities" Blog post: "Components of a Web Governance Strategy" Blog post: "How to Map Your Web Governance Structure"