When it comes to IMS, a lot of effort and time goes into the initial planning and sorting of data.  Once established, its structure and contents should be reviewed regularly to ensure the system as a whole continues to meet the needs of its users.  Depending on the amount of people the system affects, the initial sorting can sometimes be the most challenging part.  Enter the Governance Committee.  According to Boardable, “The governance committee helps companies maintain compliance with industry, state, and federal regulations.” In the case of IMS or any IT-related Governance Committee, that means checking on compliance with accessibility laws, cybersecurity requirements as well as any internal standards and policies that may be in place.  More often than not, new policies for the IMS are developed by a Governance Committee during implementation.  This can include policies for content access and sharing permissions, on- and offboarding practices, hub site development etc.  

No matter the scale of the IMS, it’s the Governance Committee’s responsibility to ensure stakeholder buy-in and adequate maintenance throughout the system’s lifecycle.  Like the IMS itself, it’s worth noting that not all Governance Committees are created equal.  Below we explain the options for establishing a solid committee that will best serve your organization’s needs.  

The Team Reps

Some committees can be entirely peer-driven provided that at least a couple of the members are able to handle the backend infrastructure.  By gathering user representatives from each department in an organization, an IMS map and series of permissions can be developed to best suit the needs of the organization all the while addressing version control issues including duplication of not only content but employee efforts uncovered while establishing the system’s setup.  When employees themselves champion their own IMS solutions, user uptake and the project’s success overall tends to be higher than if otherwise implemented and deployed. 

The Leadership Team

Some leadership teams are more hands-on than others.  In small organizations, these members may be the users as well.  In mid to large size groups, however, it’s much more common for leadership team members to have a narrower view of day-to-day operations amongst employees.  A Governance Committee built with a top-down mindset, such as the case with a leadership team-only committee, tends to need more of an iron first to deploy and manage in contrast to the other structures mentioned in this blog.  Although employee input may be gathered and presented at committee meetings for consideration during planning, there tends to be a lot of little details that go forgotten about until after the fact, often resulting in more pushback from employees since they were not (or little) involved in the design of the system intended for their use.  

The Consultants

Sometimes it takes an outside set of eyes to see what teams can’t.  Although a Governance Committee should always incorporate internal stakeholders, outsourcing its coordination can offer both outside expertise specific to the IMS setup and migration as well as accountability when it comes to checking in and staying on task.  Outside help can also forewarn if there are systems changes or new tools under development that might help any given organization while offering a level of insurance against data loss during migration processes.  The best of both worlds, looping in consultants can offer peace of mind knowing that your set up meets professional standards without giving up administrative access to your contents of decision-making power for your team.  

Whatever Governance Committee style you’re opting towards, staying organized and being truly transparent about content and permissions will go a long way in establishing a functional IMS that keeps data secure but accessible to those who need it.  In the perfect world, this will reduce workplace data confusion and streamline processes for a more efficient and engaged workforce.