Every organization is unique to its rules and regulations. That is true with enterprise-wide systems such as SharePoint as well. To avoid a mess, miscommunication, and mismanagement, you need to set up certain rules.
What is SharePoint Governance?
Governance is a set of policies that define processes, roles, rules and regulations for internal as well as external user interaction with SharePoint in your organization. These Governance restrictions needs to be applied to each and everyone, irrespective of their designation or job title. If they are to be provided with extra SharePoint permissions or access rights, even then they need to be under the prying eyes of the governance team or governance tool. It, therefore, keeps a healthy control upon the way your organization’s business divisions and IT team work together towards company-wide goals.
Why do you need SharePoint Governance?
Having a great governance system in place right from your initial days of using SharePoint can exponentially help increase your organizational compliance with various business processes and regulations. If you are a small company with limited SharePoint resources for creating sites and managing security – you might manage without a formal Governance plan. But if your organization is extensively using SharePoint: creating sites, maintaining security, managing permissions – you need to have a proper governance plan as well as a SharePoint online governance tool readily available.
M365 and SharePoint Governance
SharePoint is closely integrated with Microsoft 365 services, including Microsoft 365 Groups, Microsoft Teams, PowerApps, Outlook, Streams, and a lot more. It is important to have a Microsoft365 governance module that takes care of all these other services.
Benefits of SharePoint Governance
There are a number of evident as well as superficial benefits associated with the implementation of governance over your SharePoint platform. Here are some of those:
Growth and Scaling
Smaller companies do not have too much to worry about when it comes to governance. This is due to the fact that Smaller organizations with less than 50 members often do not generate enough content to create messes. However, as your company keeps growing, you need to be in sync with the increasing governance requirements that might be proportionally cropping up with its progress. Therefore, consider adopting a governance plan as early as possible. A well-implemented Office365 governance template will ensure that everything is organized, and nothing gets lost as you expand.
User Adoption While most people might not be specifically familiar with every aspect of Microsoft 365 platforms, therefore, having a governance policy in place ensures that users do not feel overwhelmed or lost on your sites and pages. Instead, they know the limits of what they can do which provides a space for them to learn about the system without fear of messing with anything that does not relate to their position.
For example, suppose you set up a new SharePoint site and start putting up your content over there. What will be the use of all your efforts if they are not engaging your users! The reports and analytics offered by the governance tool can help you identify the content that works and scrap down the useless ones.
This is another big reason. It’s important that your company documents have a consistent level of quality all through your SharePoint sites and pages. Having a well-thought Office365 governance plan in place helps the users to correctly evaluate their creation, editing, and document management requirements. This way, you can go to any site or page and know what to expect.
A Good Governance Plan
A SharePoint Governance plan is the set of official guidelines for processes, rules, and regulations, do’s and don’ts in the SharePoint environment that we decide to adhere to. The purpose of a governance plan is to:
- Streamline the deployment of SharePoint and its supporting services.
- Help keep your organization’s system secure and compliant.
- Help ensure the best return on your investment.
- Help you monitor user activities and avoid security breaches
Setting up a SharePoint Governance Plan
While the specifics of your governance plan depends on your company’s individual requirements, here is a list of some of the must-have components of a great governance plan:
Roles and Responsibilities
Everyone employee needs to be aware of and responsible enough to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. Your governance plan must be designed while keeping in mind the roles and responsibilities of each of your employees. This will make the access right distributions and permission levels quite easy to set up and handle. This enhances employee ownership while ensuring that every situation can be handled with proper reporting and auditing.
Policies and Procedures
These are the essences of your SharePoint governance plan. They are the rules that define what a user can and cannot do in SharePoint. This includes multiple permission levels ranging right from simple situations such as who can edit what, to higher-level access and admin rights.
Things might go wrong. You can’t expect everything to run smoothly. When things go wrong, it’s important to have a way to restore it to the previous versions quickly and effectively.
Branding is extremely important for an organization’s identity. Your SharePoint sites need to be uniform in both function and form. This means that your sites and pages should have a consistent look or “Branding”
Training & Implementation
Creating a governance policy is great, but it will not mean anything if you don’t implement it. The SharePoint Users and Administrators need to know the entire in and out of your governance plans as well as be trained in your governance policies. Once trained, you need to consistently enforce the implementation and track that they are following the new procedures.
One thing you need to consider is how your SharePoint governance plan will scale up with your organization. Think about your growth and your plans. Your plan should match these and amplify them for the future.
While your SharePoint team might be great at managing your governance plans, some users’ issues might slip through the cracks. Send out forms to solicit feedback from your userbase. Try once a month for it to be effective.
SharePoint Governance can be powerful if managed correctly. SharePoint governance lets you effectively manage your SharePoint platform to make it work as per your company requirements. But it is a complex process as well. How good will it be to have a tool to take care of these governance processes!
While Governance is an important factor in protecting the privacy and security of your SharePoint data, an effective SharePoint governance strategy has roots extending much beyond it, be it regulating who can see or interact with which site or document or keeping a track of all the SharePoint usage data. Learn more about building and implementing effective SharePoint governance to protect your SharePoint data as well as the SharePoint environment as a whole.
Saketa Governance module comes as a part of the Saketa SharePoint Migration tool. If you have any questions about Microsoft365 governance or would like to try out our new Governance module, feel free to write to us.