I saw today that William & Mary was soft launching their new web redesign and I began thinking more about governance of the web.
How do web decisions get made at institutions. Is it the job of:
- senior leadership team
- Web Office
- Individual departments
- Web committee
I have seen and heard of models that look like all of these. But I would argue that the most effective way to manage or govern the web is to have some central forum, committee, task force, group that helps to set the vision. But with this model you also need a strong web office that is able to implement changes quickly as the market demands change.
If left to the senior leadership team web decisions might not be made since they are concentrating on other issues of the institution. When decision making is isolated in one office IT or communications decision might be one sided or be made with a bias and one office is easily blamed when things appear to go wrong. If decision making is up to individual departments good luck with strategy or strategic thinking.
When you have a group that is made up of Directors and Associate VPs on a committee that works with setting a web strategy and vision you have a really powerful group. When that group represents each division of your college you have an even more powerful group. It’s been my experience that I can accomplish more with collaboration than on my own.
But along with this committee you also need to be able to be “nimble” as a web office. That sounds like a whole different blog post so I am going to save that for Governance – some thoughts part 2.