Governance & Process

Governance in the digital workplace – the issues

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in March 2011 ……

(Updated with minor edits: Aug 2014) A sure sign that the digital workplace is on the fast lane in a lot of people’s minds is that well over 120 people came to my workshop on intranet governance at Congres Intranet 2011 in Utrecht. I could not believe my eyes. It was an exciting moment and I only regret that we had too little time to dig in and too many people to interact.

Some of my points:

  • The coming together of the digital workplace has forced a new approach to governance.
  • We need a holistic perspective, where the [“intranet” + collaboration + social + mobile] are looked at as a coordinated, enabling “virtual platform”. (Post from 2011.) Also see this post from 2012.
  • This “virtual platform” must be coherent for people. They don’t care if it is made up of different systems and technologies.
  • Governance is a key for management teams. Governance means steering, not directly managing.
  • There are different ownership models for the digital workplace, each placing  decision-making points in different places.
  • Ownership means responsibility for all or part of the “virtual platform”, not everything on the platform. It means responsibility for the governing framework, not all the policies derived from the framework.


One thing for sure, the pioneers in the digital workplace are the first to say they have a lot to learn. Especially in governance.