How intranet and digital workplace governance is hard-baked into Wizdom
Intranet and digital workplace governance might be a dry topic, but it is an essential ingredient for a successful intranet or digital workplace. Governance can loosely be defined as the collection of structures, roles, processes, policies, rules, standards and other elements which make your intranet and digital workplace run successfully every day. It also gives your platform strategic direction. Without some form of governance framework in place, an intranet or digital workplace will become chaotic, messy, unadopted and untrusted by employees.
At Wizdom we know how important governance is for true intranet success. Because we’ve consistently worked in partnership with our clients and evolved our platform based on real client feedback, governance is very much part of our product’s DNA. In fact, we’ve “hard-baked” several governance features into the platform, many of which add an essential governance layer to SharePoint or to Office 365.
In short: A good strategy and successful implementation ensures business value from the first day. A successful governance approach ensures that business value persists over time.
Different shades of governance
There are usually different “flavours” of governance which support any one intranet or digital workplace:
- Technical: supporting excellent performance, security, compatibility etc.
- Content: ensuring your content meets standards, is up-to-date and is findable
- Collaboration: ensuring collaboration runs smoothly and optimally following organizational recommended practices and rules
- Strategic: supporting the strategic direction and decision-making on your intranet
Let’s look at how each of these governance areas is supported by Wizdom.
While how Wizdom supports technical governance is not the focus of this article, it is an incredibly important consideration in how we code the product. When you invest in Wizdom you know it will be performing optimally, is as secure as possible and fits seamlessly into your digital workplace. We want your IT department to be happy!
We also work in parallel to align our product roadmap with the SharePoint and Office 365 roadmap; for example, we can integrate SharePoint modern sites into Wizdom. Our extensibility framework also means it is possible for you to perform some customisations on your intranet without impacting your ability to upgrade in the future. SharePoint content also remains in SharePoint and so it utilizes SharePoint security mechanisms should you wish to choose a different product to Wizdom in the future.
We ensure technical governance is a core part of the product, to help your IT department sleep more soundly at night.
A classic problem with intranets is that content does not meet editorial standards or is not kept up-to-date, despite the best intentions of intranet teams and content owners. An intranet without good content is not a good intranet.
Multiple features within Wizdom help to establish content governance for your intranet pages. For example, when a piece of content is created there is always a set owner and a revision date for when it must be reviewed, supporting accuracy and relevancy. A dashboard helps individual content owners view which pieces of content are due for revision, and workflow allows review to be carried out with less effort. Meanwhile, the central intranet team has a dashboard of who owns which piece of content and what is due for revision, again allowing for central oversight and stewardship. Different page templates also help your publishers to create pages based on formats which align with your editorial standards.
Certain types of content will also need to be more tightly controlled and Wizdom adds extra content governance for these; there are approval workflows for central news and there is also a library for policies and procedures where you can also establish and follow up on mandatory reading for targeted audiences. We help to establish governance across the lifecycle for all your different content types.
Just like your content, collaboration sites need some governance too. A common scenario is for collaboration platforms and tools like Teams to grow out of control, creating poor findability and confusion, resulting in a poor user experience and low adoption. Collaboration governance helps to avoid this scenario, while also giving you some control over which tools employees use.
Office 365 and SharePoint Online comes packed with a stack of different options for collaboration including team sites, Yammer, Teams or Office 365 groups, and Wizdom adds further options! Within any organisation there are going to be different types of collaboration use case – for example project teams, department sites or Communities of Practice. How can you help your users know which is the best tool to use for which use case, and how it should be configured?
Wizdom delivers robust collaboration governance by adding some control to the site provisioning process. You can create a portal which allows you to define which type of tool should be used for what use and defines a specific template for each type of site. Users select their preferred type of collaboration space (e.g. project site) and Wizdom then creates a site (Teams, team sites etc.) with all the right features. It also establishes the roles such as a site owner which are needed to make sure a collaboration space is sustainable. This means that a user needs to select to create the relevant type of business workspace – and then the solution will create the organizationally defined type of collaboration workspace (i. e. a Microsoft Teams or a SharePoint Project site etc.).
You can also add approval workflows to stop the duplication and proliferation of unwanted sites, keeping some control and order over your collaboration platform. To help central teams keep on top of governance, there are also views which show all the collaboration sites created and the associated site owners.
At the heart of strategic governance is clear ownership and sponsorship of your platform, and associated processes to ensure that strategic decisions can be made. While most of the strategic governance you have in place may centre around a cross-functional steering committee and its activities, Wizdom can support decision-makers through:
- robust reporting built into the platform
- a transparent roadmap for what’s coming up
- close alignment to the Microsoft and Office 365 roadmap
- and a clear value proposition for the platform which focuses on both an intranet and the wider digital workplace.
You need a platform which supports governance
You really do need governance for your intranet and digital workplace to be sustainable and successful. Having a product which supports your efforts to establish governance rather than making it more difficult is important.
Whether ensuring the concerns of your IT department are met, allowing users to pick the right collaboration site, helping content owners to review their pages or producing reports for your senior leaders, Wizdom’s governance features are there to help central teams manage their platform in the best way possible.
Highlight: We now offer full Workspaces functionality and collaboration governance for the modern experiences
Wizdom Workspaces module is a tool to manage and collaborate on projects or areas of interests from the intranet. But the module is more than that. The Workspaces module in Wizdom is unique in the sense that the module provides an engine for collaboration governance.
With the introduction of the full functionality of the Workspaces module to the modern experiences, this means you are now able to gain complete control over and set fixed standards for all collaboration spaces created in your digital workplace.
Highlight: When creating new workspaces users are now guided with a thorough description of workspace types
Choosing the best tool for a given collaboration purpose isn’t always intuitive in today’s digital landscape where users are looking at many different options for collaboration.
With this update, intranet admins are offered a tool to make it more simple for users to choose the right tool for a given collaboration project. Admins can now describe every workspace type with image, headline, and subheading.
Intuitively guiding users to choose the proper type of workspace to a new collaboration project.
This update applies to the Workspaces module on the classic as well as the modern experience in SharePoint.
Enhancements to Wizdom on SharePoint’s modern experiences
Highlight: You can now make Wizdom web parts available from the Service Menu on modern sites
Lets say you work in a project driven enterprise that continuously run a variety of projects in workspaces at the intranet. Or perhaps you often need to consult with relevant company policies during a workday. Wouldn’t it be nice to have quick access to relevant workspaces and policies from everywhere at the intranet?
As a menu that is steadily available in the user’s left panel, the Service Menu till now has made important links globally accessible to users. From this version of Wizdom, you can now include, not only links, but, also, Wizdom’s web parts in the Service Menu on modern sites.
This means you can now provide users global access to Wizdom functions like the Workspaces overview, Policies Relevant for Me, Cafeteria Menu, Noticeboard, and even your own custom built web parts. Enabling employees to go ahead and do stuff instead of spending time navigating to find functions.
As an intranet admin, you add Wizdom web parts to the Service Menu by entering the web part ID, selecting an icon, and entering a title that will represent the web part in the Service Menu.
The Service Menu content is completely customizable. The menu can be configured to include the links and functionality you like and match your precise needs. Each item in the menu can be disabled/enabled. E.g. if you would like to disable a menu item temporarily or would like to remove the link panel from the Service Menu.
Highlight: Custom style web parts on modern pages with CSS class, border, and padding
Custom branding web parts on modern pages has just become easier than ever before with the latest design updates to web parts
You can now style web parts individually by giving them a CSS class. The styling of the CSS class will apply to the web part no matter which template the web part uses or which page the web part is inserted on. This means, you can e.g. apply the same style to all Workspaces web parts in use, even if they are set up with a different template.
Border enables you to add a border to web parts.
Enabling padding will add 8px of padding to the web part content.
Highlight #5: Another round of Wizdom modules are ready for SharePoint’s modern experiences
With this version of Wizdom the ‘New Employees’, Birthdays’, ‘FAQs’, and ‘Replace Contacts’ web parts are now available for modern pages.
This means that the following Wizdom modules can now be used for SharePoint’s modern experiences:
|Birthdays||Page Review Date|
|Cafeteria Menu||People Directory|
|Content Governance||Policies & Procedures|
|Design & Branding||Replace Contacts|
|Mega Menu||RichText Editor|
|New Employees||Service Menu|
|Page Contact||Site Designs (Site Templates for classic SharePoint|
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