SharePoint Governance = Rules of Driving

Governance speaks about “the rules of the game”.  Whether it be people, process or technology related, the players in the game need to understand the big picture or context.

Example: Rules Of The Road

License
…everyone needs to have taken a drivers test and have a license in their possession

Registration
…every vehicle needs to be registered within the state where it is owned

Signs
…drivers are alerted to danger and best practices via the signs posted along the roadways

Lines
…solid lines mean something different than dashed lines
…yellow lines differ from white lines

Traffic direction
…in the US, drive on the right side of the road, lane or median

All of these rules establish the Governance by which all the players in the game will participate.  They dislodge certain assumptions and set a level of expectations by which all players can enjoy the experience.

Driving on a side street is one experience and driving on the interstate is another. Helping people to understand the differences is key.  Here’s a few things that come to mind …

  • ditches
  • medians
  • curbs
  • lane changes (aka; blinkers)
  • line colors (white, yellow)
  • line types (solid, dashed, solid and dashed)
  • road signs
  • road colors
  • stop lights
  • intersections (with lights and signs)
  • intersections (without lights and signs)
  • steep hills
  • water hazards
  • pot holes
  • weather conditions
  • passing lanes
  • passing techniques (bridges, hills and visibility)
  • blinker usage (or not!)
  • speeding fines (a boundary or fence to watch out for)
  • merge lanes

Thus, Governance establishes Policy which provides Adoption.  People need to know the rules of the game or playground to be able to play safely.  Providing a context of understanding through awareness, training, best practices, case studies and an environment for people to socialize on an ongoing basis provides a great self-sustaining eco-system.

A study was done years ago regarding playgrounds, kids and fences. The result of the study was that kids are much more likely to play right up to the outer boundaries of the playground when a fence exists.  Seems simple but there is a big lesson to be learned here and it relates to Governance. A company and its employees will work more effectively and efficiently when fences exist.

The rules of Governance are not to be ignored or minimized but elevated and made visible for all participants.  The success of every business depends on rules in order to succeed.

Additional Resources

How does SharePoint Governance affect you?

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