Uniform blog/Content governance: managing and maintaining quality content
Mark Demeny
Posted on May 17, 2023

4 min read

Content governance: managing and maintaining quality content

What is content governance?

Content governance, the process of defining the publication process of an organization’s digital content, implies bureaucracy and approval hell but doesn’t have to. Look at content governance as an F1 pit crew: If all the members focus on their tasks and stay out of the way of others, then things can move fast.

How does governance affect content strategy?

A sound content strategy pinpoints the audience, the channels they engage on, and the type of information they are after. Content governance identifies who creates, publishes, and curates the content—tasks that are assigned to only one team in small organizations but segmented by audience or task in large enterprises.
Once a content strategy is in place, the operational process looks like a production line:
  1. Creation of strategy-based content by subject-matter experts (SMEs), usually with publishing software.
  2. Reviews by SMEs and other stakeholders.
  3. Other reviews (language, legal, translation) as necessary.
  4. Creation of outward-facing assets: pages, assets, videos.
  5. Scheduling and publication.
  6. Curation and proofreading.
Of course, you must regularly audit the content to determine what is effective or stale in order to find out what to remove or build in the times ahead.

How do you implement content governance?

1. Understand and optimize your content workflow.

Take note of your organization’s content operations. The steps in the above section are a good starting point, but feel free to modify the process as warranted.
You can often implement workflow with a content management system (CMS) and a digital asset management (DAM) platform. In practice, however, outside of regulatory needs, many organizations find those solutions cumbersome since they involve coding and implementation, let alone the struggle with edge cases. Realistically, strict workflows are necessary for only large, distributed organizations that face exposure risks.

2. Assign roles and responsibilities.

Creation of content is different from its assembly and publishing. In most cases, content creators write with tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. It’s up to those who’re familiar with the layout and deployment options to put that content into the CMS and construct the blueprint. 
Similarly, you must determine exactly what to review. Is it the content, in which case you read through the document, or is it the entire asset?

3. Create policies, standards, and procedures.

By implementing content governance, you can accomplish following:
  • Move faster by clearly identifying roles, responsibilities, and tools. 
  • Comply with rules and regulations. The more brand risk you might face due to outdated or untimely content, the greater the need for governance functions around compliance, such as legal review, auditing, and workflow gates to prevent publishing without those approvals. Be sure to share the requirements and their rationale with your team.

4. Document and share guidelines.

A major blocker to success with content governance is communication. Without being informed about the guidelines and the systems to use, people cannot operate correctly, leaving by the wayside the related efficiencies or analytics. So, be sure to share guidelines regularly with your team through channels like Slack or Teams.
The more you can do to tie into your existing tooling for planning (spreadsheets, JIRA, or other ticketing systems), the easier it is to start using the new system and understand the content output and tasks.

5. Implement and improve.

Start small:
  1. Instead of going from zero governance to a full-fledged bureaucracy, take incremental steps and see what works and what doesn’t. For example, some teams prefer to use Slack; others like emails; and still others prefer content-operations platforms.
  2. Consider the needs and working practices of your team. Chances are that content creation and governance is only a percentage of their job, so minimizing the need to learn new tools and processes is important. 
Remember, you want no more than “just enough” governance. The amount of governance necessary is directly proportional to the size of the organization, contributors, and content strategy.

How do you integrate content governance with content model?

Structured content is a core principle for enabling efficiency through governance. Clearly defining what content creators must do for a unit of content accelerates the creation and assembly process. Nonetheless, you must take into account these two factors:
  • How to quickly modify or create content models and in what role. Typically, agile teams of developers or architects work with content designers and creators to make content changes.
  • How to handle edge cases that don’t fit cleanly into the existing content model. A digital experience composition platform (DXCP) like Uniform can help.

How can Uniform help?

A major governance-related roadblock against content velocity is the difficulty in modifying the existing structured systems to handle edge cases. Uniform Canvas’s governance model clearly separates roles, reducing the friction and limitations of structured content. Content creators can continue to work in their systems while publishers can quickly consume and refactor that content in new channels. 
Additionally, with Uniform Canvas, you can leverage content in newly created structures by combining material from different systems alongside “volatile” or channel-specific content. That way, handling edge cases is a cakewalk, so is reusing content without affecting the underlying structures. Request a free demo today.
Content governance ensures that organizations’ assets and content are accurate, timely, and engaging. Effective content governance is like an F1 pit crew, whose members know their tasks well and respond to demands fast.