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Website governance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Website governance is an organization's structure of staff and the technical systems, policies and procedures to maintain and manage a website.[1][2][3][4] Website governance applies to both Internet and Intranet sites.[5][6][7]

Areas of responsibility[edit]

Governance of a website may include a wide variety of responsibilities, including online strategy, budgeting, systems and software administration, hosting, online marketing and communications, e-commerce, customer service, business development, online community and social media, web content development and workflows, content strategy, translation, website graphic design, user experience (analysis/design), information/data architecture, website analytics, security, archiving, outsourcing, accessibility[broken anchor], legal issues (for example, copyright, DRM, trademark, and privacy), information ethics, and training, among others. These areas may be the responsibility of several or single staff within an organization, depending on available resources and infrastructure, organizational needs and objectives, website size, and how content is managed and delivered.[8] McGovern[9] argues that there is a limit to the number of web pages that can be professionally managed by one person, although he does not set the outer limit, either in number of pages (in a centralized model of website governance) or in number of publishers (in a decentralized model of website governance).

Website management team[edit]

A website management team (WMT) can be defined as an authorizing body of a website responsible for setting and achieving high-level goals for a site. This body includes content owner stakeholders and site production staff.[10] In some organizations, a chief web officer leads the WMT.

Website management team: An example of a tactical steering team organized primarily by production roles.

Responsibilities and authorities of website staff may be grouped by strategic, tactical and operational roles, and may be organized as a cross-functional web team. A strategic site sponsor articulates the high-level vision of the site, and determines if the vision is adequately fulfilled; a tactical-level staff translates the vision into detail by prioritizing projects, specifying site design and negotiating placement of content.[11] The tactical staff may be a group serving on a website governance board or steering team representing the main constituencies as defined by the organization's overall business plan.[12]

Governance models[edit]

Several models of website governance exist. Authors have focused on the content lifecycle;[13] primary components, such as people, process, and standards;[14] attributes, such as accountability, accessibility, participation across business areas, and standards;[15] and type of governance structure (centralized, decentralized, or federated).[16]

Through the Federal Web Managers Council, Federal agencies in the U.S. government collaborate to share common challenges, ideas, and best practices and improve the online delivery of U.S. government information and services.[17] Harrison, the first co-chair of the Federal Web Managers Council, has proposed the 5 "R's" of web governance: Roles, Responsibilities, Relationships, Rules, and Review.[18]

In a 2008 report,[19] the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit reviewed the management of websites in United Nations system organizations and made eight recommendations to improve a website presence. These included website governance, strategy, and policies and guidelines; content management systems; and staffing, training, and funding.[20]

In 2011 Jacoby introduced the Website Governance Functional Model.[21][22] Based on a business reference model within Davenport's[23] information ecology, the Website Governance Functional Model included at least 16 functional areas within an organization, along with the principles of project, information, and knowledge management. In this article he also introduced the concept "the website is the organization."

In 2012 Jacoby introduced the Website Governance Modeling Tool, "designed to help Web managers and their stakeholders conceptualize and assess their organization's website governance."[24]

The Website Governance Modeling Tool provides space and structure to illustrate functional areas of website governance. It as a pre-populated "drawing board", a place to process through Web work areas and strategies. Each work area and strategy is in an expandable, movable, writable box, with more named work areas to the side.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Website Management and Governance". howto.gov. August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  2. ^ Shane Diffily (April 2006). "Why your website needs governance". Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  3. ^ Lisa Welchman (March 15, 2009). "Web Governance: A Definition". Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  4. ^ Mahler, Julianne; Regan, Priscilla (2006). "Federal agencies and the evolution of web governance". Proceedings of the 2006 international conference on digital government research. San Diego, CA: ACM. pp. 325–331. doi:10.1145/1146598.1146687.
  5. ^ "Intranet Governance : An Introduction". Intranet Focus Ltd. April 30, 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  6. ^ "The Framework". intranetmaturity.com. 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  7. ^ "Intranet Framework". PebbleRoad. August 15, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  8. ^ Stephanie Lummis (June 2009). "Stewardship at the heart of Web Governance". Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  9. ^ Gerry McGovern (March 23, 2009). "How Many Webpages Can One Person Manage?". Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  10. ^ Shane Diffily (April 2006). "Why your website needs governance". Retrieved 2010-03-04.
  11. ^ Burdman, Jessica (1999). Collaborative Web Development: Strategies and Best Practices for Web Teams. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley Professional. pp. 272. ISBN 0-201-43331-1.
  12. ^ Kim Guenther (March 1, 2001). "Effective Web governance structures". Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  13. ^ Randy Woods (September 2005). "Defining a Model for Content Governance". Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  14. ^ Level Five Solutions (2009). "Web Governance" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  15. ^ Hurol Inan (February 13, 2008). "Web analytics governance: who's in charge?". Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  16. ^ Garth von Buchholz (2009). "A Comparison Chart of Web Governance Models for Large Organizations" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-02-23.
  17. ^ "Federal Web Managers Council". howto.gov. October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  18. ^ "The 5 "R's" of Governance – Get It Right…Get It Done". Candi on Content. April 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  19. ^ "Review of Management of Internet Websites in the United Nations System Organizations" (PDF). 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  20. ^ "Eight impressive recommendations on website governance and strategy". October 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  21. ^ Robert Jacoby (October 25, 2011). "Is Your Website Governance Functional?". CMSWire. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  22. ^ Robert Jacoby (October 26, 2011). "6 Concepts for the Future of Website Governance, Including a New Functional Model". CMSWire. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  23. ^ Davenport, Thomas H.; Prusak, Laurence (1997). Information Ecology. Oxford University Press. pp. 288. ISBN 0-19-511168-0.
  24. ^ Robert Jacoby (May 24, 2012). "Website Governance: New Modeling Tool Puts You in Charge". CMSWire. Retrieved 2012-05-24.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]