Organizations worldwide use SharePoint Online extensively as a centralized hub for real-time online collaboration, storing and managing documents, and creating intranet sites. As we all know, SharePoint Online is tightly coupled with Microsoft 365 productivity suite. Also, it is a complex solution capable to deliver diverse business needs. Hence, this highly demands robust governance for SharePoint Online in place that is inclusive of all services to ensure its effective usage.
What is SharePoint governance?
SharePoint governance is a set of rules, policies, processes, and responsibilities that guides, directs, and controls how different business divisions and IT stakeholders collaborate to achieve common business objectives while minimizing risks.
Microsoft 365 offers plenty of options to enable governance policies across SharePoint and related services. But before discussing how and where to establish these policies, let us first understand how to tailor a governance plan according to your unique business environment.
Best practices for SharePoint Online governance
- Develop a vision – Learn what policies and standards you will need to monitor compliance and assess the benefit to your organization by measuring them.
- Classify your business information – Create a custom taxonomy to organize your information. Then design an information architecture to manage this information and determine appropriate IT services to support it.
- Develop an education strategy – Create a training plan to update your staff about the usage and importance of SharePoint governance standards and practices that you are implementing.
- Develop an ongoing plan – To ensure that your organization draws full benefits of the usefulness and capabilities of SharePoint solution, you must periodically revise, reevaluate, and review your governance plan to overcome potential conflicts among various business divisions.
What to include in a SharePoint governance plan
Now, let us discuss what needs to be documented in a governance plan. Here are some considerations:
- Site owner authority – A site owner must be informed about the authority levels they are given. For example, you may want them to be able to create sites but not modify any elements inside it such as brand logo, banner, etc.
- Site hierarchy methods – The creation of subsites should follow an acceptable method of site hierarchy to ensure you don’t mix up external and internal sites.
- Security and permission convention – Have common conventions on security and permissions and let everyone be aware of them.
- Navigation convention – Standardize navigation to maintain uniformity across all subsites through proper documentation and guidelines.
- Data quality – To know who is responsible for maintaining data accuracy, it is necessary to have some governance rules that define storage boundaries.
- External sharing guidelines – External sharing guidelines must be a cautious exchange of documents as collaborating with guests may invite potential threats.
- Branding rules – Develop a common convention to design a theme, logo, background colors, etc. for your company’s branding.
- New site owner onboarding – Set up guidelines and training curriculum for new site owners to help them familiarize themselves with the company’s governance plan.
- Escalation map – Define clear roles, responsibilities, and authority to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion when you want to escalate SharePoint requests or issues.
- Third-party tools – You need to configure rules and policies for using third-party tools, apps, or code for network security. Also, it should be documented in the SharePoint governance plan for every site owner’s knowledge.
SharePoint governance is a crucial part of SharePoint deployment and operation. Developing a plan gives you a guide to provide a structure to your environment with the right people, processes, policies, and technology to enhance efficiency and ensure continued success.
Correspondingly, you must also learn about automating consistency into your processes for improved and repeatable governance in SharePoint. By developing a framework for automating SharePoint administrative tasks, you can empower your business with self-service capabilities while staying in policy compliance.
Using TeamsHub by Cyclotron, you can establish a secure model for SharePoint governance and ensure the correct application of service and information management policies such as the creation of sites, management of group membership, and so on.