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Information Governance –part 2: Building a SharePoint Community

So in my last post I talked about challenges, misconceptions and just general issues that most folks encounter. In this post I wanted to discuss one of the biggest early challenges and organization will encounter…..building a community.

Making the Team


I like to think of a Governance Board, or committee as a team, with all the same strengths and weaknesses.  Most folks can identify with this, so I find this to me a good Analogy.  So with a team the weakest player or the player not willing to support/bend for the team is the one everyone is conscious of during the game.  In the same way, and executive or stakeholder that is only looking out for themselves, or not willing to look at the good of the org can be a detriment to a successful Governance Board.

To build a strong committee or board you need to include representatives from many disciplines and areas of the organization.  I have put this model together to show you how many folks are involved and they all have critical roles.

These are the Key Stakeholders, this is your Governance Board, your Committee.


These folks or Designates will be the cornerstone to getting your Governance socialized and verbalized as a policy. Otherwise it is just another IT guide or rulebook.

These people will be your key ADOPTERS, your Business Champions.

Now you will see that I have taken the Business Unites/Data Owners and separated them from the committee.  This is ensure that folks are not trying to influence policy and compliance to suit a single business goal.  Also I have broken out the Information Governance Lead.  Think of the lead as Darth Vader of Governance.  This persons goal is to enforce the governance, not referee the process, but enforce.

Below the lead is the Custodians, these are the librarians, the SharePoint Administrators, the Records Management folks.  They are the keeper of the Hierarchy, Metadata Management, and Content Types.

Then below that is the customers and consumers of the data.  These include the Data Analysts who also might be providing reporting and analysis to the committees and leads.

Who are these folks in your org?


This is a great question, depending on the size of the organization you work in you might have only 5 folks playing many positions in this Model…..that is fine.

Just remember the key is to look at your office and ask


Each business unit should be represented in not by proxy by a key stakeholder.  Remember IT should not be the only person making decisions, it governance is a guide of your policies, compliance, and methods to enforce or respond to issues. 

How do I get them all to Collaborate once I have a Board?

I have found that in many cases using SharePoint to support SharePoint is a great way to unify folks.  So what I do is build a Community Site or Workspace where we can keep track of all meeting related content.  This is also where the Draft versions of the policies, working files, links to external resources, meeting calendars, attendance, roles, contact information….etc. is found.  By unifying the communication in one place you also build an audit and compliance to the process.


The above site was built from a standard Team Site (OOB).

Remember that building a board or committee is the first step in building your Information Governance.  You now need to start building the plan.  I will be covering that in the next post.



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