7 Questions for Minimum Governance

Implementing a new process or system without governance can lead to chaos. We all know this. But, do too many rules get in the way of adoption?

The answer? Yes, BUT.

Yes. Too many rules can turn people away. Too restrictive of a request or change process can kill any good feelings of a new system. BUT, zero governance can lead to messy system implementations or uneven process adoption, which usually does not meet the business objectives of the new initiative.

So, as in life, work, love and health, BALANCE must be the end goal.

How do you have just enough governance to save people from themselves but not turn them away at the front door of change?

To start a new process or system implementation, we should adopt Minimum Governance so the price of entry isn’t too high and we can show value out of the gates. This is not to say governance can’t be expanded, reduced or altered along the way – it should be. Minimum Governance should answer the following 7 questions:

1. What is the purpose and intended result of this process/system?
2. What human resources will manage and support this effort?
3. What are people supposed to do, specifically, and when?
4. How do people engage in the new process/system?
5. What are the baselines expectations of people (is there a policy to correlate)?
6. How are we going to hold people accountable for meeting expectations?
7. How/From whom do people get training and help?

There are other questions we can answer and should, especially for systems, like design, hierarchy and other tool, data and content standards. However, I caution to keep the standards “light” to start until you get buy-in. Then, people will more likely follow you toward more standardization down the road.

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