The Dreaded G-Word: Digital Experience Governance Doesn't Have To Be So Bad

We’ve all heard how people perceive governance: It slows down processes, stifles innovation, and adds unnecessary bureaucracy. It’s time to get over those perceptions. You need governance, and policies and processes don’t need to be roadblocks. Instead, they can enable better customer experiences using governance models that bridge the gap between IT and the business, unify digital experiences across customer touchpoints, reduce time-to-market, and foster a culture of customer-centric innovation.

But right now many organizations we speak with haven’t given enough thought to their governance model. We identified five main areas of digital customer experience governance that application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals should pay attention to:

  • Roles and responsibilities. Governance means oversight and executive sponsorship. Right now, this is often siloed around business group and, for IT, siloed around software applications.  Digital experience governance instead requires a cross-business executive sponsor, cross-business digital experience steering committees, and cross-application IT functional committees. 
  • Charters. This is your mission statement. It defines your scope, goals, objectives, and articulates the business case. Too often, we talk with organizations that haven’t actually defined their digital customer experience goals, and if they have, their charter is static and siloed around individual brands. Instead, look to define your goals and create a dynamic, cross-business, and cross-application mission statement.
  • Processes. Governance needs to solve the problem of siloed processes: business working alone and then dropping requirements on IT’s desk. Processes must become more iterative and collaborative.  
  • Risk management. IT is typically risk-averse. Digital customer experience requires more of an appetite for risk. AD&D pros will need to lead the charge to changing IT’s culture from one that’s risk-averse to one that knows how to manage risk.
  • Data governance. Data is at the heart and soul of technology solutions that support digital customer experiences. AD&D pros will need to identify ownership of that data and govern it across software applications.

We go into more depth, with examples and detailed recommendations for each point, in our recently published report. And I’m always looking for great case studies on your own governance structures (or, as I’ve heard more often, governance horror stories), so any feedback is welcome in the comments section.