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 sharepoint governance plan

On Point: Publishing Your Governance Plan

This blog is part six of my series on SharePoint Governance. While this governance topic may not be the most exciting, it’s something that is unnecessarily confusing for a lot of people running SharePoint, and it is often neglected. Read through this series to catch up! Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Once the SharePoint Governance Committee has established the guidelines are rules for using SharePoint within your company, the next step is to publish the plan. SharePoint is a dynamic environment, and your SharePoint Governance Plan is a dynamic document that is meant to evolve. It also needs to be informative for the end user without being overwhelming.

The basis for your SharePoint Governance Plan can be compiled from the minutes of the first Committee meeting as a starting point. It can then be refined, proofread, and then published.

There are multiple ways to distribute the plan, but they primarily fall into two categories: Static and Dynamic. 

Static Documentation

The SharePoint Governance Plan can be distilled into a PDF or Word Document. The advantage of this method is that it’s simple. Just about everyone is familiar with Word and exporting to PDF is as easy as printing. The disadvantage to saving it in one of these methods are the following:
  • Static: The document will be increasingly difficult to modify as new features are added to—or removed from—the road-map, especially in PDF format. Also, it’s tougher to track changes if they are made.
  • Inaccessible: A static file will need to have a central location that all users have unlimited access to, and stored in a format that all users can open. Also, it makes it hard to maintain permission regarding who can maintain it.
  • Large and Overwhelming: As the SharePoint Governance Plan evolves it may grow significantly larger, and a 50-page document is not only overwhelming, but also unlikely to be read, which negates the purpose of the plan!

Dynamic Documentation

Another method for publishing the SharePoint Governance Plan is already built into SharePoint. SharePoint offers the use of an Enterprise Wiki Site. The disadvantage to this method is that it takes a little more work initially to set up. The advantages to publishing directly to the wiki as opposed to a static document are numerous:
  • Dynamic: Wiki sites are designed to be continuously updated. This feature is a large part of the success of Wikipedia. It’s easy to cross-reference different sections of the Governance Plan, and even directly link to external content or training materials.
  • Accessible: The Governance Wiki is available to anyone who currently has access to SharePoint, which means that all that is needed for access is a login and a browser. Permissions within SharePoint prevent the Governance Wiki from being edited by anyone, not on the SharePoint Governance Committee, keeping it secure.
  • Compact: As the Governance Wiki grows, it doesn’t become unwieldy or overwhelming. The entire document doesn’t have to be overhauled to make small changes, and individual elements of the SharePoint Governance Plan can be accessed directly from contextual links embedded throughout SharePoint. So, when a user is accessing a particular part of SharePoint, a link is embedded in the page that points them directly to the part of the Governance Plan that pertains to what they are doing.

A wiki shouldn’t be too hard to set up, but if you find it intimidating, or would like to integrate your governance plan throughout SharePoint, we’re here to help! Just get in touch, and we’ll get started helping your business use SharePoint to its full potential.


Samuel O. Blowes, Director of IT
Samuel O. Blowes

Director of IT