Client Pay Portal
 sharepoint governance committee

On Point: The SharePoint Governance Committee

This blog is part two of a multi-part series on SharePoint Governance and how to design and implement a Governance Plan that people will actually use! In the first part, I covered what the simple steps are involved in the whole process, and it doesn't have to be intimidating. 

One of the most important things to remember is that the plan is only as good as the people committed to making it happen. Microsoft calls SharePoint sites TEAMsites for a reason; they're meant to be run and used by a team. A Governance Plan needs a governing body, so the first step is to develop a Governance Committee—a group of people who from within your company who can help shape the direction and usability of the end users' experience with SharePoint.

Designating the members of the Governance Committee is probably the most important part of the SharePoint Governance Plan. This team is responsible for designing company-wide policies for SharePoint and maintaining the vision of SharePoint while minimizing potential politics and conflicts. It may not seem like a big deal in the beginning, but once the guidelines have been established, this team is very important in championing the purpose of SharePoint specifically as it relates to your organizations’ needs, which will mean efficiency and happy users.

Who should be on this committee?

Good question! The committee should consist of a wide range of people and not be limited to any one department. I would highly suggest that a member of your IT department be added to the Governance Committee. This person will have the necessary skills and experience to evaluate technical issues on the roadmap. It’s also important for a member of the HR department to be on the Governance Committee to give a company-wide perspective on decisions and to help navigate sensitive issues and politics. Most importantly, the Governance Committee should include at least one member of upper management. This person will add weight to your decisions and make sure they are enforced. If the committee’s policies can be overruled by anyone in the company it really cancels out the value of the committee at all and defeats the purpose.

What does the committee do?

Initially, the Governance Committee should meet and establish some guidelines for the things I discuss in this series. After that, the Governance Committee should meet every six months to review and improve the guidelines because SharePoint is an ever-evolving beast. The purpose of the committee is to decide the following:
  • Features in the Roadmap
  • Evaluating the objectives
  • Defining Rules and Processes
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities
  • Producing a report for official documentation
  • Decide on new features to be added (Social features, etc.)

Establishing SharePoint Roles and Responsibilities

The committee's task in the initial meeting is to agree on specific roles for the people who will be responsible for the day-to-day use of SharePoint. These roles will, of course, be different for every organization, but I'm assuming small and medium sized businesses could get by with starting out with the following list. Don't worry if you don't have people to fill the roles right away! These people can be found and trained later. The following roles can be assigned to either a group or an individual, although a group optimal.
  • Governance Committee Members: As I've already mentioned, their job is to assign roles and responsibilities. They periodically evaluate objectives and amend the roadmap.
  • Server Farm Administration: This is someone who will be responsible for the software and hardware maintenance for SharePoint and SQL servers (not as important for SharePoint Online).
  • Operations: This person is responsible for day-to-day use of SharePoint by maintaining Central Administration, optimizing services, and troubleshooting issues. This person is also there to make sure there are up-to-date backup and restore procedures in place.
  • Site Designer: This is a creativity role, and it's this person that will manage the look and feel for sub-sites, lists and libraries. A familiarity with web-design or design principles in general will be a plus!
  • Site Administration: This is who assigns and revokes permissions, they create and manage security, sub-sites and lists & libraries.

It's okay if a single person has to fill more than one of those roles! As the organization grows, the roles will also grow. You also have Bit-Wizards as a resource! We can help with any and all of these roles, and provide training. Just ask!


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

Director of IT