6 Stages of an Effective Governance Model

Many organizations spend significant portions of their budget to implement analytic tools from providers like Adobe, Google and IBM; yet despite these great tools, they fail to see the deep insights from their investment. These organizations then find themselves struggling to understand where the issues lie. I can tell you from experience, the lack of insights is not from incapable tools or analysts, but rather the absence of effective governance.  
To help you get started, I’ve outlined the 6 key steps to implementing an effective governance framework…
1. Define your global goals and objectives.
The first step/milestone in designing a governance process is to determine what the goals are for your business. The important part is to recognize that your digital properties all share common goals and objectives. 
For example, an Automotive OEM has the primary brand site plus tier 3 dealership sites. Each of these sites shares a common goal of generating customer leads - by identifying these shared goals you create an opportunity to measure against them in a uniform way. 
Uniformed reporting results in consistency in the quality of insights you uncover. Last but not least, be sure to involve your internal stakeholders in this discussion so their needs are met too.
2. Evaluate your resources.
After your team has determined a set of global performance goals you can begin to evaluate the tools and resources you currently have at your disposal. Your team should determine if the current set of tools could provide the KPI’s and reports that you need to evaluate the goals you set. 
You should also look at your team to see if their knowledge of the tools will allow you to maximize their use. Now is a good time to bring in outside help if you do not have the knowledge in-house.  
3. Plan your processes.
For many clients a root cause of their analytics issues is due to not being at the table at the right time. Having the correct processes in place, and publicized, will help increase the likelihood that your marketing planners will call you when a project kicks off. Your team should review the processes currently surrounding the organizations marketing programs and determine where the analytics/governance team needs to be included.  
Additionally, you should begin laying out the processes your team will need to follow internally. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
 - how will the projects be initiated
 - which team member should lead it?
 - who will sign-off on the proposed tags? 
4. Elect governance lead. 
This is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. I have worked with many clients and the successful ones are those who have centralized the ownership of the governance model. I’m not disregarding true organizational buy-in, but governance models work better when managed by an individual or a small team. The central owner(s) are able to bring consistency in how your organization measures your goals, which would not be possible if each stakeholder group (think brand managers) was responsible for understanding and enforcing the model. First, they see every digital campaign and can recognize common trends and second, they have a greater opportunity to learn the analytic platforms and maximize their use. 
5. Create scalable documentation and processes.
Documentation is the key to your governance model’s success, I cannot stress this enough. I regularly hear from clients about how their developers fail to implement their tools properly, the analytics team fails to detect errors during UAT, or there is no consistent definition of a KPI among their digital properties. Without clear, concise and scalable documentation, your efforts will be thwarted by the teams you count on to execute the process.
You need to think like a programmer when you develop your documentation. When you design a web app you write many different methods, each of which has a specific task to help the app fulfill its purpose. By applying this view to documentation, you can compartmentalize information for the audience that will utilize it. At Stratigent, we use a documentation framework that is comprised of three-to-four key documents. These documents are used to define the global governance for each analytics platform, apply the governance to specific digital properties and finally, outline the clients tag management system. 
6. Train your team and internal clients.
Make sure that your team knows the governance model and the analytics platforms inside and out. You need to have experts running your program or it will fall apart quickly - check out this article on what to look for when building your team structure. If you don’t have experts on staff consider retaining a consulting team in the short-term, then work to train your team over the long-term. Be sure you provide your team with adequate resources to learn the tools they need to use.
It’s also important to promote your new governance model within the larger organization. Take your new governance model on a roadshow - educate your internal clients to understand the role of the governance and how it will benefit the organization. Provide them with access to self-service tools like dashboards and help them understand the types of questions you can answer through ad hoc reporting. This will create supporters across your organization as finally, your constituents start to see the insights from the analytics program that had been missing before the governance model was set in place.
Need help building your governance model? We’ve created custom-built governance models for some of the top brands in the world; we can help you, too. 
More questions?
Comment below or I can be reached at info@stratigent.com.




By Scott Friedman
About the Author:

Scott Friedman is a Manager of Client Services at Stratigent.

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