An Introduction to Portal Governance

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So, your company has embarked on an enterprise portal implementation. You have completed your due diligence, established your business use case, calculated your ROI, and completed the process of vendor/product assessment and selection. The next inevitable question is what’s next; how do you ensure you deliver a product that satisfies your technology, business and end user requirements? How do you ensure that the portal delivers on its goals when launched, but more importantly, how do you ensure that the momentum is maintained?

The implementation of new portal technologies can fail for many reasons:

  • No vision or plan defined
  • No governance model, or have one but don’t follow it
  • No clearly defined process in place to coordinate between departments
  • No way to align technology to business needs
  • No person in place to make the final decisions
  • Mis-use of technology or poor architecture
  • Infrastructure not set up correctly
  • No process in place to prioritize the many things portals can do
  • Organizations underestimate the cost and complexity of portal implementations

Over the past 8 years, Veriday has been engaged in a number of enterprise portal implementations using Liferay. Though the size and scale have varied between small-scale implementation for targeted audiences to large-scale offerings in both commercial and enterprise rollouts, a common thread amongst the successful implementation is portal governance.

Portal governance is key to delivering an effective portal. Portal governance is the practices; policies and processes that govern and help maintain and foster the effectiveness of enterprise portals. It describes how your portal will be implemented and managed in your organization. The governance strategy is aligned with your business objectives so that your portal can continue to evolve along with your organization, and continuously deliver business value. Veriday creates portal governance strategies that clearly outline how activities, accountability and people should be structured, in your portal environment, in order to benefit your business, customers and employees.

Many organizations are faced with serious challenges when implementing an enterprise portal successfully. A portal implementation must align to the business and involve people, process, technology and policy. A well-defined portal governance structure should address the business and organization transformation, portal technology alignment with corporate objectives, ways to measure performance and management of people and accountabilities. Governance requires up front preparation to identify the ongoing processes, objectives and roles as they currently exist and will exist in the future.

The areas that require governance include:

  • Portal content
  • Portal roles
  • Workset design
  • Application integration
  • Desktop strategy and loadsets
  • Web content management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Search and taxonomies
  • Portal infrastructure and layout
  • Portal workflow

It is important to take into account all aspects of a portal and have clear lines of communication between the IT department and the business. Governance is important to keep the portal effective for a full return on investment.

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Have you recently implemented a new portal technology in your organization? Did you have a portal governance model in place? What were some challenges that you ran into during the implementation process? Share your comments below!

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