Web governance: Becoming an agent of change

Illustration courtesy A List Apart

JONATHAN KAHN, A List apart

The web’s hit the big time in a way few of us imagined possible. So as people who make websites, you’d think we’d be celebrating our repeated successes in designing amazing user experiences, as the organizations we work for become increasingly successful. But many of us have noticed a problem in our work: the user experiences we deliver don’t meet our expectations. Here’s the problem: organizations are the context for our work, and when it comes to the web, organizations are broken.

Consider these common project scenarios: a website redesign, a web application, or an email or social media campaign. We keep hitting brick walls because the organization has problems with strategy, governance, execution, or measurement. We know that the project won’t achieve its objectives, because we’re working on the wrong horizon of focus. To fix this problem, we need to start talking about web governance.

The web changed the world and organisations are in denial

Organisations have been using the web for more than 15 years. During that time, it’s grown from being one channel among many to being the channel: the website is now the digital manifestation of the organization, critical to marketing and sales, communications, branding and reputation, and customer service and support. The internet revolution has created huge social change: it’s changed the way people relate to organizations and it’s already destroyed several once-mighty industries, like newspapers, travel agents, and music publishing.

Although we’re comfortable with the idea that the web is critical to organizations, we often miss the corollary: the web has changed the way organizations operate, and in many cases it’s changed their business models, too. When executives can’t see that, it causes a crisis. Welcome to your daily web-making reality.

Read the full article by Jonathan Kahn at A List apart …