Best Practices: Governance Framework

Table of Contents

Governance Layers

Questions to Ask Regarding Governance

Create Your Governance Plan

Create an Inappropriate Use Plan

Create a Process for Archiving Sites and Content


Setting a governance framework will help long-term user engagement across your engagement. We've detailed some recommended best practices below of who should own which aspect of your Simpplr instance. 

There are three layers of governance that should be covered with members of your organization; the Strategic Governance layer, Operational Governance layer and Tactical Governance layer. Let's take a closer look at each. 

Strategic Governance Layer

The Strategic Governance layer is accountable for setting and meeting the business objectives for the intranet. This will typically be made up of your Executive Sponsors and Steering Committee

The Executive Sponsors will:

  • Review and approve key policies and guidelines
  • Align objectives to corporate strategy and key initiatives
  • Authorize funding and resources
  • Act as executive champion by communicating success and being visible in the program
  • Address and resolve organizational issues
  • Review and act on scorecard results

The Steering Committee will:

  • Approve governance plan and subsequent changes
  • Meet monthly to discuss strategy and implementation, including success stories and areas of opportunity
  • Help champion the successes of the intranet throughout the company
  • Provide constructive feedback to help make the intranet a success
  • Provide support to the Intranet and Program Managers to address issues and identify opportunities
  • Steering Committee membership should include representatives from: HR, Legal, IT, Learning and Development, Communications and Business Unit representation where appropriate

Operational Governance Layer

The Operational Governance layer is responsible for translating the objectives of the intranet into a tangible program. This layer contains the System administrator, Intranet manager and Program manager.

The System administrator will: 

  • Liaise with intranet project management to ensure consistency of approach and milestone completion
  • Operate the Salesforce backend to perform operations and reporting as needed

The Intranet manager will:

  • Evangelize and educate on the value/use of the intranet
  • Lead the Champion group by providing orientation, mentorship, support and incentives where appropriate
  • Monitor adoption to ensure action is taken when activity is below expectations
  • Own the help/feedback site content as well as answering user questions in the intranet
  • Monitor intranet, encouraging membership, facilitating discussions and managing “Inappropriate Use” procedures.
  • Identify opportunities for improvements including user requests, requests from other SMEs or Champions
  • Manage training programs for Site managers and End users
  • Look for high-value use cases to onboard and measure

The Program manager will:

  • Manage overall accountability from a business perspective for the platform, including strategy, governance, policies, leadership and helping to integrate the intranet into organizational work practices
  • Chair working group meetings and resolve issues as they arise
  • Liaise between the working group and the Executive Sponsor to identify key issues and develop recommendations for decision/approval
  • Hold key performers accountable to tasks required to deliver in a timely manner
  • Manage working relationship with Simpplr to ensure knowledge on new features and best practices

Tactical Governance Layer

The Tactical Governance layer is responsible for making the intranet successful on a day-to-day basis. This layer consists of intranet "Champions", and Site managers

The Champion will: 

  • Role model new behaviors and work practices
  • Help generate excitement and use of the intranet
  • Help develop new ways of using the intranet to derive value
  • Contribute to collecting and articulating success stories
  • Provide coaching, training and encouragement to peers

The Site manager will:

  • Launch and grow a specific site
  • Identify and develop relationships with key influencers, subject matter experts and Intranet members, and engage them in intranet activities
  • Champion and educate others about the intranet, including what is happening within a specific site (e.g., topics being discussed, accomplishments, success stories)
  • Provide ongoing feedback to the Intranet Manager
  • Monitor your site(s), encourage membership and facilitate discussions
  • Coordinate, publish, and follow up on content as it serves the needs of the intranet members
  • Ensure questions are responded to in a timely manner (engage Subject Matter Experts to provide responses)

Questions to Ask Regarding Governance

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Application and Site managers can use the following tables to make key decisions about governance and privileges as you set up your intranet. These are by no means all the questions you can or should consider; these are just ideas to get you and your intranet management team going. 




Do we want to allow activity feed posts?

Activity feed comments?


Can End users customize their home dashboard?


Should we require knowledge content review and validation?

  • If yes, after 6, 12, 18, or 24 months?


Can all users contribute content for moderation?


Can End users add their own expertise to profile?

Can users create their own expertise tags?



Who can create blog posts? 

Should we assign influencers?


Which email addresses receive Help & Feedback emails?






Who can add new sites

Who approves new Site membership requests?


Who can send alerts?


Who can view application level analytics?


Who are the App managers?


Who can manage the home dashboard?


Do we need to protect authors?

Who can publish in their names?


Influencers - whose content gets prominence?


Must reads - which sites’ managers can use must read?


Newsletters - who, besides App managers, can create?


Unlisted sites - who has access, and which sites should be unlisted?



Content Governance



What are the criteria for notifications

How often should various notification types be sent, and with what sites/content?


What are the criteria for must reads?


What are the criteria for home carousel?


What content belongs in the newsletter?


How should we handle new hire introductions?  


Create Your Governance Plan

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An effective Governance Plan ensures that the intranet is managed and used in accordance with its designed intent to prevent it from becoming an unmanageable system. We've laid out a few basic guidelines to follow below. 

  • Create the intranet usage guidelines – keep them simple
    • For example, are there certain topics that are off limits, like politics or religion?
    • Explicitly call out if profanity is unacceptable
    • Does everyone need to use English in their posts?
    • Are there restriction for profile images?  e.g., must be a real picture, headshots only, no other people in the picture, etc.
    • Include some form of “treat others the way you would like to be treated” 
    • Define what acceptable use means to your company
    • Get final Steering Committee approval
    • Publish your guidelines as a Simpplr page and mark it as a must read indefinitely

Here is a sample of the must read page you might publish highlighting the basic principals of your intranet:

<INTRANET NAME> is an online resource for all employees where they can stay in touch with company communications, collaborate, and network across the global organization. When interacting on <INTRANET NAME>, please adhere to the following terms:

  1. Be your professional self.  This is a work resource and not a personal one so please interact accordingly. Your profile and avatar pictures must be of you and you only.
  2. Be nice. We are all colleagues here so please treat others with the respect you would wish to receive. Remember that text-based communications don’t convey humor or sarcasm well and as such can be misconstrued. We don’t talk about politics or religion at work.
  3. Be smart.  In most cases what you share can be seen by everyone else at the company. You should only share information that you would feel comfortable discussing in a public forum within the organization.
  4. Respect others’ property and privacy. Don’t post, share, download, or use licensed or personal content, code, or information that is confidential, proprietary, or protected by permission.  Double-check documents, images, and screenshots to ensure they don’t contain personal colleague or customer information.
  5. Use English please, with the exception of within the specifically noted Portuguese and Spanish speaking country spaces. Also, we ask that native-English speakers write plainly without too many cultural references that are unique to a single region, area, or business unit.
  6. In addition to these terms of use you are, as in all other dealings at work, expected to follow the CompanyX Code of Conduct, the CompanyX Policy Manual, and the CompanyX Information Security Policy.

<INTRANET NAME>, will be monitored to ensure compliance to the terms of use above. If you see a violation of any of these terms please click the “Help & Feedback” link at the bottom of every <INTRANET NAME>, screen to report the violation. Any violator of these terms may have their content removed and their account temporarily disabled. Violation of any CompanyX policy may lead to disciplinary proceedings including termination and/or criminal and civil penalties. By entering this site you agree to these terms and policies.


Create an Inappropriate Use Plan

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It's good practice to define an inappropriate use plan for your intranet. This way all employees will be on the same page regarding how they can and cannot act when using the platform. This also ensures users have a way to report inappropriate use if they see it. Each person is held accountable for what they post. 

For more information on Simpplr's Content moderation engine, check out this article

  • Define the inappropriate use plan
    • How does an employee report inappropriate use?
    • Who receives the report?
    • How does it get triaged based on the inappropriateness level?
      • e.g. does it get sent to HR to respond?
      • Take a screenshot and note the location
      • Does the post get deleted or edited (the profanity gets X’d out)?
    • What is the response back to the reporter?
    • Discuss the criteria for inappropriate use with the Steering Committee. You can define different levels; for example, using a profanity vs. harassment
    • Define the process
    • Communicate to all employees how inappropriate use will be handled
    • Communicate to all process stakeholders so they are aware of the part they may be expected to play

Below is a sample inappropriate use process created by Simpplr. Feel free to use this and adjust as you see fit. Sample_inappropriate_use_map.png


Create a Process for Archiving Sites and Content

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Simpplr is designed to keep your intranet from becoming a content dumping ground. That said, if sites don't have proper governance, or have overstayed their welcome, it's good to have a process in place for handling site/content retirement. 

  • Define the process for auditing and archiving sites and content
    • E.g., a site has gone a certain number days/weeks with no usage, it’s a duplicate, or it doesn’t meet usage guidelines
    • E.g., a piece of content has hit x days old, has fewer than x views, falls under R.O.T. (redundant, outdated, or trivial)
    • What should the setting for Simpplr knowledge content auto-governance mechanism be?
    • Who owns audit process
    • How often do audits happen
    • What happens for the different scenarios
    • What does the communication look like to the site owner?
    • Who sends the communication?
    • Discuss with the steering committee the criteria for sites and content that should be archived
    • Create a process for what happens to identified sites and content
    • Communicate the process to all Site and Content owners/managers
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