Apply a content governance model

Work towards a content governance model to improve and report on, outcomes and efficiencies. There are 3 main types of content governance model.


Decentralised content governance model

All subject experts send content directly to publish or self-publish.

This model has the least content maturity. Subject experts create and publish their own content. They may also send their signed off content to a publishing team. This model can indicate a basic content maturity level with little or no strategy.

Pros: Faster content approval and publishing.

Cons: Managing content is localised. For example managing content in a business area rather than agency-wide. There may be a tendency to put business needs before user needs. It’s often impossible to oversee quality standards such as plain English, readability, and accessibility. It’s difficult to establish overall editorial consistency.

Centralised content governance model

All content inputs point to a central team of leaders, doers and specialists.The output from the central team are strategic content measures and quality checks. These checks point straight to publish.

Centralised content governance brings a level of strategy, quality standards and a user-focused approach. A central content team oversees content. The team may also be responsible for high-profile services. These may be publishing teams who work on requests from subject experts.

Pros: A content strategy, supported by guidelines and templates, encourages capability building. This also helps to build a content community. Quality checks are part of the workflow to ensure continuous improvement.

Cons: Often a complex workflow. There can also be delays in negotiating and finalising content.

Hybrid content governance model

Subject experts send content to the central team of leaders, doers and specialists. Content is returned with quality checks. The subject experts send content to be published or self-publish. Content is sent directly to the central team of leaders, doers and specialists. The outputs from the central team are strategic content measures and quality checks. These checks point straight to publish.

A hybrid content governance model works to improve content and efficiencies across extended teams. The central team’s focus is on high profile content meeting its strategic goals. The team ensures the quality of published content. They own the site's information architecture.

Other lower profile content, such as a careers section, may be decentralised. These teams could create and edit their own content, but not be able to add new pages. Depending on resources and their content expertise, they may be able to publish their own pages.

Pros: Lines of accountability and ownership extend from leaders to doers and specialists. This gives structure to specialists in extended teams.

The subject expert informs and defines the ‘what’ and the ‘why’. The content expert knows about the ‘how’ and the ‘where’. This creates a strong workflow, using content types and quality checks.

Cons: There needs to be strong governance and commitment from leaders. Without this roles and responsibilities can become unclear, and resources stretched. This model can be difficult to manage. It needs a lot of maintenance, communication and coordination.