I’ve been having a few conversations lately about Governance and how organizations can get it. At the SharePoint Best Practices Conference in San Diego, Joel Oleson asked me whether I used the sample governance plans available from Microsoft’s web site. I said no, a bit too abruptly. I said that I use the “Paint Cards” that he put together leveraging some content I had created and content from others as well. Fundamentally, I explained, I’m more interested in the governance process — the process of making the decisions — than I am in the results.
I was speaking with Rob Wilson via email and some of his comments brought to mind an older article I wrote back in 2005 for TechRepublic titled “Creating artifacts — what you don’t know” The gist of the article is that artifacts (documents) are good for helping folks to focus but you shouldn’t spend too much time focused on their creation and that the process of creating them is sometimes more important than the document itself.
I really firmly believe that your governance documents should be as short as possible (but no shorter) — and that the decisions are the important part of the process, not necessarily a fancy document.