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Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design

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Few organizations realize a return on their digital investment. They’re distracted by political infighting and technology-first solutions. To reach the next level, organizations must realign their assets—people, content, and technology—by practicing the discipline of digital governance. Managing Chaos inspires new and necessary conversations about digital governance and its transformative power to support creativity, real collaboration, digital quality, and online growth.

First published January 1, 2015

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Lisa Welchman

1 book6 followers

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5 stars
27 (25%)
4 stars
44 (41%)
3 stars
24 (22%)
2 stars
8 (7%)
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2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for Bry Willis.
98 reviews13 followers
June 20, 2017
This is an excellent book on Web and Internet governance. In an approachable manner, Lisa shares with the reader her decades of experience in this area. She sounds like a strong and qualified person to have on a governance project. If you need a pep talk and some case studies or reinforcement for the concept, or you need to tighten up your own governance, this is worth the read. Buy a couple copies for sharing.

My only disappointment was in her use of the word in the subtitle: Digital Governance by Design. Although she gives a slight nod to Intranets and Social Media, by and large this book is about Internet Governance: It covers infrastructure, editorial creation, content publication, taxonomy, analytics, and so on, but Digital is bigger than the Web, and it is bigger than Mobile. It is also about knowledge sharing and and the integration of corporate systems with Web systems or not. It's about connecting customer service agents with sales reps. It's about connecting Web clients to a customer system. It's about automating processes, creating the right organisational structure, and hiring the right people. It's about putting the right incentives in place to promote adoption. I wish Lisa had touched on the broader definition of Digital.

All of this said, I still highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Deane Barker.
Author 6 books34 followers
June 27, 2016
This is a solid book about larger scale digital governance. I say "larger scale" because it's primarily about how to get order at the higher-levels -- C-level, VP level, and steering committee level. This differentiates "governance" and "operations" for me: governance is Big Picture steering, where operations is the people in the trenches.

Lisa hammers on three elements to a framework: Strategy, Policies, and Standards.

* Strategy: what are we doing and why?
* Policies: what rules do we have in place to manage risk?
* Standards: how specifically are we going to do these things?

Implementing governance is largely a process of defining those things. Her repetition of these things is a strength. If I remember nothing else, I'll remember these three things.

She pushes hard on interpersonal and organizational dynamics, as those are often the obstacles to getting these done. She has case studies, and a guide of all the reasons why it often doesn't work out.

I read the book in a Saturday. Chapters are 5-10 minutes, take a break, read another. You could put the book away in a few hours, straight through, but it's worth it to read then ruminate a bit.

If nothing else, the book gets your gears rotating in the right direction. Most people simply have no idea how to even start, or what a governance framework even looks like, they just know that it's "out there somewhere." The greatest value of the book might be to put even the barest outline around that ideal, just so you know what you're working towards.
Profile Image for Alex Sprenger.
10 reviews
July 25, 2022
I read this book during my master's degree, "Content Strategy", which was super insightful. We had a course on "Digital Governance(*)" and the book accompanied me during that course.
The concepts are simple to follow but feel overwhelming at the same time. It becomes clear how complex digital products can become (or any product really?), and implementing a project seems like a massive undertaking. However, with her conversational and encouraging writing style, the author manages to take some of this fear away. She gives rich insights into a well-designed governance model. And in the end, that is what determines success or failure. So, if you are looking for some digital governance advice, Lisa Welchman and her book are the sources to turn to.

*with Lisa Welchman, by the way :)
Profile Image for Rebekah.
14 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2019
This was one of the most helpful books I ever read. It shed light on frustrations in previous work places and helped me figure out what I wanted in future employment. I absolutely loved Welchman's voice and it made a topic that some might think boring incredibly engaging.
Profile Image for Mateusz.
16 reviews9 followers
November 18, 2019
It's not really helping me in convincing people to care about digital presence. It's too rough and out of context to use as examples in discussion but overall, the book is solid if you're an expert that knows the terminology and processes.
Profile Image for Kelly.
130 reviews3 followers
December 30, 2019
Essential guide to creating website governance policies and documents. I did a workshop with Lisa Welchman while she was writing this book, and lives up to the promise of that in-person training. Yay!
Profile Image for Julia Kulgavchuk.
47 reviews22 followers
June 8, 2016
Yes, the book gives specific tools and methods for digital governance, but this is not what makes it stand out to me. What makes the book fascinating is that while giving a glimpse of insane complexity of organisations and their dynamics, it also shows the beauty of it. This world of big messy organisations with their legacy issues suddenly shines with bright colors like the book cover. The book is written in a beautiful version of corporate lingo, the one that reads like poetry. I feel like reading it again from the beginning just after I finished.
Profile Image for Donna.
387 reviews49 followers
December 18, 2015
One of the few books on Website Governance

This is an excellent book on web & content governance. I looked hard for one that covered the sites themselves, and not just content - very hard to find.

There is so much I want to pull out of this book and immediately implement.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Chris.
116 reviews3 followers
June 3, 2016
Excellent discussion of collaborative heirarchies for digital governance.
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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