Day 18 – Conducting a stakeholder audit

by , Content Strategist, GatherContent

Do you know who has what permission to access and edit your website? Are the right people able to do the right things or is it a free-for-all? On day eighteen of our Content Strategy Advent Calendar Ron Bronson encourages us to ask these questions and conduct a stakeholder audit.

Video transcript

So In 2017 I’ve spent a lot of time talking about content migration, content maintenance. It’s great to talk about all the cool things we can do with content within our websites, but just thinking about maintaining what we actually have. I’ve spent a lot of time doing websites redesigns and so one of the things that I found consistently throughout the process of working on redesigns across the board over the years, is this idea of author permissions and figuring out who has permission to edit the website.

Seems like a simple thing but I found across the board in many institution, in many organisations, big, small, indifferent, that we often don’t know who has access to the website at any given time. And now websites obviously often lock down internally so people can’t necessarily edit, make big changes from their homes or wherever else, but often they can. If you don’t know who has access to your website and you’ll find universally people who have been gone for years who can still edit the website if they knew their password and could log in.

Now 90% of people are not nefarious and won’t do this. It’s not even the reason I propose this is because of any particular malfeasance, though it’s a good incentive for being able to allocate time towards this idea. But the real issue is just using it as a way, using a stakeholder audit as a way to engage with your end users across different departments and across silos and finding out how they’re using the website.

What you’ll often find is that there are people that need access to the site who don’t have it, but didn’t know who they needed to reach out to, even if you told them in the past how to do that. You’ll often find that people who used to need access, no longer do. People will often ask you to send them guides or other information about how they should manage pages because your email or your contact related to this idea often spurs, or fires up, oh I’ve been thinking about that but I forgot. You know I’ve forgotten about it but I need to get to it.

And so using a stakeholder audit as an opportunity to improve the author experience through figuring out how your permissions on your site work, being able to document that so you have that stuff written down because often organisations don’t have it until they need it and it’s usually too late by then.

And also figuring out, if you’re talking about migrating from one site to the next, figuring out who really needs permission, whether you need to constrain or expand those permissions and really just doing a more holistic review of the way that you control access to your website can be really really useful and helpful no matter what time of year you decide to do it.

Thanks a lot and enjoy your holidays.

About Ron

Ron is a trusted advisor for digital transformation, marketing and strategy for senior stakeholders across education, startups and beyond. With a decade of experience leading large-scale, award-winning interactive teams across silos, Ron is passionate about the intersection where customer experience, business goals and common sense meet.

About the Author

Content Strategist, GatherContent

Rob is Content Strategist at GatherContent. He is a journalism graduate and has previously worked as Studio Manager and Head of Content for a design agency and as an Audience Research Executive for the BBC. He’s a published author and regular contributor to industry publications including Net Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 24 Ways, WebTuts+, UX Matters , UX Booth and Content Marketing Institute. On occasion Rob speaks about content strategy at leading industry events.

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