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The Story of the Governance Guy

By Asif Rehmani
Updated August 13, 2021

Let me tell you about the story of the Governance Guy. One day I was delivering a session on user adoption of applications at a conference in Seattle. After my session, this guy came up to me and complemented me on my session presentation and said he has a question. He said: we have about 10,000 people in our company. A while back, we had hired a firm to create a comprehensive governance document for us that contains our compliance policies, guidelines and so forth. We had shared this document with our employees six months ago but I don't see them following the policies that are in this document. for example, one of our policies is that we cannot upload any documents that contain personal data like Social Security numbers. I still see people doing that and we can get in trouble as an organization if we are audited one day and this data is discovered in our libraries. What do I do? How do I get people to follow these policies Asif, he asked me.

I asked him if he could show me this governance document, maybe I could recommend something that could help. His answer really surprised me. He said: I'm not sure exactly where it is. It will take me a bit to find it and then I can show it to you.


So I'm thinking to myself, the expectation of this governance guy and his organization is that employees would proactively look for this governance policy and look for that specific section in the document that talks about document governance every time they are actively uploading a file to their library so they would know what to do or not to do when uploading…? Is that a fair expectation? I'm afraid not. Especially if it is so hard to find this governance and policy document that even the person who owns it can't quickly locate it? I don't think it's fair to the employees.


This is the reason that I'm so passionate about trying to find the best ways possible to get users to information they need add their moment of need, in context of their environment and in the flow of their work. we need to make the jobs for employees easier and not harder. And only by giving them the tools, support and information they need at their moment of need is how we're going to help them be successful. 

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