For organizations adopting a new digital site platform, establishing organizational support early on is imperative, especially if you want to increase your chances of success. This means building a center of excellence. But let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a center of excellence?
A center of excellence (CoE) is an internal group made up of stakeholders from various teams that monitors digital site governance throughout the organization and beyond. Sometimes called the shared IT unit or shared digital platform group, the center of excellence creates site policies and processes and ensures that they are being followed on every digital implementation.
Now, how do you create your own center of excellence? Here are three best practices to keep in mind when building your CoE: building the team, undergoing a creative maturity assessment, and creating a site governance model.
Building the team
The first step is to identify who should be on the digital site governance team; this will be the core of your CoE. Two critical characteristics to look for when you’re filling roles are flexibility and initiative. You want people who can take on new digital initiatives with speed and agility.
Each of the roles within the CoE can be assigned to one person or shared with several, depending on the organization’s size and digital ambitions.
The roles and descriptions below are meant to be guidelines, not restrictive commands:
- Digital Business: This role includes the product owners that determine the business strategy and the vision for the platform. They review, approve and prioritize feature requests, as well as communicate business requirements to the site architects, developers, and operators.
- Architecture: Architecture is responsible for any change management and feature development on the platform code. They put architecture governance in place so that new feature requests can be evaluated to ensure it can work within the architecture of the platform.
- Digital Operations: Digital operations maintains the digital sites and ensures that the platform works as expected. They manage new support requests, security requests, bug fixes, and feature requests. They also complete sprint management and platform development.
- Site Operations: The site operations unit is focused specifically on enhancing content and experience at the site level. They build and theme individual customer websites and manage customer requests. This is the group that takes care of the feasibility studies, looking at site-specific, feature request requirements and ensures that they can work with the sites.
- Digital Security: Digital security is responsible for reviewing adherence and compliance to different security guidelines. This team is responsible for working with digital business and architecture to ensure the platform and all sites are secure and compliant with both organization-specific standards and industry-specific standards.