Create a Governance Framework

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Create a governance framework.
  • Identify best practices for maintaining a successful framework.

Connect the Dots

Even with the best strategy and intentions, marketers face obstacles that keep them from that ideal customer experience. Real challenges can stand in the way of creating personalized content in real time—having disconnected data, disconnected stages of the customer lifecycle, disconnected channels, internal policies, security concerns, and so on. The key word is: disconnected.

So how do you connect the dots? Enter the governance framework. Sometimes called a center of excellence, a governance framework is developed by a multidisciplinary team focused on a specific goal, such as reviewing a new technology, researching a topic like diversity in the workplace, or in our case, focused on improving customer experience. 

Not Just Another Committee

Marketers have only so much control over the customer journey, so a great digital marketing strategy goes beyond the silo of a marketing department. Establishing a governance framework enables marketers to gain management support through a company-wide commitment to innovation, resource optimization, and compliance to policies. To enable a digital marketing transformation across the company, it is critical to work with an executive stakeholder, along with other areas of your company to ensure alignment and buy-in across all areas of your business. 



Want to learn more about organizational change? Check out the Drucker School’s Organizational Change Leadership module.

Focus on Your Goal

A governance framework team should focus on specific areas: people, process, and technology in relation to their defined objective or goal. Let’s review in more detail.

Compass graphic with equal division between People, Process, and Technology.


Identify and train the people needed to implement the strategic plan.

  • Identify cross-discipline resources. Team members of a governance framework should include all business owners related to the goal. For our use case focused on customer experience, a team might consist of not only marketing, but customer service, sales, project management, technology, and research.
  • Identify and conduct ongoing research. Research the initial user experience and develop an ongoing assessment of the customer experience.
  • Gain a global perspective by working with teams in other regions. When an organization has teams around the globe, regions often operate independently. Customers see the benefit when regions work together and share insights to ensure a consistent global experience.
  • Review existing roles, responsibilities, and skills. Make adjustments as needed to benefit the customer.
  • Ensure new and current employees have proper training. Ensure employees know your standards, policies, and change management tools and are using them correctly.


Identify, prioritize, and drive the execution of processes that support transformation.  

  • Create a strategic plan. Identify goals and tactics for the organization around customer experience. (Your digital marketing roadmap should be a key component of this plan, but it may also include goals outside of marketing).
  • Create flexible standards and policies. Standards and policies lend structure for companies of all sizes, but standards need to be flexible to ensure you have the ability to try new approaches to improve customer experiences.
  • Review change management process. A conscious change management plan helps adoption and acceptance, as companies (and individuals) often struggle with change.
  • Identify and review personas. Once identified, determine how employees should use personas and encourage adoption.
  • Identify brand and content guidelines. Create an employee-focused content toolkit that includes information about branding, voice and tone, and content guidelines.
  • Identify and document best practices across the company. Identify how these best practices should be adopted and monitored.


Have the proper tools and technology to be successful.

  • Ensure data model consistency and proper data hygiene. This may be one of the most important areas where a governance framework can provide value to the digital marketer.
  • Encourage innovation by piloting and testing new technologies. Adopting new technology for an entire company is a complicated project. Research and implement tech deployments with thorough use cases and solid plans for testing a pilot.
  • Develop a plan for testing. Evolution requires trying new things—make content and audience testing a priority.
  • Identify and streamline tools.
  • Ensure you have a standard approach to the creation of your content.

How to Be Successful

Whew, that’s a lot of responsibilities! Overall, effective and successful teams have the following things in common. 

  1. They have executive buy-in. Have buy-in from management for planning and implementation.
  2. They have a variety of cross-discipline team members. Respect and engage the expertise of different disciplines.
  3. They are consistent and follow a governance plan. Respect everyone’s time and make meetings valuable with a structured agenda. Before ending the meeting, be sure to identify who in the group owns various responsibilities.
  4. They share resources. Have a system of shared and accessible resources from templates, tools, calendars, and work standards. Determine how you will monitor and reward use of these tools.

In this module, you identified key performance indicators, assessed your current strategy, and created a strategic roadmap. And now you know the benefits of creating a framework to ensure your roadmap has company-wide buy-in. You’ve got everything you need to achieve your goals and make a digital transformation.