Setting roles - a ‘free for all’ or a controlled process?

Sereno blog

Content management systems allow organisations to manage the publication of their digital content in a controlled and practical way.

In a small charity, it might be possible for the responsibility of uploading content to rest with one key person, with back-up support for occasional times when they are busy or on leave. However, larger charities will have to allocate responsibility for content publishing to others in the organisation to manage the sheer volume of information that is likely to be published.

A content management system allows you to manage access across the organisation to maintain the quality of information posted, prevent bottlenecks and ensure the security of your site.

You can decide who can publish, what they can publish and when. So a key part of planning a new site is setting roles and responsibilities for users.

You will need to establish different rules for your website and intranet. For example, it is very unusual for organisations to allow widespread publishing rights for their websites, but intranet content can typically be posted by a much larger cohort of staff.

Typical roles you might need to establish are content creator, editor and publisher. Sometimes these roles can merge or be performed by the same person. For example, the editor can also publish. Or you might need another role of reviewer/authoriser who sits between the editor and the publisher.

One of our roles as web developers is to work with you to understand the structure of your organisation and recommend an approach that will meet your needs. This might include setting up a publishing process, which includes a process of review and authorisation as well as automatically revoking publishing rights when individuals change roles or leave the organisation, to maintain site security.

Enabling others in the organisation to post content can be really effective and efficient but you will need to establish guidelines to maintain quality. This can be a simple style guide for the organisation to get consistency on use of terms or it may be something more considered about the tone of voice and values of the organisation.

In our series of blogs on writing great content for websites and intranets we look at some of the issues around opening up access to publishing to your wider staff team.