Streamlined IREX’s digital presence

Modernized the organization’s digital governance and improved its digital ecosystem.

Challenge

Historically, IREX was a decentralized organization with little digital governance. I was hired in part to help the organization use its digital presence more safely and effectively.

When I conducted an inventory of websites, social media accounts, and other digital properties, I found that IREX owned more than 140 properties, many of which were outdated, abandoned, or duplicative. This was creating a confusing experience for users while exposing the organization to unnecessary risks and costs.

Approach

After obtaining approval from our leadership team, I convened a cross-divisional working group to draft a digital governance framework. The framework specified who would be responsible and who would provide input for digital strategy, digital policies, and digital standards. Then I worked with the responsible teams to draft the organization's first digital policies and digital standards, which we published in our digital handbook.

Left: Detail from an early draft of our digital governance framework, which specified who is responsible and who provides input about digital strategy, digital policies, and digital standards. Right: Our digital handbook, which collects digital documentation for employees.

With this foundation in place, we turned to streamlining IREX's digital presence. We drafted digital ecosystem maps, conducted an audit of digital properties, and recommended how to consolidate or improve existing properties.

Left: A map of IREX's digital presence. We closed the grayed-out properties to better align our presence to the organization's strategy and users' needs. Right: A high-level map of IREX's digital ecosystem, with users at the center, platforms and channels in the middle, and types of organizations in the outer ring.

We worked with teams to identify a digital product manager for each property. Since most of the product managers did not have a background in digital or communications, we provided formal and informal opportunities for training and coaching, as well as guidelines and templates to make it easier to do consistent, high-quality work.

Results

During the first phase of the initiative, we closed 65 properties and realigned existing properties to better support users' needs. This dramatically reduced the number of outdated properties associated with the organization.

Each property now has a digital product manager. Product managers are operating with clear audiences and objectives, and they have more resources to improve their properties’ performance.

For more information about this work, see "Key Components of Digital Governance in Organizations" and "Improving a Digital Ecosystem through Content Strategy."