More than half our clients have migrated their intranets and employee portals to SharePoint. Some had very good experiences – I like to think we contribute to their success. Others consider SharePoint their personal nightmare. Most have dealt with a lack of good governance in the process.

It’s obvious that no intranet platform fixes everything. But, it can really mess things up quick if you don’t know what your strategy is, who’s supposed to do what, what user behavior is ok and what isn’t, how you’re going to integrate social technology, what collaboration means to your organization… Intranet and employee portal governance helps fix these problems.

This is what we are going to bring to a new Melcrum workshop next month in Orlando. Practical, tool-based governance. Participants will have an opportunity to use some of the Eloquor governance tools, learn best practices, and walk out the door after a day and a half with some of their work already done. The Melcrum team and I were tired of seeing so many conference sessions and workshops just lecture on what others are doing – usually what the big tech companies are doing. Well, yea. They should be good at this. We expect that. And railing on people to tweet and blog isn’t helping either. I find I can be more convincing if I avoid using social technology terminology altogether.

Most of our clients point out that they can’t really afford expensive solutions, or that their culture is so backward that people are very slow to adopt. Worse still, some have to fight resistant leaders and barrier policies. It’s reality. After a while, you have to set aside your enthusiasm for the latest wingding and get back to the roots – how does it help the business and how do we manage it well.

In the workshop I’ll hit strategy development, decision making about technologies, governance processes and roles, code of conduct and policy, driving usage, integrating new technology and migrating content. Yes, I’ll talk a bit about SharePoint and social technology. But, not just evangelize – instead, let’s have practical examples that connect to real business goals.

But mostly, we’ll work in the workshop. Melcrum calls it a masterclass, but I like to put people to work. Get the tool out and write it down. Then, talk about it so you can remember what the heck you were thinking. When you get back to the office you don’t have to say “I think we should…” because you’ve already done it.

I can’t count the times I’ve heard clients say “yep, we were always going to do that” or “we talked about it, but never did it.” Get off your chair! Implement proper governance for your intranet or employee portal. Get the clue you’ve been missing so you can make better decisions, deliver more usable and user-centered solutions, and provide the kind of ROI your organization deserves.

Inside story: I know this organization that has decided it doesn’t really need better intranet governance. In the past two years they have had more than one effort spend thousands of dollars and countless employee hours trying to figure out a social networking and collaboration solution. They had one tool already in house. They built another one – a pretty crappy one. Separate parts of the organization recently purchased others. And they still can’t decide what to do. If they had a clear ownership and decision making process, they wouldn’t be wasting company resources.

Need to get it right in your organization? Come to the workshop and we’ll get you pretty far down the road in about 36 hours.