Live from OmniChannelX: Governance Frameworks for Omnichannel

Governance Frameworks for Omnichannel, by Lisa Welchman

Lisa has been working in digital for a long time. But back in 1996 (at Cisco) she saw a lot of great digital things, but also that it doesn’t matter if you have the capacity for the technology. You need something else… something to stop the infighting and internal challenges.

For Lisa, there’s a shift between thinking about digital governance and moving to omnichannel governance. This isn’t about control. It can be (some situations need the rules), but not everything does. Perhaps Press Releases need tight rules, but social media just needs loose but intentional rules.

More control can mean more bottlenecks.

The idea is to design the system, not necessarily to control everything in the system.

Questions to Answer

  1. What is the scope of omnichannel?
  2. Who defines the strategy, and how do you know you’ve won?
  3. Who defines policy?
  4. Who defines standards? What systems and design patterns etc do we use?

Four Sections to an Experience Design Team

  • Core team: the people making decisions
  • Distributed team: the people who will use it, but can also create some of their own variations
  • Working groups & councils: the groups that need to be forced to collaborate, as well as the people who will use these decisions and standards down the line
  • Extended: The people who ultimately need the help the most. Too many areas of the company that are disconnected.

Example: Shopping for a Black Turtleneck

Lisa’s example of shopping at Talbots shoes how the…

  • storefront,
  • e-commerce engine,
  • payment processing,
  • security/encryption,
  • IA,
  • digital asset management system,
  • branding,
  • inventory,
  • social media,
  • email marketing, and
  • rewards program

…all have to work together for a good experience. It doesn’t matter if they’re Compliance creating the privacy language, or designers creating the main page. They’re all part of the team, and they impact the experience consumers have.

A great experience is seamless. Lisa ordered her shirt online, but had to return it in a store. It was seamless. It took 5 minutes. Because the store had integrated the systems.

How Do You Make it Seamless Internally?

Typically you can’t start immediately, because you don’t want to stifle innovation. But at some point there start being debates and arguments, and then you need to start having policies and standards.

You must take control. You need governance. Then the experience can become the business.

With omnichannel, different channels may be at different levels of maturity. You love your job because this makes it interesting and dynamic.

You need:

  • A known team
  • An informed strategy
  • A Clear policy
  • Implemented standards

If you do that, then you’ll have sound operations. And that puts you in a position to create a good experience.

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