Web Team Organization and Management
What It Is
Clearly defining the organization and management of your Web team is essential to effective digital government. The process of planning, organizing, leading, and managing staff and resources to achieve the goals in your Web governance strategy hinges upon a solid team structure, with clear lines of authority and responsibility.
Why It's Important
Organizing your Web team into a motivated, effective, and well–managed unit is a vital part of Web governance, and directly supports the goals of the Open Government Directive, and the Digital Government Strategy.
How to Implement
There are many different models of effective Web governance. Find the model that works best for you and your agency.
All Web teams share common activities, such as content, design, software development, systems administration, analytics, and social media. How you structure your Web team, though, can depend on many issues, including:
- Number of staff (in–house vs. contracted; full–time vs. part–time)
- Website size, which translates into the amount of content the team needs to manage (e.g., a 1,000-page website is easier to manage than a 100,000–page website)
- Skill level of staff
- Resources such as hiring authority and training budget
Organization of your Web team may also depend on how your larger organization is structured and how your Web team can be built. Ask yourself:
- Are you in a hierarchical organization, or a matrix structure, where staff work across divisions and across functional areas?
- Does your team have contractors, who may be limited by what roles they can have on a team?
- Does your team have virtual team members who telework and will need to access your content management system remotely?
- Do team members have special organizational or work needs (for example, an accessibility expert who needs specialized equipment)?
Organize for management success. Be realistic in how you organize your Web team so that you can manage staff through their day–to–day activities.
Re–visit other areas of your Web governance for inspiration:
- Consider the Web roles and responsibilities of your staff when you organize them into a team. Manage to strengths, and train for work areas your team needs.
- Develop and implement your Web policies and procedures. Train all staff, and provide regular refresher training as needed. Evaluate policies and procedures to make sure they’re serving the team’s needs.
- Re-visit your Web Governance Strategy and Web Governance Documents from time to time to be sure you’re on track. New strategies require new goals and milestones, and your team documents should reflect this.
Managing the efforts of a Web team includes management of the site and the team. Communicate with your team regularly, both formally and informally. Formal performance reviews are for staff improvement but don’t wait for formal review time to raise problems—address issues head–on, as they happen, to keep the team running smoothly.
Recognize that improvement is an ongoing effort, not a one–time destination. Websites by their nature are in a state of “continuous improvement”—meaning they are never “finished”—so adopt a system that supports regular, iterative improvements; celebrate with your team the milestones you achieve together.
- HUD Departmental Web Policies and Web Management Structure (PDF, 117 KB, 12 pages, December 2011)
- EPA Web Management Structure
- Web Management at HUD—Why It Works
- Web Development Handbook (includes chapters on U.S. Department of State's site design and development, accessibility and usability, website program management, and content management)
- Website Governance Framework: Website Governance and Management Process (Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Government of Western Australia, Office of e–Government) (PDF, 606 KB, 12 pages, April 2008)
- How to Plan Manpower on a Web Team
- Thoughts on Building a Web Team