What is a Steering Committee?

A steering committee is a group of specially chosen individuals that collectively develop a mandate for, and guide the creation of, an intranet program. Most commonly they serve to help recruit departmental resources, approve and structure funding, review and keep on target project deliverables and work to resolve conflict; defusing any political issues that may arise between stakeholders. They may also provide valuable assistance in:

  • identifying project participants, experts and test groups
  • collecting and communicating employee feedback
  • ensuring all business groups are fairly represented
  • reviewing proposed and on-going initiatives
  • identifying governance models, strategies and policies

Remember, your steering committee members should be the champions of your intranet program.

Who’s on Steering Committee?

Steering committees commonly have 6-8 participants who typically include members from various business units and levels of management. Seats are filled based on the requirements of the project and may be rotated as required. It is recommended you include a member from internal marketing, IT, and an HR representative. Although difficult, it is highly beneficial to include an officer whenever possible; executive sponsorship helps on-board key people in your enterprise and ensures commitment to the project. Additionally, officers can provide a clear understanding of the organization’s strategic plan including previously undisclosed information including where the group may be heading. Reliable foresight is invaluable when developing your intranet project. The ideal scenario is to engage an officer to serve as Chair of the committee but as scheduling frequently makes this impossible it is best, at a minimum, to involve them in all high-level decision making.

Especially when larger organizations are concerned, project management by steering committee is the only truly reliable strategy to avoid many of the missteps organizations take during the development of their intranet programs.