There are two basic models for service-oriented governance. Some companies, especially those that deal in a single product and are accustomed to a top-down authority structure, might prefer a centralized system, with an enterprise-wide team setting the rules and making all major policy decisions.
The advantages of the distributed model are that it is driven by division experts who are close to product lines and the workings of their enterprise units, and who are able to respond to customer or user input. The downside is that making changes to the standards and processes can be slow, as buy-in is needed by all significant players throughout the company.
The top-down approach has the advantage of efficiency; change can be made quickly and enforced effectively. Moreover, a centralized governance team can usually see the big picture of a companys interests and that of its customers more clearly than division managers can.
The downside is that, lacking sufficient input from the various departments, governance actions may not always be optimum for all groups within the enterprise. Its a balancing act. Perhaps the best model is a two-tiered approach that:
Ted Stephens is an associate principal at Intellilink, a management consulting firm that improves the productivity of knowledge worker automation. His areas of expertise include; IT governance, project management and IT portfolio management. He can be reached at email@example.com.