Governance is defined as "a method or system of government of management". Microsoft SharePoint Server (SharePoint) Governance can be viewed as a subset discipline of Corporate Governance focused on SharePoint application and its performance and risk management. Like Project Management, Governance is concerned with the risks, the costs, usefulness and the adoption of the solution once it has been created.
A characteristic theme of SharePoint governance discussions is that the SharePoint capability can no longer be a black box. The traditional handling of SharePoint Project management by business stakeholders is due to limited technical experience and SharePoint complexity; key decisions are deferred to SharePoint professionals.
SharePoint governance implies a system in which all stakeholders, including the board, internal customers and related areas such as finance, have the necessary input into the decision making process. This prevents a single stakeholder, typically IT, being blamed for poor SharePoint sites performance.
An effective governance plan ensures the system is managed and used in accordance with its designed intent to prevent it from becoming an unmanageable system. The management of an enterprise-wide system involves both a strategic, business-minded board to craft rules and procedures for the use of the system and also a tactical, technically-competent team to manage the routine operational tasks that keep the system running. Users of the system will be empowered by a support and developer community sponsored by the business leaders.