An association executive on a list I belong to asked this week if organizations should have a web committee to determine the content, design and functionality of their site.
My answer? No.
The problem I have had with most web committees is that they often pursue solutions via consensus. Each individual comes to the committee with their agenda and the group then works out some compromise where no one gets everything and everyone gets something. This results in web sites where no one can find anything and that produce relatively low value for their organizations.
Every site must have defined, focused, outcomes that it is intended to create if it will generate significant value. Committees just can’t do this because of their structure.
What does work? Teams.
This isn’t just semantics. A team is a group of people who are pursuing a common goal. They will succeed or fail together and therefore have incentive to collaborate and endeavor toward common goals. This requires some extra effort and thought by senior management but, hey, that’s why they have that job!
Web committees, as they are usually constituted and governed, fail to produce value at the level that a focused team can achieve.