Tag Archives: data governance

Some stuff we did in 2013.

We’re making major progress! Not to say we don’t still have a gazillion things we want to do but our Data Governance community is awesome and delivered a lot of value to our organization this year. Which is why I’ve been so absent on this blog. It’s been verrry busy!!! Anyway I thought I would share what we did with you.

Issue resolution:

  • 59 root cause Issues logged, prioritized and ownership established
  • 12 root cause issues resolved. (coming soon I hope to be able to share the benefits we are measuring)
  • The resolution of 6729 priority Data Quality issues – I know right?
  • 10 business problems solved at our Steward Drop In Clinic

Next up: expanding our Issue tracker from tracking issues for the Company domain to include multiple data domains.

Change management:

  • 3 Community barometers undertaken with all resulting recommendations completed
  • Training to over 450 stakeholders
  • 10 Data Champions Recognized under a new recognition program
  • Successful transitions of 6 stewards and 1 owner and the addition of 3 new business stewards

Next up: continuing with the barometer, on-going training and communications.

Enterprise Alignment:

  • 1 new Enterprise process for handling Company mergers
  • 2 new Enterprise data Standards (for Company Name and Company Headquarter Address)
  • Process and responsibilities for managing changes or inputs to all enterprise metadata.

Next up: Enterprise business needs for record retention, Company hierarchy and Company life cycle definition.

Governance Organization Framework:

  • Provided support to Company and Market Information domains.
  • 8 Best practices, templates and tools for re-use
  • 2 new processes established for Business Steward and Data Owner transitions
  • 9 Standard Operating Procedures developed for: Business Stewards, Data Owners, Business leads, the DG Office, IT Stewards, Data Stewards, Steward Leaders, Business users and Sponsors.
  • A brand new Data Steward (and Back up) Role.
  • Development and roll out of a Roles and Responsibilities framework for projects, the DG Office and Data Management support.

Next up: expand the roles and responsibilities framework to include other Information Management stakeholders within the organization and establish standard on-boarding training for stewards and data owners.

2014 should be lots of fun 🙂

The Data Governance Journey – Part 2 – What is taking so long?

You know that little annoying hourglass that pops up when you try to load a new program, click on a web link or try to save a file? This is what I am reminded of as we work to establish a Data Governance program.

On Part 1 of the Data Governance Journey post, I described the steps that led to the beginning of our embarking on a Data Governance Program: we held a series of faciliated workshops where key stakeholders identified some common data related risks, and developed agreed upon outcomes and success measures. Our next steps were to formalize the agreement reached by communicating the outcomes and establishing funding for the program.

What happened next was the establishment of a solid Data Governance Program where everyone bought in, everyone complied with the new corporate policies and the data quality was perfect. Oh ha ha ha….hee hee hee… oh ho ho….I crack myself up sometimes 😛

What happened next probably could have been predicted by almost everyone who reads this post; some typical organizational cultural challenges and a lingering siloed view here and there resulted in a flurry of activity to put together a document, paper, elevator pitch, deck, business case, and a diagram or 2 that tried to show how a data governance program will solve their varied business problem(s).

So that’s what’s been taking so long. The word ‘varied’. As in sometimes widely different. And so we’ve been busy. Busy helping the business. Helping them take ownership of positioning and selling the program, and essentially building the Data Governance program. That’s right. Yah huh. You heard me. The business has taken ownership of establishing a data governance program. The business has taken ownership of establishing a data governance program. The business has taken ownership of establishing a data governance program. I could say this 100 times in a row it sounds so nice 😀

With all that variety who else could do it but the business? And the key here was that at the very least everyone could agree on that!

There is still some cultural resistance, and the odd hourglass might show up, but with the business leading the way, the future sure looks bright!

Data Quality – The Inadvertent Oxymoron


It boggles my mind.

How can a unit/team/group have processes that either flat-out cause data quality problems or enable them by turning a blind eye, yet have budget and resources assigned to fixing up the mess after the fact? How can a phenomenon such as this occur? Is it because the organization is new at Data Quality and their idea of resolving it is to apply re-active fixes because they don’t know any better? I DON’T THINK SO!

I think they know better. I think they know better but they also know that resolving it will require Data Governance which means organizational change. Big Change. And discomfort. Big discomfort.

So here is my question then. How can our leaders, strategists, financial analysts and auditors present their budget figures for the year and get approval for this inadvertent Oxymoron of processes?

Just sayin…

Informal Data Governance?

Can data governance be informal? Is there such a thing? Doesn’t formalization make up a key (and critical) component of Governance? As in; formal roles and responsibilities, formal processes including escalation, formal decision bodies, formal communications, templates, etc etc..
Isn’t informal data governance not data governance at all, but a hugely expensive and time-consuming (and mind-numbing…don’t forget to add mind-numbing…) approach to getting people to buy in?
Just sayin….
What do you think?

The Data Governance Journey – Part 1- Getting Started

Our organization is finally (YAY!!) embarking on a Data Governance program and I’d like to share the saga journey with you. If you are unfamiliar with my story here are the basics:

  • Due to a CRM initiative there was an agreed upon corporate need for Data Quality
  • I was asked to lead the development of the program and establish the team
  • The business functional areas agreed that data quality was needed but were not in a position to sponsor or champion the initiative
  • The program and team had executive IT sponsorship
  • In 4 years the team established a solid program and raised considerable awareness, but due to lack of business sponsorship or a champion much of the work was re-active.

Now, due to a major data related initiative, the corporation has once again agreed that data quality is an issue that needs to be resolved in order for the initiative to be successful. But what’s different this time is that the agreement was formalized.

How we achieved this

A series of workshops were established where those who had agreed that data quality was a critical success factor for the corporate initiative were asked to attend. The workshops were a series of facilitated meetings where different stakeholders were asked to identify goals and objectives, roadblocks and risks and what are the things they felt would enable them to achieve their objectives. The outcomes that resulted were varied but what was obvious were the common themes around their data;  ‘accountability’, ‘establishment of formal policies and compliance processes’, ‘a senior cross functional decision body’, and ‘Training and Communication’, all components of a Data Governance Program. Success measures were also a part of the workshop and agreement was reached on those as well. The final workshop was used to confirm what was agreed upon, what the success measures were and recommended next steps.

Key Strategies

  • Use cross functional workshops to formalize the common themes stakeholders have already informally agreed upon.
  • External consultants help facilitate the process by using subject matter expertise to guide the alignment between business and IT.
  • Always be sure to identify agreed upon success measures.
  • Once agreement is achieved confirm, confirm, confirm the outcomes and next steps.
  • Document the outcomes, agreements, next steps and communicate to the organization.
  • Be sure to include the process to establish funding as a next step.

The Challenges

Most of the stakeholders that were needed to participate are mostly at the senior level and so their availability was a challenge.

What we did

  • Reinforcement of the verbal stakeholder agreements, the corporation’s business objectives and how quality data will help achieve those objectives really helped. Once the first workshop took place everyone was keen to continue and so it got easier to obtain their participation in later sessions.

That’s it so far….I imagine things may get a little more interesting as we get into the development of the program. 

Be sure and tune in for the next episode: Part 2 – Overcoming (the first set of) obstacles.