Data Governance Part 2 Process Design Continued

In Data Governance – Part 1, I presented the idea that data governance process should mirror other cross functional management processes in an organization.   The design of an effective process is a challenge and must fit within the organizational culture.

An organization which has a process of selecting business led project priorities will likely be able to set up a similar process for data governance.  This process might even be a sub-committee of that priority setting process that might initially only involve those members who are affected by the business intelligence projects.  

Another organization having a less rigorous approach to priority setting could start with a less rigorous process involving the groups who are affected by the project only.  As the data warehouse project expands to involve other groups, the data governance group is expanded. 

In either case, the groups need support from experienced people who know how to work effectively with the business.  

An example might best illustrate my point.  This organization, ABC Corp., had several parts of the organization building spreadsheets and reports for their management.  Unfortunately the information from the different groups did not match.  Each group was presenting numbers showed different versions of the truth.  Eventually with pressure from the management committee, the CFO decided that they needed to create one version and asked the IT group to help resolve the issue.  A project was formed to address consistent reporting of revenue between the sales, operations and finance groups.   In order to deal with the sharing of information the sponsor formed an ad hoc group to decide how to proceed.  A consultant and the CIO were asked to help create a project structure.  The organization did not have many cross functional structures except in the HR function.   The Human Resources group had a very effective succession planning group.  The team decided to create a group using a similar structure with the key functions represented based on their involvement with the project.  The CFO, the project sponsor, decided on the membership of this initial group and they became the project steering committee and the initial data governance group.   The group was only asked to deal with the most pressing governance issues, like data definitions. 

As time progressed and the project was successful, other issues arose and additional members were added to the governance committee.  Eventually as other data sharing and management reporting issues arose, the group dealt with these issues.  The data governance group evolved from a single project steering committee to a group involving more stakeholders.  Issues were addressed as they arose and we had a very successful process.

The key success factor in this example was the design of the data governance process was set up to address a pressing business issue and used a process that already existed in the culture.   The design of the process is one of the key success of data governance. 

I will discuss more issue around data governance in later blogs.  I invite you questions or comments. 

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