In my last blog, I wrote about the reasons why it’s important to get stakeholder buy-in to start working on data governance. In this blog, I will look at the next stage – 4 practical steps to get the foundations ready for building your initiative.
Data governance is paradoxical. The concept itself is quite straightforward. After all, it's just about proactively managing your data in order to improve the quality of it. But despite the fact that many businesses are on board with the benefits, a great deal still struggle to implement it.
The issues that people face when trying to start a data governance initiative are diverse but these can all be overcome with some planning. The biggest one is always that of achieving culture change and turning your organisation into one where individuals think about and proactively manage their data.
Over many years I have developed a methodology, which ensures that I work with an organisation through each stage logically. We start by making the case for data governance and getting stakeholder buy-in. Then we can lay the right foundations to design and implement a data governance framework that will work.
The foundation stage of this is obviously the most crucial. Too many people think that you can dive straight into designing a data governance framework, but if you don’t do the groundwork to get your initiative started correctly, it’s unlikely that you will successfully develop and implement a sustainable data governance framework.
Read on and I’ll share with you the steps that I go through with my clients to show you how to lay the right foundations for success.
In my first blog, I looked at why you're going to need engagement with some very senior stakeholders in your organisation in order to even get permission to start working on data governance. I discussed the need to align with your organisation's corporate strategy and sell the specific benefits. So where do you start? Here’s a couple of practical ideas:
Once you have gained approval to commence, you're going to need to agree on an executive sponsor for your work. This person will be key to ensuring the initiative gets the support it needs. Now is the time to make sure that they really understand what data governance is and the benefits that your organisation can hope to achieve from it. This will leave your sponsor well equipped to champion your cause with their peers.
Tips for finding a suitable sponsor:
Once you have an executive sponsor in place, the next thing you need to do is engage with stakeholders, ideally in every part of your organisation. This step is going to involve a mixture of activities:
You now have the information and the right stakeholders involved to design and validate a data governance framework. So, before you put pen to paper, make sure you know exactly what’s required for a well-rounded comprehensive plan.
In a nutshell, a data governance framework is the structure that you need to put in place to proactively manage your data quality. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. For it to work, it must fit your organisation’s culture and practices. However, the three main components are always the same:
If you want to find out more detail about a Data Governance Framework and its components we can help - you can download a white paper on Using a Data Governance Framework to support Data Quality here.
This may sound like a lot of effort before even sitting down to design a data governance framework (let alone implement it), but it is well worth the effort at this stage. You’ll ensure that you have everything in place to build the framework that is correct for your organisation and to create an implementation plan that focuses on the correct areas of priority.