Vision, Mission, Goals, and Initiatives
To reach their greatest potential, most organizations must leverage data-related assets to help drive business value. Outlining a clear and cohesive strategy and relating each part to the appropriate data-related assets helps set clear guidelines for company and program management. Strategy helps close the communication gap between the corporate stakeholders who make decisions for the organization’s future and the technical stakeholders who do the daily work that drives the organization into that future. There are two branches of Knowledge Tier Strategy that work together to help corporate and technical stakeholders work together to achieve a common vision:
- Company Level—for corporate leadership to outline strategic objectives in a central place that readily available to all stakeholders. When stakeholders at all levels can easily refer to corporate strategy to make decisions, those decisions stay aligned with the company’s objectives.
- Program Level—for data management program managers to outline strategic objectives and connect them to the company-level objectives that corporate stakeholders support.
Strategy assets allow corporate leadership to communicate a strategy to develop a corporate culture of success. Employees and stakeholders that can reference thoughtful, clearly-defined visions, missions, goals and initiatives are more likely to make decisions in their day-to-day work that align with the company’s objectives.
Stakeholders at all levels can collaborate to track the progress of goals and initiatives, which are driven by the company’s vision and mission statements. Accountability for the achievement of each goal and its supporting initiatives is tracked through each step of implementation and is linked to the corresponding data-related assets.
Program-level assets are related to company-level assets to illustrate how data management drives business value for the organization through effective program implementation.
Strategy assets also allow data management program managers to communicate, in clearly-defined business terms, how the Data Management or Governance program can help unlock the potential for data to be leveraged like any other asset. When corporate stakeholders understand how data can be used as an asset, then data management enables a business to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly technological world. Negotiating the appropriate scope of your data management program depends on the program manager’s ability to justify and communicate desired business outcomes and show their value to stakeholders.
A program’s success relies on meaningful communication among all stakeholders, whether they are in executive leadership, data protection officers, data stewards, finance, sales, data science, or any other team that functions as a part of your company, with varying skills and technical knowledge. Strategy assets provide program managers with a documentation structure that encourages inclusion of the important information that corporate leaders need to understand the scope of the program while also formalizing the relationship that data stewards have to data-related assets in an efficient and thoughtful manner.
Strategy assets summarize, in simple and clearly-defined business terms, what the program aims to achieve, why that is relevant to the organization, and which company-level assets the program relates to and supports. Strategy assets also relate to data-related assets, tying data strategy to company and business-level strategy, and tracking how each strategy supports and informs the other. When data stewards, program managers, analysts, company leaders, and everyone else in an organization can see clear connections among objectives and the data-related assets they affect, a cohesive vision for the future of the company becomes that much easier to realize.
Garnering corporate buy-in for a program can often focus on revenue and available resources. Since corporate leaders are often removed from daily work in data management, they do not understand the processes and technologies that teams use on a daily basis. This can cause problems when discussing funding and time constraints, especially if the corporate leaders do not understand how a program’s objectives contribute to the company’s objectives. Each Strategy asset tracks sponsors that can offer additional information. Sponsors are notified when they are assigned and when updates are made, simplifying communication among stakeholders. Sponsors are notified to review and approve assets and any updates made to them, which ensures that the Status and the Timeframe are current and available to all stakeholders. Successful change management depends on constant communication about success and the roadmap to achieve it. Even the smallest goal’s achievement should be monitored, measured and communicated. These strategic assets provide a summary of how the data program and the associated work help to achieve success at each step.
New or more formalized data management responsibilities can be invasive for data stewards, which can reduce their support for the program. Strategy assets can help program managers assign ownership of data-related assets in a non-invasive way. The existing rules, policies and other assets that pertain to goals and initiatives require daily work with data-related assets that is likely already in progress. Strategy assets help formalize the responsibilities that data stewards already have in a more efficient and less invasive manner by tracking the existing connections that data stewards have to data-related assets and relating them to the program’s bigger picture.
Data ownership should be assigned with segments of a process in mind. Most processes and data flow through multiple hands and teams. Numerous SMEs and data stewards could be accountable for data quality, governance, access control, or typical Master Data Management responsibilities for particular data within those segments. Each of these segments may have different data types, and those who are assigned data-related responsibilities are expected to work with only a few different types of data. Goals and initiatives allow program managers to group the related assets, which they can use to track each segment of the data management process and those accountable for them. They also help program managers ensure that ownership of the data-related assets does not unnecessarily burden employees by saddling them with data-related assets that they are not already familiar with.
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