People are the Key to Data Success

While supporting a colleague recently in how to approach an Information Governance assessment for a client I decided to share that guidance with you.  The client wanted to improve their processes, with speed and accuracy being key requirement in the improvement.

The assessment provides all the key areas a questions to ask but it is black and white.  A lesson I learnt very early on, although data is black and white, the people involved need shades of grey and pink for any data initiative to be successful.

People is one third of the key elements needed for a successful organisational transformation – People, Process, Technology. I will not go into any more detail on this golden triangle here, as there are many articles available on your favourite search engine.


Some of the advice I offered was:

The questions asked, the way the assessment is delivered and approach needs to be people oriented and focused on the emotions involved. What I mean by this is thinking about their situation, what data issues are affecting them both good and bad.  Be sensitive as you are not aware of other factors affecting responses and behaviour.

  • Identify stakeholders – who needs to be involved, anyone / area missing from the list?
  • Who is the Sponsor – what level of support and commitment is coming from the top?
  • What level of maturity does the Sponsor see the business needing to achieve and does that align with the stakeholders understanding and expectations?
  • When carrying out the assessment, understand from the participants:
    • What they consider Data Governance?
    • Who should be responsible for it?
  • What is each Stakeholders area of responsibility, what are the priorities in that area? – do they align with the business direction?
  • What other projects are going ahead in the organisation
  • How to demonstrate value during and after the assessment. What will the client see as output and what are the next steps
  • Above all Listen!


Image credit: Clipart Panda


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