An variation on a very old joke.
“How many data stewards does it take to screw in a light bulb?”
In some environments the answer may be “One.”
Yet, in most instances changing the data governance light bulb will require more than one person.
One to define the policy. Another to approve the policy.
One to do root cause analysis. Another to identify the owner of the light bulb.
And so on…
Don’t over complicate your data governance structures. Tweet this
It can be easy to over complicate your governance structures.
Complexity may come from the volume of work that is required, or from your internet research that shows someone’s “best practice” data governance organisation, or from some consultant’s view as to the ideal team.
The larger the data governance team the more complex the processes required to support it.
Many data stewardship teams schedule a monthly data governance forum – a regular meeting to discuss data issues and in theory take actions.The larger the team, the longer the meeting.
In practice these meeting often degenerate into free for all, bitch sessions that serve no useful purpose, or may absorb so much time that busier decision makers stop coming. Once you have lost them it can be very difficult to get them to re-engage.
I have written before on the importance of data quality metrics for successful information governance. Appropriate metrics enable informed decisions on priorities, and on risk mitigation for identified data issues.
An data quality issue that is not measured is not an issue, it’s an opinion. Tweet this
This is not the only cause of conflict in data governance fora.
Long winded discussions about data governance policies, definitions of terms (business data glossary), standards, etc. are typically only relevant to small subsets of the stewardship community at any given time, wasting the time of others. They are also not appropriate for decision makers that need to make every second of their day count.
This kind of collaboration should take place outside of these meetings, allowing the DG Forum to focus on decision making.
Successful data governance relies on small teams collaborating effectively. Tweet this
One option is to split the monthly meeting into multiple working committees, each dealing with specific business goals or capabilities. This can create real problems for many individuals that may now be required to attend multiple meetings (that may also suffer from a lack of meaningful engagement.)
An alternative that is emerging is to invest in a data governance platform – a tool to support the collaborative capturing and sharing of critical data assets.
A data governance platform enables data stewards to collaborate quickly and easily, without the need for regular meetings, and provides a convenient repository for capturing and sharing key data assets such as data policies, standards and requirements. Approvals are routed to the decision maker and feedback is captured and sent to the appropriate stewards.
Equally importantly, this approach ensures that governance policies and requirements are shared with the full business community so that governance can achieve the goals of managing risk and reducing waste.
The data governance platform enables small teams to punch above their weight – maybe one steward can change that light bulb.
Contact us for more information on how automation can help to improve your data governance program.
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