Enterprise Data Management Fitness – Look Before You Leap

March 23, 2011
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Snowmass_look_leap The initial phase of a project should be an assessment. A classic systems integrators’ project methodology will include this phase and

Snowmass_look_leap The initial phase of a project should be an assessment. A classic systems integrators’ project methodology will include this phase and a sign-off on its competition before proceeding to with the rest of the project.  Why is this needed at the start of a project? Because in order to ensure project success you need to:

  1. Gather the business and technical requirements
  2. Examine what exists now
  3. Determine the gap between numbers 1 and 2
  4. Create a plan and architecture of what it will take to close that gap
  5. Assess how ready the business and IT is to design, deploy and operate these solutions

This is a pretty straightforward approach to kicking off a project.  Many IT project managers follow this approach whether they are using a systems integrator or not.   Most people understand that they need to perform all these tasks in the first phase of a project with one exception: assessing the readiness of business and IT to actually succeed!

Why is the readiness portion of the assessment so often overlooked? Because people generally assume that if a project is being funded then everyone must be ready for it. This may be an extremely costly mistake to make with Enterprise Data Management (EDM) projects. Unlike many other IT projects, EDM impacts both business and IT. EDM requires:

  • Defining business performance metrics, data quality metrics and data definitions
  • Creating the architecture to support the above
  • Establish a data governance process with ongoing cooperation between business and IT

Technology and data aren’t the only things you need to think about. You need to conduct a readiness assessment to determine what political, people and process issues need to be addressed. If you fail to determine where you are with the 3 P’s and address what is needed to get them to support and implement the solution you’ll be hard-pressed to make it successful.

Don’t get tripped up by the P’s. Take a good, hard look at them before you leap!