Lean Mean Data Governance Machine – Waste Prevention – Part 3 of 3


By Kiran Gill, Senior Strategic Consultant, Harte-Hanks Trillium Software


By Kiran Gill, Senior Strategic Consultant, Harte-Hanks Trillium Software

In my last blog, I covered Waste Elimination in Data Governance using Trillium’s Data Governance Discipline  “Data Management” as an example.  To create truly lasting Lean Data Governance, Waste Prevention activity is crucial.

Reminder: Focusing on Trillium’s 5 Data Governance Disciplines enables the exploration of key parts of the programme using Lean principles that help identify waste:
1.    Strategy
2.    People and Organisation
3.    Process
4.    Tools and Technology
5.    Data Management

The 5 principles of Lean help us prevent the occurrence of waste. 

The following 5 principles, when adopted as part of the Lean Data Governance approach will assist the business lay the fundamental foundations to streamline governance processes and feed into the prevention of unnecessary activity. Using “Tools and Technology” as an example we can see how going through this exercise can add value to your Lean Data Governance agenda:

1. Specify Value as seen by the Customer:  Delivering value at the right time to the internal data customer is a crucial requirement for Lean Data Governance. Define value accurately by speaking to your customers. Liaise with business users of the systems and tools. Are your internal data customers getting what they need from their tools or are they undertaking additional work to get to the end result? Understand outputs and ensure that these are in line with what the internal data customer needs.

2. Identify and Create Value Streams: Value streams need to be investigated and refined in order to make the overall Lean Data Governance initiative free of wasteful activity. Create new ones if the old ones are not good enough. Map the activity and the processes users need to go through to retrieve data and information. Pinpointing and refining the process flows will prevent wasteful activity and wasteful outputs.

3. Make the Value flow from source to Customer:  “Flow” enables the value to be delivered with minimal stages and activities. A seamless flow is a key requirement for Lean Data Governance. Investigating and mapping the flow of information and data within the tools helps identify unnecessary breaks and manual intervention. Eliminating these stages and introducing automation is key.

4. Create Pull: The internal customer must demand before you create the supply. Ensure your tools and technology is not producing excess information or outputs where these are not requested. Are there activities in the background that are unnecessary? This will help eliminate waste of time and resource including people, processing and storage facilities.

5. Strive for Perfection – Continuous Improvement:  Perfection is only achieved when feedback is received and tweaks are made. Consistently review the performance of the tools and technology. Implement a reviewing schedule and a reviewing process that is owned by the appropriate team. The business needs are ever-changing and the tools employed to produce correct outputs need to be adapted to facilitate these changes.

Applying this methodology to all 5 disciplines of Data Governance and adopting this approach leads to successes in overall data management, data quality and the flow of this data within the business.
Lean Data Governance will deliver value to the internal data customers and consequently the external customer base will receive a service that is fuelled by a well-oiled and perfectly tuned Lean Data Governance Machine. The hub of the organisation is data – data is an effective asset only when governed and managed meticulously. 

Remember, this approach is ACTIONABLE:
•    Not a scrap and start again approach
•    No need for workforce to be trained on LEAN
•    Adopt what you need and Adapt how you see fit
•    Does not have to be enterprise wide
•    Apply to specific processes in your remit

Lean Data Governance is a way of thinking

Look out for the publication of Trillium Software’s Lean Data Governance White Paper.