Data Governance and the Battle for Attention

The leadership team has signed off on forming a data governance committee. All the stakeholders are keen to participate. The initial meetings attract a lot of attention.

But things change. After the initial six months, attendance has dropped off. Those who do show up have low energy and are disengaged.

Data governance is losing the battle for attention as your colleagues are drawn to other activities. So, how do you avoid this situation?

Governance and Analytics
Maintain relevance and momentum

The entertainment industry has the slogan ‘the show must go on’.

Data management committees need to maintain relevance and momentum. Relevance occurs when the committee is addressing and resolving important data issues.

Momentum is supported if the team meets regularly. It is very easy for the committee to fall apart if it fails to meet.

A meeting schedule should be created and key resources (such as rooms and video conference facilities) booked well in advanced. Reminders of up-coming meetings should be sent. Anyone who cannot make the meeting should nominate another person to represent them.

Be transparent and publish

All meeting materials, including agendas, minutes, decision logs, issue lists and discussion papers need to be accessible and published on the intranet. This doesn’t mean that you should send all the documents to everyone in the company. A short, sharp summary with links to the full documents is the way to keep everyone informed.

This also sends the message that the committee is active and vibrant. It provides evidence for auditors and others that the organisation has a solid governance committee in place.

Follow up on data issues

During committee meetings significant issues will be raised. These issues can sometimes side-track the bigger topics. Set up a process where these issues are addressed out of session and tracked. Ensure all issues, regardless of whether they are significant or minor, are captured, monitored, escalated and resolved. This will demonstrate progress and move you forward on your governance journey. Which leads us nicely to …

Form tiger teams

If the committee meeting becomes bogged down on a particular issue, create a tiger team with the people who are most passionate about the topic.

Passion can be measured by the volume of their contribution during the full committee meeting. Ensure the tiger team meets before the next committee meeting and that they produce a discussion paper explaining the data issue, options for resolving the issue and a recommendation.

Keep calm and stay the distance

Data governance is a marathon not a sprint. Maintain momentum and continually promote data governance at every opportunity. Never give up.

Click here for more details.