Setting up a new data governance program means bringing deep change to the operating culture of an organization. As a result, getting traction for an enterprise scale effort may not always be the pragmatic route. Sometimes its better to be small and excellent here and let the enterprise adopt governance organically.
Limited Data Governance
The concept of limited or localized data governance has a couple of key tenants developed to penetrate a reluctant or even resistant organization:
- Group members are empowered by their business organizations to make decisions related to the definition and use of their organization’s data.
- We will make decisions that will be binding on a very specific set of systems and/or processes. Everyone else is free (and encouraged) to observe and adopt as they see fit.
- We will favor excellent communication over mandatory involvement. We assume that members can make informed decisions about when to contribute and when to simply observe if the activities of the group are sufficiently transparent.
- Our pace is set by the development roadmap, and the milestones are respected. Decisions are documented, published for comment, reviewed, and adopted according to the roadmap schedule. To ensure we stay on pace, decisions do not require “signoff” by members which inevitably creates bottlenecks. Everyone knows the schedule, how to contribute/comment, and that silence is consent.
- Our performance is measured by milestones met (positive) and refactoring “issues” required (negative).
This process is tightly coupled with the development team to support it directly and eliminates many of the lower value or longer developing benefits of larger governance groups in favor of quick turnaround and non-blocking progress.