On October 6, we added some fall holiday fun to our monthly CDO Vision webinar. It began with the “scary” name of our presentation and continued throughout the call. So, you may ask, what is so scary about enterprise information management (EIM) and data governance?
Data management efforts — especially those requiring major organizational changes — can be met with fear and trepidation. Chief Data Officers and other data management leaders may find themselves spending a significant amount of time dealing with this fear and working hard to keep people engaged.
The webinar focused on ways to bust through the fear factor, and much of the conversation centered around communication and change management best practices. Here are key takeaways from our co-presenters Kelle O’Neal and John Ladley:
- Don’t wait for the ideal moment to begin your initiative. It’s OK to start with a small grass roots initiative, rather than one for the enterprise. So think “project” instead of “program,” if necessary. Just get started.
- Ask yourself: What are the organizational implications for the issues being faced? For example, is it poor quality data? Quantify bad data’s impact to your organization by estimating the “cost” of incorrect reports people have to scrub and fix. Then use what you find to strengthen your case when communicating the initiative.
- Be specific and succinct about the expectations and objectives of your program. Consider developing an elevator pitch to explain your data management initiative in relatable terms, with no jargon or insider lingo.
- Keep the drum beat going, because repetition is a good thing. It can be hard to break through organizational “clutter,” as you’re competing with numerous programs and projects. While you may think you’re communicating the topic frequently, your audience’s attention is focused at a broader level. When in doubt, repeat the message.
- Be creative with the channels you use. We all experience email overload, so be creative and strive to minimize its use. Consider other channels for getting (and keeping) your EIM initiative in front of people. Use face-to-face meetings, department or location roadshows and “lunch-and-learns” (more informal meetings).
- Use support from leaders and sponsors, but don’t burn them out. Leaders are key to bringing visibility to EIM. John cautioned, though, that while you want their ongoing support, you should rotate your champions to help spread the message further and fight “fatigue” when leadership’s grown weary and has other causes to support.
- Watch out for the “trough of disillusionment.” This can happen at almost any part of the change cycle, where you and your data management counterparts hit a brick wall or do the wrong thing. Dust yourself off, learn from these mistakes and just Keep. Moving. Forward.
To hear the full replay of our October 6 call and find other on-demand material from DATAVERSITY, visit their presentation archive. You can find upcoming webinars listed here, including our next CDO Vision call on Thursday, November 3 at 11 a.m. Pacific. Our topic is Real-World Data Strategy Success Stories, and the webinar is sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.