5 Things to do to make sure your Data Governance project never happens

There are so many ways to fail at implementing a Data Governance strategy and only a few ways to actually succeed.  If you're bound and determined to fail - which seems likely since over 90% of initiatives  do - Here's what you can do so we hit 100%.

5. Ground swell - If you take a 'build it and they will come" attitude, No one will buy in because it takes time, effort and money to make it happen.  You'd be surprised at how many Fortune 1000 companies think this is the best way to foster change.  It will foster change but not in the way you want.  Your job may change, your customers may change even the senior management team can change.  What doesn't change is why things happen.  Ground swell doesn't work in moving the Governance needle, the call to change has to come from the top down.

4. IT Effort - The major reason Data Governance is wanted by IT is that we're tired of owning and categorizing data.  We don't want the job, our classifications often make no sense to business and we shouldn't own the responsibility.  What we should own is the mechanism of execution.  What to execute is a business operative and they need to own it.

3. Pick a pilot program - You might win the battle and lose the war.  This method will have limited success at best and what usually happens is worse.  Yet another project that has a different mechanism for data, ROI, ownership and success factors.  Making wholesale enterprise changes requires everyone to play.  This is a tough thing to do and projects will not implement governance unless it is mandated.

2. Don't over-communicate - It may seem redundant to you but follow the tenets of good teaching. First, I'll tell them what I'm about to tell them.  Then I'm going to tell them what I want them to know.  Finally, I'm going to tell them what I just told them. Repetition works. Not everyone will get it on the first shot.  Some may miss it entirely or it gets lost in translation but eventually understanding will occur.

1. Don't bother to tell Finance - Finance controls budget, which controls personnel and tools and schedules and on and on.  But you get the picture.  If you want anything to happen...follow the money.


In short, for a governance mandate to work, it has to be funded, under the supervision of business and applicable to the enterprise and have regular updates and checkpoints.  If not, I'm confident we can get to that 100% failure mark pretty easily.

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