Becoming a Data-Driven Organization: A 5-Part Framework for Sustainable Data Quality

In a previous post, we’ve established that data needs to be clean in order for organizations to make sound decisions, gain a competitive advantage, and improve the bottom line.

But, before jumping to fix your data issues, it’s important to establish a framework that ensures the data will be usable in the long run—not only immediately after a big cleanse, which is often time consuming and expensive. This 5-part framework provides a comprehensive approach for addressing existing data quality issues, and prevent issues from arising in the future.

5-Part Framework for Sustainable Data Quality

Let’s explore each step in detail.

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CIOs: Never Ask for Money Again

How Do You Fund Your IT Investments?

First of all, if you are an IT manager or executive and have asked for money to fund a project, you are brave. Too many folks in IT are order-takers. So, hats off to those valiant IT leaders who create business cases for IT initiatives, and present justifications for investments.

However, there is an inherent issue with “asking for money.” It’s as uncomfortable for the asker as it is for the askee. It is almost like you are asking to borrow money with a promise to repay with interest if everything works out.

What’s worse, a pattern of asking for money widens the gap between the business and IT. It doesn’t need to be like this.

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Tutorial Running a VSM Workshop - Abraic

Tutorial: Running a Value Stream Mapping Workshop

A Value Stream Mapping (VSM) workshop is designed to plan process improvements by mapping the current flow of information and materials, generating an ideal future state for that flow, and putting forth a high-level plan to achieve the future state.

Here is a tutorial explaining the process and expected outcomes from a VSM workshop:

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IT project health report Abraic

7 Elements of an IT Project Health Report

A health check is a formal examination assessing if an IT project is on track and under control, and serving as a valuable continuous improvement tool. The outcome is a project health report that proactively and impartially informs project stakeholders of the well-being of the initiative.

Too often, a project health check is only initiated once a project already is in trouble. But best-in-class organizations require health checks at several points during a project’s life cycle.

Creating the health report can be time-consuming, and it is typically not the responsibility of the project manager (PM). Instead, such reports should be produced by an independent party for the benefit of the project sponsor. I’ve seen health checks carried out effectively by a central Project Management Office, an internal auditor, or an external 3rd party.

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The Keys to Managing Your Outsourced IT Resources

Congratulations! You’ve decided to outsource some of your IT services, based on a sound resourcing strategy. And you’ve found a reliable outsourcing partner. Now you need to manage your outsourced IT team.

If you’ve ever managed a vendor, you may have had one of the following thoughts cross your mind:

  • “This team just doesn’t get it. I have repeatedly expressed how they can be successful here, but they keep doing the opposite!”
  • “We didn’t award them a new project they bid on, and now it seems there is a lack of interest in the entire account.”
  • “The resources assigned to this contract are incompetent, but the account exec is unwilling to switch them out.”
  • “During management updates, they only focus on the positive. They are not being transparent.”

Such warning signs usually mean a key resource management responsibility has been fumbled or forgotten.

To set yourself up for success, manage your outsourced IT resources on two dimensions: the relationship and the outcomes.

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VIDEO Getting Your Money's Worth from JDE Software

Getting Your Money’s Worth From JD Edwards Software

Implementations start with the best of intentions and the highest of hopes, but most organizations we work with fall short on outcomes from their system investments. JD Edwards is no exception.

This is completely normal: IT projects have enough trouble staying on time, on budget, and on scope. So what do you do now?

Watch this video for my advice:

(If you enjoyed this clip, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.)

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Improving Business Processes: How to Run a Value Stream Mapping Workshop

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) has its origin in manufacturing, but has been successfully adopted for business processes. Why should IT consider conducting a VSM workshop?

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VIDEO Cascading IT Governane

Cascading IT Governance

We believe the only way for an IT governance function to affect the execution of a strategy is to cascade the governance function. When middle management from IT and the business participate in governance, great things happen.

Watch this video to learn how we do it:

(Did you enjoy the video? Consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.)

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[VIDEO] @mpapov http://ctt.ec/55T0U+

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Lessons on Failing Fast from Outside the Corporate Bubble

The benefits of “failing fast” have been well documented and embraced in startup circles. Yet in IT, project cancellations are rare. Organizations exert tremendous energy on making the best of IT initiatives that are bound to fail. When failure is not an option, failing fast is a foreign concept.

There are many factors contributing to the fear of failure in IT: culture, governance, strategic alignment, budgeting practices, contract structures, and more. That said, IT leaders need to learn from others.

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IT Can’t Please Everyone

Sorry to break it to you this way. It’s a fact of life: IT cannot complete its work faster than the business can think of it.

The dependence on IT is growing exponentially, priorities shift constantly, and new opportunities come up daily. The gap between expectations of IT and its capacity is often widened by those executives who claim they are not technologically well-versed, yet assume IT can waive a magic wand and technology will just work.

That IT cannot please everyone is not a problem – it is a reality. Frankly, a hypothetical IT department that satisfies everybody 100% would be so expensive it would defeat the purpose. The key is finding the balance between responsible spending and internal customer satisfaction.

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