Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Guerrilla tactics lead to....change!

Guerrilla tactics lead to... change.

So there I was, a Data Quality manager in IT without a business sponsor. My team and I were applying Guerrilla communivative tactics to raise awareness and get stakeholder engagement when all of the sudden...WHAM!! The ship came in, the planets aligned, the hard work turns to luck, we beat The Kobayashi Maru!!

For those of you unfamiliar with Star Trek, the Kobayashi Maru describes a training exercise for Star Trek cadets and it was designed to be a no-win scenario. And let’s face it, if you are running a DQ program and you’re sitting in IT you can only get so far before you absolutely must have a business sponsor.

Our Data Quality team started out 3 years ago and made a lot of good progress. We have an executive (I.T. mind you) approved mandate, we have resources and a budget, we maintain a wiki of over 1000 corporate terms and the related metadata, and we have a small group of business clients who we support and (of course) love dearly. But NOW…now we have a business sponsored Master Data Management (MDM) initiative underway and guess who gets to be the Business Lead for MDM and be ‘The One’ responsible for establishing (and getting business buy-in for) the Data Governance! That’s right, you heard me, I said BUSINESS Lead! I am now officially in ‘the business’ and am reporting directly to ‘the sponsor’! It almost makes me verklempt!

So how did it happen to me? I suppose if you were to watch the movie you would say it was a logical progression. I prefer to think it was the communivative, guerrilla, in your face stalking…nothing says ‘I care’ like persistent determination. So forgive me if I’ve been absent too long, the last few weeks have been interesting to say the least. I am very lucky to be part of this sure to be exciting ride, and I promise there will be more interesting stories ahead.


  1. Jill, you deserve this so much, you're a shining example for all those change agents out there, persistence, stealth and expertise will always win the day.

    Best of luck, great to have you back.

    - Dylan

  2. Congratulations Jill!

    To quote Admiral James T. Kirk in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”:

    “The Kobayashi Maru has set sail for the promised land.”

    Of course, in the movie, that phrase is a coded message indicating that the command crew has successfully “stolen” the Enterprise, which had been marked for decommissioning, in order to travel back to the planet Genesis to recover Spock’s resurrected body and take it to planet Vulcan, where using the fal tor pan ritual it will be reunited with his katra (i.e., soul), which of course has been trapped within the mind of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy as a result of the mind meld with Spock at the end of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”

    (As a side note: I have never understood why people find either data quality or science fiction to be confusing – both sound perfectly straightforward to me. :-) )

    So, what’s my point?

    You have defeated the Kobayashi Maru challenge, reunited your organization with its katra (which you had been carrying in your own mind), therefore bringing the Business and IT together, and have been granted your first command:

    Federation Starship Sheezaredhead (NCC-2010-R)


    (For the non-Trekkies, that last word was Klingon for “Good Luck!”)

  3. Jill

    Great post. Thanks for providing the Stak Trek metadata (couldn't resist). I would have had to Google it.

    Love the Coffee Talk reference as well. I'll keep an eye on this string of posts.

  4. Great new Jill, and a great success story in perseverance and dedication. It gives us all hope.

    Re: all the Vulcan and Klingon speak, I would like to provide a quote of my own from the ever expresive Charlie Brown.

    "GOOD GRIEF" :)

  5. Jill,

    Congrats !

    I look forward to hearing all about your adventures, now that you have crossed the threshold from IT to business.


  6. I feel honored to receive such great comments (and brilliant quotes)from such a great group of Data Quality professionals. What makes this all so worth it is how much fun you all are to hang out with! :)