I knew that to really get them to listen I needed to put it in their perspective. What are the project risks they encounter every day? What goals are they trying to achieve and how did this tie into the satisfaction of their clients?
Here is what I know:
- They are busy all the time
- They have a lot of projects to deliver and limited resources - so no time to even think about new processes
- They have some satisfied and some not-so satisfied clients
- They are measured on project delivery (dates) not project quality
So how did I get their attention and show them that pro-active data management activities could help them achieve some of their goals?
I made a diagram. Everyone loves a diagram and no one has time to read text anymore. Plus, I made the diagram in such a way that it has a look similar to a Gantt chart. The goal of the diagram was to show that by not integrating data management activities into their project processes they were actually increasing the data related after project churn: Change requests, data clean-up, data reconciliation etc. These post project activities also used more not less resources (including business resources), which in turn cost money and time and led to less than satisfied clients.
When put in that perspective, most of them nodded their heads in agreement and even provided their own examples of what that after project churn looked like. I’d like to say that after a few of these presentations the corporation saw the light and made a broad announcement that from this day forward Data Quality is a top priority! I’m kidding here…! What did happen though is that the requests to provide Data Quality direction in pre-project analysis increased significantly thereafter. One small step for IT, one giant step for DQ :)
Here is the diagram. Click on it to see a larger view.