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  • Atle Skjekkeland

How to get the business to support an Information Governance program?

Most Information Governance programs will impact users, - this could be new ways of working, new requirements for how work is done, new roles and responsibilities. Project success is 80% about people, 15% about processes, and 5% about the technology. An effective Information Governance program can´t therefore just been seen as an IT or Compliance-driven program, - it has to be a joint effort with the business.

I have previously shared a template for creating an information governance strategy, but how do you get the business to support an information governance program? An Information Governance program needs to provide value, but also to ensure program support and ownership. Here are some tips for achieving this:


Step 1: Vision - engage business executives and other stakeholders like Legal, Compliance, and IT to identify business priorities for the next few years, e.g. improve customer engagement, reduce operational costs, ensure GDPR compliance. Develop based on this an information management vision to support the business objectives, e.g. connecting people, information, and knowledge with transparent and inherent security and compliance. You ensure then that the new information management program provides value to business leaders.


Step 2: Critical Success Factors - engage users to identify what they struggle with, what is important for them, and what is not important for them. Consider doing an information management maturity assessment among users to document the current situation (as-is situation), but also to identify what they think should be improved (to-be situation). Determine based on this the critical success factors for information governance, e.g. improve information availability, completeness, and trustworthiness. You ensure then that the new information governance program provides value to users.


Step 3: Requirements - engage and involve users to identify and group use cases. Focus on documenting business requirements, not technical requirements. You then ensure the new Information Governance program helps staff do their job, not hinders them.


Step 4: Blueprint - Determine required frameworks and technologies to meet their requirements and critical success factors, e.g. default metadata on Office sites that stored documents automatically inherent to improve search, automated records management with SharePoint Online based on what users are working on to ensure compliance. Involve users in a few proof-of-concepts to verify the blueprint and get ownership and support. You then ensure the new information governance program meet their requirements and critical success factors.


Step 5: Plan - Create an implementation plan that quickly delivers value, but also with executive involvement, communication, on-demand training resources, and support. Plan to implement the program first at a location where users wants it, and where they will see great value from it. Establish then these users as evangelists and ambassadors for the program for enterprise roll-out. This way other users hear about the benefits from colleagues, not just project members.


Step 6: Business Case - Document how the Information Governance program helps the company meet their business goals and provide value to users. Use this to ensure sufficient funding and support to implement it well. Check out this blog post about how to establish the business case.


Please feel free to contact us to discuss the development of an information strategy and blueprint for your organization. 

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