Congratulations! You have a signed-off data strategy. You may consider most of the hard work is behind you. Why wouldn’t you? You’ve aligned your data strategy to your business strategy and you’ve agreed the content by working with and influencing the key stakeholders across your organisation.
But the truth is, this is where your journey really starts. Implementing your data strategy is about making it a reality. It is the most important thing you can do. So where do you start?
First, you need to develop your plan. Your data strategy impacts right across your organisation, embracing your data, technology, people and processes. Your plan needs to cover all these areas:
Look to set up a virtual team, assigning accountability for each data principle that drives all the data policies and processes across your organisation. That way you can spread the work and gain bu- in at the same time. Just be sure to be clear on who is accountable and dates for actions.
As a team, you’ll want to start by reviewing what policies and processes you currently have and align them to the data principles. When you do this, you may notice there are some data principles that have lots of policies and processes. This plethora may not be a good thing if it makes it hard to comply. You may want to rationalise these down to a manageable number. Alternatively, there may be areas where you are missing policies and you will need to fill the gaps.
When you have completed this activity, don’t forget to communicate when you have published your policies. Not many people will activity choose to read them, so you must make your policies as easy as possible to comply with, for example, by building the policies into IT systems or processes.
You’ll now have a plan for delivery over the next few years covering your policies, technology, people and data. Make sure you track your progress over time, celebrating successes as you go. Keep coming back to the data strategy and the outcomes you are enabling.
Successfully implementing your data strategy is a long-term game, but one worth the wait if you are to transform your organisation’s data capability in order to enable and realise your business strategy.