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Information Management Strategy

Improve data warehouse planning process with David Bowman’s guidelines for Information Management Strategy

This site is designed for Information Technology professionals and management consultants who need to improve roadmap planning process and want guidelines for information management strategy

It introduces things to consider when engaging consulting firms and  provides a checklist of information management guidelines that will ensure the successful creation of a road map for information management initiatives such as data governance, data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence.


What is Information?

what is information

What is Information Management?

Information management is a discipline that governs accountability for the structure and design, storage and security, movement,  quality, delivery and usage of information required for management and business intelligence purposes.

This sounds like a mouthful  but in reality, it's very similar to other core business management areas such as Financial Management or Human Resource Management. These all have established disciplines that define things such as laws, regulations, policies, rules, guidelines, standards, best practices, accountability, governance and monitoring processes. These are all required to ensure successful management of the respective corporate resource.

A big difference between information management and other management functions is that the others have been around a lot longer and the disciplines have become firmly established over time.

Information is a valuable corporate asset and getting the right information, to the right people at the right time is a key management objective.

Achieving this objective requires a good strategic plan, a solid management framework, the adoption of industry best practices, process and methodology and ongoing management oversight.

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategy is defined as a plan of action or policy in business to achieve a major aim. To establish any strategy, we need to know what is driving the need, where we are today in terms of the need, and what actions are required to move from today's situation to where we want to be.

Establishing an information management strategy follows the same process. We need to understand:
  • What is creating the need for change, sometimes called business drivers e.g. if the need is to improve productivity, then perhaps the emphasis will be more management oriented with less emphasis on technology;
  • The current situation in terms of technology and architecture, process and methodology and organizational readiness for change; and
  • What resources are available, and time line required,  to change the current situation to achieve the desired objectives.
Strategic Planning Firms

Organizations frequently engage management consulting firms to help with planning. Some have existing relationships with large companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, or IBM Global Services and will sometimes call them to propose an approach. These types of firms usually have evolved a set of best practices and have the expertise to create an information management strategy.

Many organizations also have established relationships with Information Technology  staffing firms such as ManpowerGroup, Experis, TekSystems or the Judge Group. Some of these firms also have consulting practices and provide a viable alternative to the major consulting firms. These firms are frequently staffed with former "Big Three" consultants and several have consulting practices dedicated to business intelligence or data management.  Some of these consulting practices have also evolved best practices and they have the expertise to provide strategic planning services.

There are also some consulting firms that specialize in industry specific areas such as aerospace, financial information or health care information management. Firms such as Cobalt Talon can provide health care information management consultancy services based on extensive domain knowledge and are a viable alternative for health care organizations seeking a unique combination of healthcare business expertise and technical knowledge.

Strategic Planning Process

Should assess current situation in terms of technology and architecture, process and methodology and organizational readiness and then recommend an appropriate course of action, or road map,  that will help  achieve business objectives.

Information Management Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning determines the organizational readiness for Data Warehousing or Information Management Initiatives by comparing the current situation with the following checklist of information management guidelines.

Business Driver Assessment

Should determine process or conditions e.g. business drivers that are vital for the continued success and growth of a business.

Data Architecture Assessment

Should determine the technical readiness for information management  by comparing the current data architecture situation with a checklist of information management guidelines.
Data Integration Assessment
 
Should determine the technical readiness for information management and data warehousing by comparing the current data integration and transformation situation with a checklist of information management guidelines.

Information Delivery Assessment

Should determine the technical readiness for information management  by comparing the current information delivery situation with a checklist of information management guidelines.
Data Warehouse Management Assessment

Should determine the organizational readiness for information management  by comparing the current data warehouse management situation with a checklist of information management guidelines.

Methodology Assessment

Should determine what, if any, changes are required to ensure that  information management methodology can support solution development, quality assurance and change management
Data Governance Assessment

Should determine the organizational readiness for data governance strategy by comparing the current situation with a checklist of information management guidelines.

Roles and Responsibilities Assessment

Should determine what, if any, changes are required to ensure that the organization structure can support strategic recommendations

Roadmap Planning
  • Should conclude an information management strategy study
  • Should recommend what, if any, changes are required to achieve business drivers objectives.
  • Should provide the rationale for change, based on business case analysis
  • Should include a proposed approach and information management plan
  • Should provide a program charter to focus on six key areas  e.g. information management,  data warehouse architecture, methodology, roles and responsibilities, data governance and business intelligence initiatives
  • Should provide a project charter for each agreed project described in the program Charter.
  • Might include a business intelligence roadmap.
Summary...

Information management is a discipline that governs accountability for the structure and design, storage and security, movement, quality, delivery and usage of information required for management and business intelligence purposes.

Achieving this objective requires a good information management strategy, a solid management framework, the adoption of industry best practices, process and methodology and ongoing management oversight.

An information management strategy is based on an intensive planning phase where we analyze the current information management situation, develop recommendations for the desired situation, and present an implementation action plan.

This site introduced things to consider when engaging consulting firms and provided a checklist of information management guidelines that will ensure the successful creation of a road map for information management initiatives such as data governance, data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence.