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Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

By Carol Newcomb, Senior Consultant

What does ”change management” mean to you?   Is it the same thing that other people think of?   Do you even know?   Do you have a definition?   I’ll bet you have more than one!

Some things I’ve heard in my recent travels include:  

  • Project plan for implementing changes to data management processes
  • Communications plan for alterations in the SDLC
  • Cultural change required to digest or accept more formalized processes and standards
  • High-level leadership directives enticing more cooperation among the ranks

If you get the feeling that ”change management” is a mirage, one of those windmills in the distance that keeps fading in and out of focus, maybe you’d better get off that donkey and start asking some questions.   Like ”where did this idea come from” and ”whose idea is it?”   Let’s set some ground rules for change management.

I.   What’s the end goal?  

This is the vision, the purpose.   Is it enlightenment, or something more tangible, like faster time to delivery, more efficient team coordination, or a call for cultural change?   Change management needs a name and a specific goal.   Otherwise, my windmill looks different than your windmill.

II.   How will you measure it?

If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.   Think about it—anything tangible has a weight, a height, a mass, or a velocity per unit.   Even black holes can be measured.   Change is a progression from one state to another, and not to put too tight a noose around it, but if you don’t know where you started, you’ll never know where you are in your journey.

III.   How will you know when you have achieved it?

Back to the vision-- or the goal.   Is there an objective to your journey, or are you just wandering and taking it all in?   How far away are you from reaching your destination?   Do you have a sense of how many more resources you need; what kind of resources, what roadmap will guide them to the destination?   When can you say to the team, ”Enough already”!

IV.   How will you share it or communicate it?

Can other people learn from your experience in your journey, or will it seem like another distant mirage to them as they embark on their own travels?   What kind of institutional learning can you build to help other areas or individuals achieve similar goals?   What kinds of differences are relevant and notable?

Change management will be a guide and a journal for others in the future.   Don Quixote never found his windmills, but NASA put a man on the moon.   So, take a practical approach.   After all, once you’ve seen all those windmills, and you never reach them, how much more time and effort are you going to expend before ditching the whole journey?

photo by spotter_nl via Flickr (Creative Commons License)

CarolNewcomb_thumb Carol Newcomb is a Senior Consultant with Baseline Consulting. She specializes in developing BI and data governance programs to drive competitive advantage and fact-based decision making. Carol has consulted for a variety of health care organizations, including Rush Health Associates, Kaiser Permanente, OSF Healthcare, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and more. While working at the Joint Commission and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, she designed and conducted scientific research projects and contributed to statistical analyses.

Posted September 30, 2010 6:00 AM
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