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Jill Dych

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 Dick Voorhees, Senior Consultant

The New Year is upon us. And for many, the coming of the New Year involves making new resolutions, or reaffirming old ones. This resolution-making process includes corporations and organizations, not just individuals. In terms of personal resolutions, some undertake this process in earnest, but many seem to deal with resolutions superficially, or at least not very effectively. The same is frequently true for organizations as well.

So how then should an organization go about deciding which ”resolutions” to pursue in the New Year, which goals and objectives are both worthy and achievable? Often there are no "good" or "bad" opportunities, a priori, but some are more likely to result in a successful outcome and/or have more significant payoff than others.

  1. Take stock of the opportunities, and develop a list of key potential initiatives (or review the existing list, if one exists). Consider recent or imminent changes in the marketplace, competitors’ actions, and governmental regulations. Which of these initiatives offers the possibility of consolidating/increasing market share, improving customer service, or represents necessary future investment (in the case of regulations)? And which best supports the existing goals and objectives of the organization?
  2. Assess the capabilities and readiness of the organization to act on these initiatives. An opportunity might be a significant one, but if the organization can’t respond effectively and in a timely manner, then the opportunity will be lost, and the organization might better focus its attention and resources on another opportunity with lesser potential payback, but that has a much greater chance of success.
  3. Develop a roadmap, a tactical plan, for addressing the opportunity. Determine which resources are required – hardware, software, capital, and most importantly people – what policies and procedures must be defined or changed, etc...

Then be prepared to act! Sometimes the best intentions for the New Year fail not for lack of thought or foresight, but for lack of effective follow through. Develop the proper oversight/governance mechanisms, put the plan into action, and then make sure to monitor progress on a regular basis.

These are not difficult steps to follow, but organizations sometimes need help doing so. We’ve found that clients who call us have learned the hard way – either directly or through stories they’ve heard in their industries – that some careful planning, deliberate program design, and – if necessary – some skill assessment and training can take them a long way in their resolutions for success in 2011. Good luck!

photo by L.C.Nttaasen via Flickr (Creative Commons)


DVoorhees_50_bw Dick Voorhees is a seasoned technology professional with more than 25 years of experience in information technology, data integration, and business analytic systems. He is highly skilled at working with and leading mixed teams of business stakeholders and technologists on data enabling projects.

Posted January 11, 2011 6:00 AM
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