Deploying a governance system to manage the information across an organization is extremely important in this day and age, but there are many information governance challenges that may arise during the deployment process. An effective information governance (IG) system must address the distinct needs and facets of structured data and unstructured content to ensure its accessibility, accuracy, completeness and reliability. In essence, this means creating two distinct but interrelated information governance systems that work in tandem to provide different users with access to different types of data and content. Each information governance system comes with its own unique deployment challenges due to the differing goals, processes, responsibilities, roles and stakeholders involved. At the same time, many of these challenges must be addressed simultaneously across systems. As you can see, it can be a complex undertaking. Knowing what to expect is the first step toward addressing these challenges in the deployment of an information governance system. The following five challenges are the most common issues to expect and anticipate on the road to information governance deployment:
1. Being Realistic about Project Length
One of the biggest challenges in deploying a new information governance infrastructure is setting aside an adequate timeframe for completion of the project. Of course, executives want to see the new information governance system in place as quickly as possible, but these things take time. Cutting corners and speeding through various aspects of the information governance deployment is not worth it in the end. In many cases, it can take as long as a year to complete every aspect of the deployment project, from planning and development to implementation and completion. The key is to make sure all relevant parties have access to critical data throughout the process.
2. Determining the Right Size and Scope
This is one of the most common information governance challenges that organizations face during deployment. If you start too big and try to bite off more than you can chew in the initial stages of the project, you may find that it’s more than the individuals and teams involved can handle. It’s always a good idea to start small and increase the size and scope of the project appropriately along the way. This requires a plan for assessing the success or failure of various steps of the deployment as they are rolled out. Don’t move on to the next step until you’ve determined whether the current step has worked or not.
3. Getting Stakeholders On Board
If the leaders of your company aren’t on board with the IG deployment project, it may have a domino effect, dragging down the rest of the organization with negative attitudes and questions about the project’s value. The successful deployment of a new information governance system, or set of systems, requires strong leadership at the top and throughout every layer of the project. The chosen leaders cannot merely sponsor and promote the program; they must also lead by example, remain available for communication and open to ideas and stay directly involved as much as possible. This also means being accountable for the resulting information governance infrastructure and any inconveniences it causes along the way, which can be the most challenging aspect of garnering leadership buy-in.
4. Identifying the Underlying Goals
In order to deploy a successful information governance program, it is important to first understand what the goals of the project are. Otherwise, it’s going to be extremely difficult to prioritize and devote adequate resources to areas of the project that need the attention most urgently. The best way to identify the underlying goals of the IG deployment is to pinpoint the problems that need solving, and then prioritize which problems are causing the most negative effects. Once your organization has decided which problems can be solved with accessible, high-quality data, then you can determine which of these problems are doing the most damage unsolved.
5. Staying On Course for the Duration
Although most companies start off strong when deploying a new information governance system, it’s common to lose steam as the project continues and becomes increasingly complicated or challenging. In order to avoid losing momentum, executives and project leaders must ensure proper training and communication programs at each step. Staff should be adequately educated to use the new IG infrastructure and informed about its benefits. Incentive and evaluation programs are two excellent solutions to this challenge, but there are many different options to keep the momentum going. It all depends on the unique needs and challenges of your organization and its information.