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Culture of Governance

The GOVERN Method

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Data Governance requires continuous process improvement. To optimize your program, it is crucial to measure the adoption and effectiveness of data governance regularly and identify opportunities for enhancement. Keep your people engaged in the daily practice, secure in the knowledge that they helped define the program. Do not overlook the importance of enhancing clarity, eliminating redundancies, and streamlining processes.

FREE section from the book 
A Culture of Governance.

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Optimizing your
Data Management Program

Transcript: Hi. I’m Robert Sidick from First CDO Partners. In her second book, A Culture of Governance, Morgan Templar introduces readers to the GOVERN framework. While her first book walked you through setting up a Data Governance organization, this one was designed for those that have a governance program but want to get more out of it. As the name hints at, it is about generating renewed excitement for data throughout your company and really embedding data thinking and data governance into your culture. We’ve already covered Grow in another video that I’ll link below. Today, we’re going to discuss Optimizing your data program. What are things you should be doing to optimize your data governance program? Well, you should regularly review your processes, priorities, and tools to make sure they are aligned with the business needs. Often, Data Offices get a bit sidetracked, they focus too much on themselves and forget about the bigger picture: helping the business succeed. It becomes Data Governance for the sake of Data Governance. Never forget that the Data Office exists to either make or save the company money. And that’s it. Of course, there are many ways to do that, but the main thing is to never lose sight of who you’re working for and why. What does this have to do with optimizing? Well, business goals and priorities change. Org charts are always in flux, people come and go. And guess what – your Data Office needs align with those shifts to better support the business. For example, it is very difficult to have effective data governance without business support. When you kicked off your data office or governance program, you likely went all out to get business sponsors and advocates on board. You patiently explained Data Governance to them; maybe you even had a series of training sessions for them. You even convinced them to modify job descriptions and annual evaluations so that people in the business started to take ownership and responsibility for their data. That is all great stuff. But here is what we see happen often - after the “project” phase of standing up data governance is over, the “people” or “change” management falls away and is taken for granted. What's been on your plate lately? Are you knee-deep in data quality metrics or hustling to secure funding for that metadata management tool? I mean, I get it, these tasks are crucial. But , have you been overlooking the importance of business support? Do you know how your stakeholders feel about data and data management and the support that your team provides? Are they looking at you as a partner or as an obstacle. If it’s the latter, something’s off and you have to course correct. What about new people? People stay at a company for an average of just 4 years and internal shuffling is more frequent. Have you lost champions or advocates and not gained any new ones? Did you meet that new VP and explain what DG is and how we do it here just like you would have if she was here whenever you started? Have you even asked for feedback on how the data program is running? If the answer is no, then you are not optimizing your program. You might be fine-tuning your tech or your data quality settings – perhaps you fixed that problem with the lineage tool, or now you have some slick system managing that metadata. But people tend to focus there because tools feel tangible. Unfortunately, data isn’t just about the tool. It’s about the people and processes that make it all succeed. A good example is the data governance charter. This document defines the scope and responsibilities of the data council. It explains why it exists, to whom it reports, what decision-making authority it has, and the R&R of the members, as well as how decisions are made. Let’s fast forward a year or two after approving that charter. Have you looked at it since you first wrote it and filed it away? Have you reviewed it with the key business leaders? Have you given them an opportunity to provide feedback and discuss what is working and what isn’t? In other words, are you making sure that you have continued buy-in and support from these leaders and, subsequently, their teams? If the answer is no, and let’s be real, it probably is, then it’s time to take action. Take care to identify your current stakeholders – who’s new, who’s gone, who’s still here. Maybe it is time to broaden your stakeholder list to include areas that weren’t included before, whatever the reason. Take, for instance, employee data. Back when you launched, it might not have been on your radar because customer and product was the focus, but now it's in the mix. So, why not loop in someone from HR? Give them a seat at the table so they know their voice matters when it comes to making important data governance decisions. This is just one example of many ways to optimize your data program. To dig deeper into optimization strategies, use the link I included to download the “Optimize” section from Morgan Templar’s A Culture of Governance. Remember, optimizing your data governance program is a continuous journey intertwined with the ever-evolving landscape of business dynamics. This is not a “set it and forget it” situation. As priorities shift and personnel change, your Data Office and Program need to keep up and be responsive - consistently realigning their strategies with the overarching goals of the business. Remember, the purpose of the Data Office is to empower the business to effectively use data. By actively engaging with stakeholders and expanding outreach, you ensure that your data governance program not only remains relevant but thrives in its ability to serve the evolving needs of your business. Thank you, and let’s do this again sometime.

The GOVERN Series

Governance growth aligns with maturity. New program will find countless places where governance offers benefits to both business and IT. Established programs will adjust their scope and processes.


Measure Governance value across these areas: Discovery, Control, Quality, and Transformation. Measure data value within business cases, compliance, efficiency, reporting, satisfaction, and reputation.


Regularly update governance principles, encourage growth and participation in the industry, and set clear objectives for maturity. Balancing between stagnation and change ensures  a high- performing data office.

Identify opportunities to improve your program’s functionality and set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the adoption and penetration of governance with joint adoption by business and IT.


Evolve governance to match information changes. Govern areas like Issue Resolution, Audit Response, Cybersecurity, & AI/ML for  improved security and implementation. Follow the guiding principles.


Address negativity by engaging critics positively. Listen, address concerns, and seek solutions. Turn critics into allies by validating their ideas. Engage leadership for unyielding negativity and nurture relationships with new allies.

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