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Component #1: Mission and Vision

At its highest level, Data Governance typically has a three-part mission:

      1. Proactively define/align rules.
      2. Provide ongoing, boundary-spanning protection and services to data stakeholders.
      3. React to and resolve issues arising from non-compliance with rules.

This high-level, three-part mission tends to resonate with participants and stakeholders. Why? It’s familiar. This model for governance is similar to the functions provided by the three branches of many representative forms of political governance.

In this model for federal, state, and local governments, one branch of a government – the legislative branch – establishes rules in the form of laws. Another branch – the executive branch – executes those rules, while providing ongoing services to constituents. A third branch – the judicial branch – deals with rule-breakers and,  when necessary, interprets laws and resolves inconsistencies between different sets of rules and regulations.

A person traveling through a country with this type of government always knows what to expect. The details may change depending on location and the type of issue a person is having, but there is always a confidence level that the right group can be located to assist with understanding rules, resolving issues, or receiving support.

Data stakeholders deserve the same type of consistent treatment. No matter what data domain they’re traveling through, they should know what to expect – that a Data Governance group will be developing rules and resolving conflicts, and that departmental and project managers will be managing according to those rules.

Depending on the focus of your program and the type of data you’ll be addressing, you may have more specific missions, also. They should fit into the high-level organization for missions and visions.

Along with your mission, be sure to develop a clear vision. What could your organization look like with a mature Data Governance program? How about without one?

Note: Mission statements can be dry. On the other hand, the language you use to paint your vision should be rich, evocative, compelling. Your vision should be able to inspire stakeholders, to help them envision possibilities, to encourage them to set data-related goals.


Next: Component #2 – Goals, Metrics and Success Measures, and Funding Strategy