Before any rule is created or any data-related decision is made, a prior decision must be addressed: who gets to make the decision, and when, and using what process? It is the responsibility of the Data Governance program to facilitate (and to sometimes document and store) the collection of decision rights that are the “metadata” of data-related decisions.
Decision rights for compliance-based programs are often simple to define. The decision about whether to comply with a law, regulation, or standard may be made at the organization’s executive level. How to comply may require discussion of options by multiple stakeholders, however.
For other types of programs, decision rights may require ongoing negotiation. For example, who should decide the length of a data field in a new system? Hmmm… maybe the decision should be made by Data Architecture. But maybe it requires input from many stakeholders. Maybe one of them has a constraint that needs to drive the decision. Data Governance should clearly establish decision rights before decisions are made.