How to Build a DG Office

The Data Governance Office is the central hub for all Data Governance Activities. I’ve seen this run many different ways:

  • 1 Full-time Data Governance Director
  • 1 Full-time Data Governance Director, One DG Project Manager
  • 1 Full-time Data Governance Director, 1 DG consultant
  • 1 DG Director, Many Data Governance staff with specific responsibilities (communications, analysis, etc)

The one consistent item you’ll notice is the Data Governance Director. This is the single point of contact for all Data Governance Issues. If you are reading this article, I’m guessing there is a 50% chance that you are the Data Governance Director. For those other 50% of you, here is my ranking of traits needed for an effective data governance director (although others may rank these differently):

  1. Excellent communicator, can work with many different lines of business effectively
  2. Well organized
  3. Well respected, or if hiring from the outside, someone whom you could see fitting into the corporate culture nicely
  4. Project management experience
  5. Institutional knowledge and experience

Another important component for the DG Office is where do they fit in? Do they sit in an Enterprise Initiative Group, as part of the PMO, as a business unit?? Again, I’ve seen this done many different ways. There are pros and cons for both being a business effort and an IT effort. This should really not matter either way, I believe. Regardless of where your program sits, your goal is to bring the business together to identify, proactively and reactively, data issues and resolve them with the assistance of IT SME’s.

So, here’s the gameplan for building the DG office:

  1. Get the buy-in from executives. Whichever executives buy-in will likely determine where the program sits.
  2. Identify the Data Governance Director/Manager… whatever. This person will be doing a lot of leg work to get the program organized.
  3. The director should determine if it is necessary to staff up to run the program. This will depend on your corporate culture, size, anticipated scope of the project, etc.
  4. Identify a Chief Steward. See my posts here on this.
  5. Build your Stewardship council. See this post for info on that.

Your final product from the steps above will be a Data Governance office and a Data Governance Stewardship Council.

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