Building A Governance Program:
Start With

Shannon Harmon

Building a framework for efficiently and effectively governing data and information is no small task. You are tasked with convening the key players, figuring out your end goal, communicating it, getting buy-in, and fleshing out the intermediate steps. It is all very complicated.

What’s your purpose? Why do you need a governance framework? What’s your "why"?

In for-profit organizations, it may be to maximize the profit making capability of your information assets while addressing potential risks along the way. In the public sector, the motivations may be slightly different. You may simply want to ensure that your disparate information and data impacting activities are in compliance with internal policies and the law.

Whatever your "why" may be, hone in on it with a laser-like focus.

The best way to begin the exercise of creating a governance framework is to ask a lot of questions.

  • Why does this effort matter to your organization?


  • What is your greatest governance pain point?


  • Why should anyone internally care?


  • How does this advance your organization?


Governance is not a panacea. All of your risk challenges won’t be solved through governance, but bringing the key players into the discussion and working together to create the foundation for greater compliance, is a vital exercise for any type organization.

This is just the beginning. Be patient. You will likely encounter frustration and impatience from some as they push you to have a singular end goal and a well-defined plan from the outset.

Remind them this is not one project, but multiple projects designed to result in a strong, comprehensive governance program. Program development takes time. Reassure everyone that the details will be fleshed out and a plan will be developed, but you have to work collaboratively to get there.

Let's begin.

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Shannon Harmon


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