A strategy is a long term plan.
A strategy helps to define order in our organisations and focus our capabilities toward an end goal. But how do organisations ensure they stay true to their strategy?
Organisations invest huge amounts of leadership effort to obtain a desired state. In some cases we redesign our organisation, carefully considering the challenges and needs of the ‘new, to be’ organisation. Then we devise Balanced Scorecards or Value Creation Maps as a means to align the organisation’s resource and departments to the Strategy.
Given the investment in time, resource & cost to implement a strategy, why do organisations not consider their information strategy more carefully?
Strategies can involve many component parts, but ultimately at the top level they are simple – ‘We will become leaders of x’ or ‘Our organisation will deliver y’. But how do you know when you’ve got there? How do you know when you’re getting there? How do you know if you need to modify your approach? And importantly how do you know if you’re sustaining the intended benefits?
An information strategy is essential to ensuring an organisation is aligned to it’s strategy. An information strategy ensures that the information definitions on which we use to make key decisions are constant throughout an organisation, such that they are embedded in the language. An Information strategy provides the insight an organisation needs to be confident in its performance. Being confident about the insight reduces the risks taken when making decisions.
If your organisation hasn’t considered an information strategy it probably should. There is every chance that an relatively large investment has been made in Business Intelligence software. There will be hundreds if not thousands of reports. Most based on the same data, with slightly different slants depending upon the required vanity metric they want to present. Do these reports deliver the insight or facts needed to make decisions? – Not most.
In a well implemented information strategy Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are not left to dictate there own destiny, they should validated by Key Analysis Questions (KAQs) removing the ‘vanity’ from the metric. The data flow throughout an organisation will not be segmented by the request of department heads, but ensure the carefully considered metrics flow from the ground floor to the board room without being interfered with.
With an information strategy you could be applying your intelligence to the facts. Removing the guess work and not trying to read in between the lines.
information | insight | intelligence