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MetaGovernance Framework

─​ Governance Architecture Definition ─

Without a fundamental knowledge of the sources and uses of data within an organization, data governance is like a balloon full of air. If you don’t understand what you are governing it won’t matter how many governing bodies, structure, policies, and procedures you apply to the problem.

The MetaGovernance framework uses taxonomy of business terms to determine subject areas.  Linkage between subject areas and stakeholders (governance roles) is established.  Stakeholders identify the sources (data bases, spreadsheets, etc.) and uses (reports, spreadsheets, etc.) of their information. This research and re-definition of subject area groupings frequently leads to unexpected insights about the true state of an organization’s information assets.

MetaGovernance views these definitions and relationships as the fundamental building blocks of the governance architecture.  From these core building blocks additional relationships can be mapped to business structures such as processes, capabilities, and policies as well as to technical / risk factors such as applications, security rules, and retention requirements.

With these definitions and linkages, the organization has a mapping of their information governance architecture across many domains of the overall enterprise architecture.

To track all this information a robust tool is required.  InfoGovTM, our information governance toolset, captures the governance architecture of your organization.  Learn more about InfoGov.

─​ Reconciliation Control Framework ─

The Reconciliation Control Framework® leverages the Governance Architecture  by implementing automated reconciliation controls at the data and reporting layers with targeted feedback to stakeholders.   The Governance Architecture is used to assess a company’s reporting environment from standard business applications and data warehouses to spreadsheets and ad-hoc reporting systems. The framework provides demonstrable evidence that the reporting architecture of your organization are an accurate and auditable reflection of business processes.

How it works: Governance architecture establishes subject areas of information, identifies the stakeholders for subject areas, and associates key business attributes with  subject areas.  As a part of the governance architecture, data sources and uses (reports) will also be associated with subject areas.  The governance architecture is often extended to map the key data elements (called data objects in the MetaGovernance nomenclature).

Once this metadata is in place, determining the ongoing quality of an organization’s reporting solutions and information assets is significantly simplified.  Through the use of our InfoCheck™, comparisons can be made of data at the database or reporting layer without the need for programming.  Feedback on issues of data quality issues can be provided to the governance stakeholders on a “before used” basis by leveraging the already existing connections within the governance architecture metadata.

The Reconciliation Control Framework® coupled with the MetaGovernance Governance Architecture provides a completed picture of the details of the current state AND the quality of an organization’s information assets. Information Governance becomes a meaningful and critical organizational activity.

From this understanding, a vision of the future potential for managed and leveraged information architecture will start to evolve.  With the use of our Navigation to the Future model, future state and next steps can be clearly defined.

─​ Agile Delivery Methodology ─

Agile principles align very well with the keys to success for establishing a Data Governance program or for creating and sustaining operational data governance within existing Lean/Agile projects.

MetaGovernance uses an agile approach to focus on deliverables that are valuable to your business and are continuously introduced into the organization at the right time. These are delivered through close collaboration of motivated individuals. By continuously improving the Data Governance process, an organization can remain flexible, compliant, and responsive; and end up with an integrated data governance program that enables the delivery of accurate and timely information for operational or financial disclosure needs.

Our bundled service offerings are built around agile methodology that quickly deliver results in a targeted domain.  These include  Information Governance QuickStart Program and Reconciliation Control Framework Starter Program.  Learn more about these programs in our Bundled Services section.

When the symptoms do not necessarily reveal the underlying problem, a more formal planning process is called for.  Our strategic planning methodology will discover root causes and set a path for success.

When a customized solution required, MetaGovernance will leverage its experience and expertise to determine if an agile delivery method is called for or an a more formal planning and delivery approach is needed.   See more about our agile approach in our Industry Perspectives section.

─​ Strategic Planning Methodology ─

When you can’t figure out where you are, how can you possibly decide what to do to get to where you want to be?  If you know where you are, but can’t decide where you want to go, then you are likely to drift slowly to a less than optimal place. If you’re not sure how you got to the point you are now, how are you going to know what corrective actions to take to get to where you want to be?  These are the key questions that need to be addressed for effective strategic implementation of a Data Governance or Information Governance initiative.

The Navigating to the Future (NTTF) concept was developed and used effectively by Daedalean Associates to assist individuals and organizations to make intentional and calculated improvements to their surroundings. MetaGovernance has adopted NTTF as part of our foundational capabilities because it provides the framework for thoughtful and calculated action plans while minimizing time, cost, and resources.

NTTF is an application of applied system thinking.  This model enables organizations to navigate their way to effective governance initiatives by enacting controlled and deliberate change that avoids “over-corrections” and enables an optimum path to future business goals.

The key steps of the NTTF process are:

  • Present Position Analysis – An assessment of your current state (in the context of the desired change).
  • Desired Future State – A declaration of where you want to be at some future date in time assuming there were no constraints. Your ideal outcome.
  • Projected Future State – An assessment of where you will end up if you continue to follow existing patterns of behavior (i.e. all things remain equal).
  • Required Corrective Action – A targeted action plan that will ensure you end up at your Desired Future State, instead of finding yourself at the Projected Future State, or adrift somewhere in between.
MetaGovernance Navigation to the Future
NTTF Navigation

This example is extreme where the captain finds himself in the completely wrong ocean.  But by analogy, we have seen similar gross “miscalculations” during the implementation of governance and Business Intelligence or other system implementations.  Unfortunately such precision has not been available when defining the present position analysis and required corrective actions for governance or Enterprise Information Management initiatives.  Application of MetaGovernance capabilities along with NTTF can now fill this void.

NTTF requires the equivalent of compasses, sextants, charts, and radar for effective navigation of desired business outcomes.  MetaGovernance leverages the concept of Insight Triangulation as the working mechanism for NTTF. Insight triangulation enables us to precisely determine the organizational stage and state, the equivalent of navigational devices. Insight triangulation then allows us to address either/or issues and handle paradox to find an optimum solution.

NTTF can be combined with our maturity assessment worksheet to determine precise and measurable required corrective actions.

─​ Customizable Templates, Forms, Policies, and Procedures ─

The MGI Suite replaces the need for many forms and manual procedures.   At the same time, we have developed an inventory of policy and charter documents, maturity assessment templates, and other forms and documents that can be leveraged to simplify implementation of the MetaGovernance framework.