This week I talked to two different customers who were going through organizational pain. In both cases, they had strong management who understood the value of truly treating information as an enterprise asset and, as a result, had the following in place:
- Data governance organizations
- Metrics and score card initiatives
- A program vs. a project mindset toward information problems—after all, you can’t just clean your house once and expect to never do it again
However, the strong EIM management at each of company is leaving. The question is, what happens next? Can the initiatives survive without their spokesperson? Will the replacement manager have the same passion for quality information? Will the people who have infused the organization with quality information management practices survive?
The answer to these questions depends on how well the outgoing managers educated the executives on the ROI of information management initiatives—not in casual, anecdotal, or infrequent ways, but in sustained, measured, formal ways.
- How many information-intensive projects has the data governance group completed? How many were on-time? How many were on-time before the data governance group came in to assist?
- What hard value can they show for information initiatives? Can they demonstrate reduced shipping costs, fees/penalties, mailing costs, and inventory costs; improved customer satisfaction scores; better supplier-negotiated costs; or less re-work?
- Which functional groups is the data governance group serving most frequently? Can those functional groups provide before-and-after stories that show impact?
Unless they systematically gathered and presented this level of information, they run the risk of being overlooked when a charismatic leader departs—and the same would happen at your company, too.
Finally, of course, there will be some turnover in your organization. Make sure to capture the work product and decisions made along your information journey—this way, the next top-talent employee can hit the ground running. Capturing the decisions, key players, constraints, and alternatives is a key practice of information governance.
And One More Thing…
One more area where talent retention matters is simply interesting work. One CIO told me that their EIM imitative supported their talent acquisition programs directly. His company spends lots of time ensuring that they hire the best possible employees. However, they’d then give these top-talent employees uninspiring, manual work to do. By optimizing their EIM environment to deliver high-quality information exactly when it’s needed, these employees can do the smart work of analyzing information, creating connections, and optimizing the environment instead of manually fixing information, monitoring shared email boxes, and trying to figure out if the information is good.
So much of what happens in EIM is about people, so it pays to monitor the talent retention dimension of those people.