The readers of the New York Times have more power now. They have more power because they have more choices. And because the internet, where most of the reading happens, is inherently two-way. Also because Times journalists are now exposed to opinion and reaction on social media. And especially because readers are paying more of the costs. Their direct payments are keeping the Times afloat. This will be increasingly so in the future, as the advertising business gets absorbed by the tech industry. The Times depends on its readers’ support more than it ever has.
An implementation that reacts to variations in the manner advised by Postel sets up a feedback cycle:
Want to be a person? Remember: Managers tell employees what to do and make sure they do it.
With people, they have conversations about things that matter to them.
“If you board the wrong train, its no use running along the corridor in the other direction,” said famed World War II German resistance fighter Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We in IT boarded the wrong train a long time ago. Its the “standard model” of information technology organizations — the familiar litany that says CIOs should run IT as a business , meeting the requirements of its internal customers. This refrain has been endorsed by our holy trinity, too: analyst firms, most consultancies, and ITIL.
“I think he who knows the data wins and that transcends MDM and is true for data warehousing, CRM [customer relationship management], business intelligence and other programs,” Dyché says. “We have a major Japanese car company as a client that is embracing MDM. The data warehouse people have been jockeying and everyone wants to pad their resume and own the hub. The one smart guy said, ‘you guys can all own the platforms and technology and I’ll be the data steward.’ Guess who the star of the show is now? It’s the guy who owns the information and manages the data back to the context of its usage. He’s the one with a direct line of communication back to the data governance council. He made the right choice.”
Small IT is beautiful. Paradoxically, as you increase spending on IT, the services provided become more and more disconnected from the company goals and objectives. Large initiatives almost always fail completely or do not deliver what was promised. Expensive, leading-edge technologies (and the expensive, leading-edge personnel that push them) rarely deliver commensurate value to the organization. The processes of IT become an end in themselves rather than an enabler of a leaner, more responsive business.
In his February 2005 DM Review article, William Laurent writes:
Under a stewardship program, everybody shares responsibility and accountability for data excellence; information belongs to everybody, and like other (more empirical) corporate resources, it must be scrupulously managed and cared for. The stewards do not own the data; they define and bestow ownership and accountability accordingly, as they train, guide and mentor others in data quality best practices, rewarding compliance and adherence to quality specifications. Everybody that touches data throughout the organization must understand their role in data quality and be able to provide a feedback loop that will help stop bad data habits from propagating throughout the business.
The word strategic is used so freely these days that it’s at risk of losing all meaning. People attach the S-word to their pet project hoping it will help gain others’ approval. “Ooh … ahh … wow … it’s strategic!” people are supposed to say. “Yes, let’s do it without any further justification!”
With such overuse, the word has come to mean little more than “nice”—a bland superlative. He’s a nice guy. This project is strategic. Yawn. This is a serious problem, because it’s imperative that IT and business leaders know what truly is strategic in order to focus scarce resources on really important, high-payoff initiatives
It was really an eye opener for me to have a client describe “chargeback” as his toughest business intelligence (BI) problem. While at first tempted to dismiss the statement as an outlier, further consideration showed this firm’s situation to be common, very common.
Where do you think most executives sit in this pyramid? They are most often non-technical users. Even if by chance, they are more technical, in most cases, they don’t have the time to spend using a tool. They just want information, too.
I should add my pyramid to this – the inverse – which shows who gets the information fed to them, and where the disconnects are.