Welcome to my blog and my next entry in my series dealing with Governance within business enterprises. To date I’ve provided my thoughts as to the meaning of core concepts (Governance, Management, Data, Information, Strategy and Tactic) and used these concepts to define what I believe a Governance Program represents (or should represent) within an organization, that is, a Business Capability.
Now it is time to take a look at the industry and see what may be out there to assist with establishing a successful program. For this entry I’m going to focus on some Frameworks that are offered that you may find useful. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, nor am I going to dive deeply into describing each of these, but I just wanted to give you a feel for what is available to get you started.
Frameworks and “Best Practices” provide some structure and guidance for putting something (such as a Governance Program) in place by identifying the pieces and parts that make up the program, how they fit in or together and insights and ideas on how to create or establish the program.
For those familiar with Enterprise Architecture, you may have heard of some of the more familiar ones such as the Zachman Framework or TOGAF(The Open Group Architecture Framework.) There are also frameworks that target specific industries such as TM Forum’s Frameworx which originally focused upon telecommunications but has expanded to include many industries and ACORD’s Reference Architecture for insurance. For Governance, there are two in particular I would like to focus on: one which is applicable to any business area and one targeted to the healthcare industry.
The Data Governance Institute (DGI) is one of the earliest publishers of a framework and set of practices for describing, building and organizing a Governance Program. Although a few years old (2013), my associate, Priyal Patel, wrote a couple good posts here and here that provide a very good overview of the framework, so I won’t repeat that here. I have also applied this Framework very recently with good success as the concepts and components are still very apropos. Aside from the Framework itself, some very useful guidance provided by DGI is what it calls Focus Areas for Data Governance. Establishing a Program successfully requires an iterative approach, focusing upon a subset of needs or areas of the information to be governed. These Focus Areas recognize there are different characteristics of information, such as quality vs. security, and that each organization will have different priorities as to which characteristics to address (based upon pain points or desired outcomes as I referenced in my previous post.) Using these Focus Areas is very helpful in strategizing an order and approach for establishing a Program.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) also relatively recently has published a Framework and set of Best Practices specifically targeted to Healthcare. What I find most appealing about AHIMA’s offering, aside from it being Healthcare focused, is that it is one of the first (or at least one of the first that I have found) that has moved up the DIKW pyramid (data, information, knowledge, wisdom) and is calling the practice Information Governance. This to me represents the positive evolution and advancement of Governance as being a business-focused endeavor. They do offer a few free publications (although you do have to register first), such as the Information Governance Principles for Healthcare, but their IG Toolkit and associated training are offered at a cost. Nonetheless, perusing their Information Governance web pages provides some good information on how to get a successful program started.
One other thing that I believe deserves mentioning – due to the criticality of a Governance Program establishing and maintaining the Common Vocabulary used to describe an enterprise’s information – is the existence of starter models and glossaries that could be very helpful in giving you a jump start on the creation of this essential artifact. For Healthcare some examples include: Perficient has a starter glossary of terms gleaned and collected through years of assisting healthcare clients; IBM offers the Unified Data Model for Healthcare; and Pegasystems (a Business Process Management Suite provider) has a starter Healthcare Process and Information Model available. These, along with the Frameworks, can give your Governance Program a significant boost, so you needn’t start from scratch.
So, now that you’ve settled on a “starter kit”, another item in your arsenal is a tool that can aid in the construction and operation of your program. Relatively recently a new application area has been forming in response to the continual evolution of, and growing emphasis on, Governance Programs. These have been labeled Governance Stewardship Applications and are purpose-built tools specifically designed (or evolved) to address the needs of a Governance Program that is focused upon business.
These tools will be the subject of my next entry so, until next time, thanks for reading and I hope you continue to find these posts helpful.
See more on Perficient Blog.