How to write a data strategy

Commencing the program of work so you move from the thinking stage to the doing stage.

In today’s final blog in the Data Strategy blog series, we take a look at how you can implement your data strategy, moving from the thinking to the doing stage. 

Data Strategy

Why and how you should build a data strategy.

In our multi-part Data Strategy blog series, we have been sharing key tips on why you should develop a data strategyhow to build a data platformwhat should be in your data strategy, the 7 mistakes organisations make when developing a data strategyhow to identify your opportunities and the 5 key elements of a data strategy. If you haven’t read the entire series, make sure you click any of the links above to read more about these topics. 

Getting Started

Commencing the program of work.

By this stage, your Data Strategy should have been approved, and your funding should also be in place. A program or project manager should have been appointed or you should at least have a nominated person who will lead the project and implementation of the data strategy 

After all the planning and development of the data strategy (the thinking stage), it is time for it to become a reality (the doing stage). It is now a major program with a number of sub-projects running simultaneously, all with deliverables and deadlines.

Project Leader 

Implementing your project.

Your lead will develop detailed plan for the full program of works, including each specific task and who is responsible for them. It is important to set clear deadlines so each person knows their responsibilities and when their work is due. 

As part of your data strategy, you will have listed your stated benefits and the dates you will start to realise them. That is why setting clear deadlines with your project team is so important. If your organisation is expecting certain deliverables by certain deadlines, we recommend a continual assessment of all tasks to ensure these deadlines will be met. 

Constant evaluation of what’s working, but more importantly, what’s not working, will allow you to change priorities as necessary to meet deadlines.  

At Data Agility, we recommend setting up your project so that it will deliver value on a regular basis. Rather than waiting until the end of the project to realise benefits, aim to deliver value and benefits in incremental stages from the outset. That also helps if you need more budget as you will have hopefully proven the value being delivered.  

Issues

What to look out for.

When your data strategy turns from an idea to a project that is actually happeningyou may find yourself running into roadblocks. This is when the project starts to become real 

The organisation may have changing priorities. An unexpected crisis (eg. The Covid-19 closures experienced in 2020) can take your teams’ focus away from your data strategy implementation and change the organisation’s priorities 

A project that runs over 2-3 years is likely to experience that so we recommend you plan for competing priorities ahead of time.  

Another factor to consider is the willingness of team members being business staff affected by the strategy implementation to work on the project. They may not want to do the work or participate, or don’t want to do things differently to how they’ve always done them.  

At Data Agility, we find that if you do the detailed plan more carefully and identify those risks early, you can have strategies in place to minimise these disruptions and how you can overcome them if they occur. 

Plan

Implementing your strategy.

Your plan is a series of projects which enable you to get from where you are today to the target state of your strategy. Your plan achieves your target state and your vision. Your plan should include: 
 

  • Technical changes required 
  • Organisational changes required 
  • Individual projects or initiatives  
  • Overall delivery model (eg. Internal, outsourced or mixed) 

Develop Your Data Strategy

Do you need help to develop your data strategy? 

This data strategy blog is the final part of a multi-part series on how to develop your data strategy. Check out our Data Strategy Ebook where you can read more about the previous stages that should be covered. 

At Data Agility, we are experts in developing data strategies for our clients. If you would like assistance to develop your own, or even to implement your data strategy project, we can help. Simply contact us for a no-obligation discussion today.

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