6 Steps to a Smart Information Architecture Strategy

By Gene Leganza, CIO |  SOA, architecture

2. Select and execute projects

Look for projects that focus on business access to information that can embody a well-architected approach and add to the enterprise's collective understanding of data. Rather than create yet another disconnected and redundant reporting system for a limited audience, do a limited "archeological dig" for appropriate existing data stores that you can reuse for your project. Initiate discussions with business area subject matter experts (SMEs) to fully understand the context for the information, relate that to the available information sources, and begin to capture and manage that metadata centrally.

3. Evangelize good IA practices

IA will not make progress on its own merits; it needs a champion. Forrester has found that the only effective way to market architecture initiatives is to characterize them as beneficial to stakeholders. By addressing the key concerns of the most important organizational roles, it's more likely you'll win their support. Create a compelling way to describe IA's benefits that links IA to needed business outcomes and capabilities and begin selling upward to EA management.

4. Insert early-stage governance

IA governance is more difficult than technology governance as it requires the participation of business-side roles. Prioritize your evangelizing efforts for the executives you will need to support the governance effort and the business and IT staff who need to be recruited as data stewards. It's a good idea to start with projects where the value is clear, such as those related to data warehousing, business intelligence (BI), or master data management (MDM) efforts.

5. Build regular interactions with appropriate parties

Ad hoc discussions with SMEs can be parlayed into regular meetings with key business area representatives. Part of your organizational vision should be to establish a formal network of business and IT SMEs that can do ongoing IA development and maintenance, or at least provide expert guidance when projects involve their business area. IA success is dependent on the relationships you build and your ability to convert a series of ad hoc discussions into formal, regular processes.

6. Develop road maps for related technology areas

While the key focus areas in IA are the business context and the information itself, there are also complex technology issues to resolve. Information management (IM) services will cleanse the data, build data warehouses, automate integration, provide analytics, and perform many other tasks, establishing the IM infrastructure that will implement and manage your IA. Make sure to link the appropriate technology SMEs to the EA program, and create a comprehensive information strategy that coordinates the road maps that will evolve the IA and IM visions.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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