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My Vision

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A vision for Governance, Alignment, Effectiveness, Efficiency

A vision for Governance, Alignment, Effectiveness, Efficiency


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  • Complexity and sensory overload is our lot for the foreseeable future.How can we deal with this situation and exercise sufficient control to keep things moving in a consistent direction?Assumptions:We have defined the direction in terms of [achievable] goalsWe are willing to delegate accountability (and resources) to others who share the vision and goalsWe are willing to admit (if only to ourselves) that we can’t know everything and can’t control everything
  • As Man began to move from simple machines (inclined plane, lever and fulcrum, screw, wheel and axle, pulley, and wedge) to more complex machines, certain principles began to appear.One of the most useful of those principles is that of the component or sub-assembly.The steam-powered threshing machine was one of the most complex machines built prior to the widespread use of components.The aircraft carrier is composed of tens of thousands of component systems.A machine like an aircraft carrier (or space station) is possible only because of something called the specification.A specification is what keeps all the components aligned to achieve the goal of the machine.Specifications are not just nice to have—the are absolutely essential to the success of the machine.
  • An organization is a machine.The organizational machine is different from those on the preceding slide in that it contains “soft” components.With the soft components we introduce the real power—intelligence, creativity and free will.Soft components need specifications, too.Quantity-based goals for a component are woefully inadequate as a specification because they allow for a much larger range of results than can be accepted by the other components that receive its output.
  • Though we like to think that we’re different or special, we aren’t.What has been said up to now applies to every organization, every machine, every component.In a component with intelligence, free will and creativity we will inevitably get suboptimization.If I/we skip this step I/we can meet my/our quota. No one ever complains.It’s not our job to make them happy. We just send the [forms, contacts, products] along.I know it’s not right but we can fix it later if anyone complains.
  • Sub-optimization exists everywhere in your organization.The result is similar to what you get when the wheel bearings fail on your vehicles (whether bicycle or auto). A lot more energy must be consumed to get the result we’re seeking.In a word, efficiency suffers.Internal studies have shown that as much as 60% of any employee’s time is spent in validating inputs received from another component in the company.What is the cost company-wide if 60% of your labor cost is wasted energy? Or look at it the other way—what is the value of making all of your components even 90% efficient?
  • We have come to believe that computers are necessary to do business today.We have all learned that this necessity is not without costs as well as benefits.When we introduce microprocessing (computers) into a component without changing the component’s specification, we may actually decrease overall efficiency.
  • It All Means Something.No one can decipher the meaning alone.
  • Transcript

    • 1. It All Means Something { A Vision for Governance and [Data] Management
    • 2. Machines (as we think of them) are all systems of machines.
    • 3. We like to think of our When we begin to investigateorganization as a well-oiled we find something muchmachine. Clear, straight different and oftenlines of communication. disconcerting.People need to get things done. They Responsibility for Process often lies withare very creative about the processes. those who perform it. Accountability is for“The process” often differs little from delivery (count, rate) performance.that used by the very first person inthe job. “That’s the way we do it!”
    • 4. Your OrganizationisSpecial •Typical • Because it’s yours Because most are (that’s what typical means) { • Because it’s made up of people who are typical (if not individually then as a group)In need of [Process] leadership • In a well-oiled machine (or high- • Some machines work flawlessly performance organization) ALL from the vision of a single processes are aligned. person. • Suboptimization is rooted out • Larger, more complex machines • This is particularly needful where require a single vision shared data/information is concerned. by a cadre of leaders.
    • 5.  It is natural  As Entropy  It is endemic with cultural groups  My team  Our unit [department, division…]  It can only be identified and destroyed  By creation of community  Diverse, cross-functional membershipA Word (or two) AboutSuboptimization
    • 6. { Increase { Decrease Efficiency  Adaptability Consistency  Responsiveness Complexity  Security Volume (of information) Employee satisfaction  Task time  Employee satisfaction Computers
    • 7.  Choose  Suboptimized (inefficient)  Undocumented  Inconsistent  Unreliable  Or  Globally optimized  Well-understood  Credible  Repeatable (consistent)  Aligned vertically and horizontallyThe Bottom Line
    • 8. { I want to help you to get your components working together, aligned and efficient.Michael Meier Data Managementwww.michaelmeierdata.com

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