I’ve been spending a fair bit of my time recently writing or contributing to strategy documents. We have 12 of these in progress, covering topics such as Data Architecture; Identity, Authentication & Authorisation; Relationship Management; and Cloud. (I’m not writing all of these!).
So, what is the point of these documents?
One reason for writing them is to highlight the issues they address. It’s likely that few people in the University realise that we need a data architecture or understand the options for implementing relationship management services, so one task for these documents is to explain why these concerns are important. Each of these documents sets out the problems that need addressed and why they matter, before going on to suggest a strategy for dealing with them.
As with any strategy, it’s not actually the documents themselves that are the most important outcome: it’s the discussions that go into making and approving them, the sharing of ideas, and the aligning of people’s actions when the ideas become accepted. Only by having these conversations can we reach a shared understanding. The documents do play a vital role, in that writing down the ideas lets us challenge them and to see where our opinions differ.
Our plan is to discuss each of these strategies with interested stakeholders, including groups such as the Data Governance Group and the CRM Working Group. When we have a reasonable agreement, each strategy will be presented to the University’s IT Committee for comment and approval, after which the strategies will be disseminated further.