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Talk Data to Me

By September 19, 2016

By: Higher Education Advisory Council Governance Sub-Committee: Joanna Iturbe, University of Colorado Boulder; Leeds School of Business, Florence Parodi, University of Miami, John Henry, Oregon State University, and Renee Fawcett, University of Minnesota

This is part two from the Higher Education Advisory Council governance sub-committee on how to define governance and the challenges of implementing it at your institution. In part one we discussed a tale of two institutions and their journeys to building a stable and flexible governance foundation.

Talk DataIn the words of Dr. Jonathan Reichental: “Governance? Process? Yuck, nasty words!”

IT governance is defined as the processes that ensures the effective and efficient use of IT in enabling an organization to achieve its goals. It seems straight-forward, but when you start peeling back the layers of the onion, it can become complex very quickly.

Governance and change management are critical factors to the success of IT initiatives, especially a Salesforce implementation – no matter how small or large. Governance is something all of our institutions are working towards, albeit we’re all at different stages of the journey. It’s something we all recognize as important, but it’s difficult to implement.

Researching Salesforce governance for more than a few minutes, quickly reveals a vast collection of resources. So, why is it so difficult to implement when there are so many resources available?

The Salesforce ecosystem consists of a large portfolio of free and paid resources that support and/or advise towards business processes and best practices to implementing a stable and flexible governance foundation:

We all want to do the right thing and will work hard to make sure our institutions succeed; however, governance requires (scarce) resources to be (re)allocated across the institution, and more often than not in our resource limited environments, that occurs by stretching existing resources thinner rather than by adding supplemental, dedicated resources. Additionally, when this occurs, prioritization becomes more critical than ever, and because some schools and departments have more funding than others, prioritization isn’t always determined equally.

It’s also critical to have executive sponsors and data stewards involved in the implementation of a governance structure. Many institutions experience grid-lock around data sharing. Let’s call it “data greed”: What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.

“Bureaucratic? Sure. Essential? Definitely.” – Dr. Jonathan Reichental

Although governance is difficult to implement and no one size fits all, it’s instrumental to the long-term success of any Salesforce implementation.

GovernanceThe Higher Education Advisory Council governance sub-committee is considering taking on an initiative to better understand the challenges institutions face in implementing governance, as well as the best practices and successes higher institutions have experienced.

If you may be interested in chatting with us about your institution and experiences, please take this 30 second survey, and we may be in touch after Dreamforce!

In the meantime, we’ll see you in the Lodge at the Westin St. Francis at Dreamforce in San Francisco, starting October 4.