When developing a strategy, the aim must be to provide a roadmap of data capabilities – not simply technology – to address functional concerns at a detailed level. An effective data strategy cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution; it needs to be tailored to the unique requirements and stakeholders of each function. With this in mind, businesses should consider the following:
- Stakeholder involvement: Every stakeholder brings a nuanced and complex set of requirements. One of the reasons you’re probably considering a function-specific data strategy is that the nuances of procurement weren’t considered by central data and IT teams. Try to avoid making the same mistake.
- Highlight disagreements: Not all stakeholders see eye-to-eye. It’s important to bring areas of disagreement or confusion to the surface and these areas can indicate topics where further investigation and deep-dive activities are required.
- Evaluation of existing systems: It is crucial to understand why the current data systems are not delivering and the problems created subsequently. Bring facts and metrics. For example, what is the current quality of data in each system and where are the issues? This will serve as a baseline for improvement.
- Prioritisation: Focus on enhancing data capabilities that directly address the identified pain points. Making these improvements a priority can lead to immediate, visible results.
- Implementation assessment: Understand the implementation challenge through a People, Process, Technology, and Governance lens. This holistic view will ensure an effective implementation which doesn’t just focus on technology.
- Alignment with business outcomes: The data strategy should directly support key functional business outcomes. This alignment ensures that the strategy is not just a theoretical exercise, but a practical tool for business success.
- Development of a roadmap: Break down the data strategy into tangible steps or waves of delivery improvements. This roadmap should complement the work of central data and IT teams, boosting functional capabilities without creating unnecessary redundancies.
An effective data strategy should turn data into a strategic asset that underpins business objectives. This is achieved by identifying and addressing key pain points, involving stakeholders, and constantly refining the approach. This roadmap of data capabilities is key to harnessing the power of data for procurement’s strategic role.
Author: Joe Williams