Building the Business Case (Part 1) – Risk Management

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When you’re building the business case for an Information Management strategy such as MDM, CDI, Data Governance, or Data Quality, start by articulating the business problems or opportunities. By building a compelling case and getting executive sponsorship, you’ll have a stronger chance of gaining organizational priority, funding and resources.

This 4-part series will review typical business challenges and provide pointers on how to make a compelling case for an Information Management strategy.

Part I: Risk Management

If your company’s leadership team is strongly focused on business risks, then focusing the business case on Risk Management is a good start. The following are some typical risk management issues:

  • Regulatory Compliance such as financial reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley, environmental
  • Legal Compliance such as contracts, pricing, compensation, privacy, human resources
  • Other concerns, including diversity programs, quality programs, business system performance, etc.

Your business case should identify specific risks that are of concern to the executive team:

  • Reporting discrepancies, inaccuracies, gaps, timeliness, lack of reporting, etc.
  • Lawsuits / litigation
  • Audit risks and/or audit findings
  • Loss of certifications
  • System performance, data archiving/retrieval
  • Company reputation

Whenever possible, quantify existing or potential costs if risks are not mitigated or eliminated:

  • External and internal audit costs
  • Fines / penalties / legal costs
  • Reporting inaccuracies
  • Lack of standards, controls, policies, processes, procedures
  • Workarounds, rework and other quantifiable process inefficiencies

Determine which business partners could be your allies. The more you engage, the stronger your business case and the easier it is to get leadership support. Examples include:

  • Legal
  • Internal Audit
  • Finance
  • Sales / Contracts
  • Human Resources
  • IT
  • Quality

Risk Management is a great place to start, but if your organization doesn’t have compelling risk-related issues for some reason, or if you need to enhance your business case further, stay tuned for the next 3 articles in this series by Maureen Butler to find out more.

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4 Comments on “Building the Business Case (Part 1) – Risk Management”

  1. Susan Kishner 03/10/2008 at 12:06 pm #

    Nice writing style. I will come back to read more posts from you.

    Susan Kishner


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