A well-known phrase in show business is “the show must go on.” The phrase dates back to before the age of television and movies, when entertainment was performed on stage in front of a live audience. Regardless of what happens before the scheduled performance, the show must still be put on for the waiting patrons. And regardless of what happens back stage during the performance, the show must go on.
Enterprise initiatives, such as data quality, master data management and data governance, are not performed for entertainment purposes. These initiatives are based on a business justification and are undertaken by the enterprise for the purpose of improving corporate performance through the delivery of high-quality data, optimized business processes and enabling technology.
However, unlike the audience of a live theatrical performance, your business audience does not just sit back and enjoy the show while waiting for the (hopefully incremental) deliverables of enterprise initiatives. The business must go on.
This is why — like it or not — while you are busy backstage working on implementing the long-term solution that the deliverables of your enterprise initiative will provide, your business audience is busy using short-term solutions (e.g., data cleansing) to support their ongoing daily business activities.
The adoption rates of new enterprise initiatives are low for a variety of reasons, including technology scapegoating and poor change management. However, the unavoidable lag time between defining an enterprise-class problem and implementing a long-term solution will often necessitate the invention of workarounds.
Workarounds enter stage left, intending to exit stage right when the deliverables of enterprise initiatives arrive. However, after headlining for months in front of sold-out business crowds, popular workarounds can be a tough act to follow.
The business (and not just show business) must always go on. Therefore, if the deliverables of your enterprise initiative take too long to make their debut, don’t be surprised if your business audience has already moved on without you.