The Data Governance Maturity Assessment is DEAD

The rapidly evolving landscape of data management has challenged the traditional data governance maturity assessment in recent years. The once-reliable method of gauging an organization’s data governance maturity through elaborate assessments and benchmarks has proven to be time-consuming, resource-intensive, and, in many cases, ineffective.

As a result, a new and more agile approach has emerged that focuses on taking immediate action and starting the work without being hindered by extensive assessments. This “just start” method to data governance is gaining traction as the preferred strategy for many forward-thinking organizations.

The traditional maturity assessment involves conducting thorough audits of data-related processes, policies, and procedures to determine an organization’s current level of data governance maturity. While these assessments provided valuable insights, they often resulted in lengthy reports and action plans requiring significant time and effort. Moreover, by the time the assessments were completed, and the action plans were ready, the data landscape had already evolved, rendering some of the proposed measures to be updated.

A Modern Approach to Data Governance

Alternatively, the agile data governance approach, the “just start” method, seeks to eliminate this inefficiency by focusing on rapid, iterative cycles of experimentation and evaluation that consider changing requirements. Rather than waiting for an assessment to be completed before beginning the data governance journey, organizations can immediately focus on taking action. This includes conducting small experiments and applying insights from those experiments regarding best practices and processes.

On the other hand, “just start” emphasizes action over assessment. It encourages organizations to identify their critical business goals and immediately initiate data governance tasks aligning with them. Instead of getting bogged down in complex assessments, the focus is identifying the most pressing data-related challenges and opportunities and tackling them head-on.

Advantages of the “Just Start” Data Governance Approach

The “just start” approach to data governance has clear advantages over the traditional maturity assessment model. Organizations can save time and resources in the data governance process by focusing on immediate action instead of lengthy assessments. Additionally, the iterative cycle of experimentation and evaluation allows for more frequent updates that keep pace with changes in the data landscape.

There are several advantages to adopting the “just start” approach to data governance:

  • Agility: In a fast-paced business environment, being agile is essential. Organizations can adapt quickly to changing circumstances and capitalize on emerging opportunities by starting data governance tasks without the constraints of lengthy assessments.
  • Early Wins: It allows organizations to achieve early wins in data governance. By initiating tasks that align with business goals, tangible results can be achieved sooner, demonstrating the value of data governance to stakeholders and building momentum for broader implementation.
  • Learning by Doing: Taking immediate action exposes organizations to real-world challenges and opportunities. This experiential learning enables teams to understand the intricacies of their data ecosystem better and make more informed decisions for long-term success.
  • Iterative Improvement: It embraces an iterative improvement process rather than waiting for a comprehensive data governance plan. Organizations can continuously refine and expand their data governance efforts based on real-time feedback and results.
  • Cultural Transformation: Data governance is not solely a technical undertaking but a cultural transformation. By initiating tasks aligned with business goals, organizations can foster a data-driven culture from the outset, making it an integral part of their DNA.
  • Resource Efficiency: It allows organizations to allocate resources directly to data governance initiatives that bring immediate value. This efficient use of resources ensures that efforts are well-directed and have a tangible impact on the organization’s success.

Of course, this “just start” approach does not advocate for a complete disregard of assessments or planning. Instead, it encourages a more practical and action-oriented mindset toward data governance. Organizations can still conduct smaller-scale assessments, identifying quick wins and high-priority areas for improvement. They can then use the insights gained from those assessments to take rapid action and make tangible progress on their data governance initiatives.


Agile data governance is an effective approach for organizations looking to make progress on their data-related initiatives quickly and efficiently. By taking the “just start” approach, they can eliminate the inefficiencies associated with traditional maturity assessment models and focus on taking action that will have a tangible impact on their business goals by instituting an iterative improvement process.

The “just start” approach to data governance is a powerful tool for organizations looking to make rapid progress on their data-related initiatives while staying agile in an ever-changing environment. By acting over assessment, organizations can ensure that their efforts remain effective and up to date, giving them the competitive edge they need to succeed in this increasingly digital age.

However, it is essential to note that the “just start” approach does not mean disregarding all planning and assessment. Smaller-scale assessments can still be conducted, allowing organizations to identify quick wins and high-priority areas for improvement. This way, organizations can combine action and assessment in their data governance journey to ensure maximum efficiency and success.

Agile data governance is here to stay, and the “just start” approach is a powerful tool for organizations looking to reap the rewards of successful data management quickly and efficiently.

If you are interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to contact us at Thought Logic, and we can help you develop an agile and effective data governance strategy for your organization. We look forward to hearing from you!


Troy Blackman

Engagement Manager

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