Dementia is interesting. I was writing in a coffee shop when a distinguished gentleman sat down across from me. Although I didn't know him, he started showing me a financial report. He expertly talked me through a blizzard of facts and figures. Since brilliant minds are often unconventional, I listened intently without judging. After a half hour I realized that everything he said was gibberish. I didn't have the heart to hurt his feelings, so I listened for quite a while before gently excusing myself. Losing his audience was only a minor inconvenience, and so he talked on into thin air as I left the room. So expert was his delivery, that you would swear he was making sense. You would swear that you were the problem. It took time and effort to realize that his damaged mind was still going through the motions, but the data was garbled.
Information technology is often like a demented executive. It looks impressive and produces expertly formatted data, which in the end proves to be useless. The reason is that many organizations implement new technology without first deciding what it is they are really trying to accomplish. Before information can be successfully managed, the organization has to decide which types of information matter most and how they will be used.
Before you can create a technology roadmap you first need to decide where the business is going, and how it intends to get there. The "Process Arcs" included in this blog are examples of the first steps in keeping your workforce sane. A Process Arc is a very simple way of describing what your organization does, and separating out different kinds of information. Once you've done this, you can begin to describe the policies that govern those information categories. You can then establish a governance strategy to manage the information and make sure it isn't just gibberish. Otherwise your governance team will very likely spew out impressive, well formatted, expertly phrased gibberish. Everyone will pretend to understand what it means, but it will actually be of no use at all.