We re-examined successes and failures, studied models of innovation, diffusion and disruption, conducted an extensive root cause analysis, compared interim explanations with progress in other fields.

The Fishbone Diagram shows at high level the root causes of poor information asset management.

Fishbone Diagram

Drawing on findings from a research project being conducted by the University of South Australia and Experience Matters into the barriers and benefits to organisations of effectively managing their Information Assets, Danette McGilvrayJames Price and Tom Redman added their deep experience and knowledge to create the Diagram.  Amongst many others, participants in the research include Board members and C-Level executives of organisations that include Australian Rail Track Corporation, Bell Helicopter (USA), Boeing (USA), City of Cape Town (South Africa), ConWay (USA), EDS (USA), Glacier (South Africa), Hewlett Packard (USA), Lowes (USA), National Australia Bank, Sanlam (South Africa), Verizon Communications (USA) and Wells Fargo (USA).

We are investigating a business contradiction.  Every organisation studied recognises that they have data, information and knowledge i.e. their Information Assets that are vital to their business.  Moreover our industry knowledge and Experience Matters’ anecdotal evidence indicates that the potential tangible benefits from improving the management of knowledge, information and data are conservatively estimated at $20,000.00 per knowledge worker per year.  However, despite the recognised value and the large potential benefits, every organisation studied acknowledges that their Information Assets are not managed as well as they could or should be.  When asked what the organisation would look like if it managed its Financial Assets with the same governance and discipline that it manages its Information Assets, one Oil & Gas executive declared that the company “would be broke in a week.”  When invited to participate in our research, the Chair of the Board of a financial institution (effectively an information management organisation with a banking licence) replied, ““To be honest, I don’t really know much about this area and therefore don’t really think I can assist.”

We have a lot of evidence which is shared here. Please share it with others and start the conversation in your own organisation.