We work with >60 different organisations and have a deep grasp of where they are struggling and where others are outperforming them. We’ve boiled it down to the following key factors:

  • Vision, strategy and ambition. They have a clear understanding where they want to get to and how quickly.
  • Senior commitment. They have board level support who show an interest in driving through change. Having a nod from the board is very different to having clear support.
  • Governance. Senior members of the organisation are involved with driving progress, unblocking obstacles and holding people to account. They tackle the cross organisational issues that often drag transformational projects down.
  • Understanding of constraints. They have a good understanding of their constraints. But they don’t get suffocated by them. They work around them, use the evidence of impact to influence others and build momentum.
  • Transformation. They understand that this isn’t the job of ‘someone in the data team’. It requires a data culture that runs deep into the heart of the project delivery organisation. As such, the organisation treats it as a transformation project rather than a bolt on. The organisation has a good understanding of the various strands of activity that need to be developed in parallel.
  • Iterative approach. We’ve seen some organisations who try and tackle the challenge of data in a massive programme of change. But they often get bogged down in organisational design, consultation and much more beyond. Those organisations who are pulling away are running pilots and driving change in rapid spirals rather than a big bang.
  • Developing talent. They recognise that some members of their project teams will become increasingly obsolete as new methods gain traction. Rather than trying to find data talent within an overheated market they invest in developing their own people. Step 1 is to highlight the need for change and the opportunities that it presents. Step 2 is to inspire them, create a fear of missing out, show them a path. Then sign them up to the Project Data Academy.
  • Open source. The organisations who are making rapid progress tend to be those who are working on open source solutions. Clients are beginning to understand the opportunities that this provides, leaving them with solutions that they can iterate and build on for collective benefit.
  • Data. The more advanced organisations are also beginning to understand that the data they collect and the problems that they aspire to solve aren’t always aligned. They are beginning to get to grips with how they close these gaps.

Most interesting, there are clearly organisations out there who are working within a walled garden, developing products and services to sell or differentiate themselves from others. But our sense is that those who work collaboratively will outperform their peers. Particularly those who are agile and responsive. They’ll move more quickly together than alon