Data, Information and why Michelin starred chefs are control freaks in their kitchens


Mark Atkins, Intraversed

Last month we reviewed why Michelin quality information is created in business “kitchens” that value quality processes and controls guide the use of raw produce (data) and kitchen tools (business terms, definitions, analyses and processes). [Read it here]

But there’s more to the governance that ensures Michelin quality information, which we explore today.

A Michelin starred chef runs a tight ship in his kitchen

Raw produce is sourced from the best suppliers, stored in controlled conditions and reviewed regularly.

The kitchen team have a clear hierarchy. Each member has very specific responsibilities. They follow strict food preparation instructions, following exact recipes.

Data, Information and starred chefs

His kitchen is kept clean through a structured and firmly implemented system of roles and accountability, to the highest requirements of legal health and safety standards.

And all of this control ensures that his kitchen can repeatedly deliver a consistent standard and quality of dish to his customers.

[and for this, those customers pay a premium price!]

On the flip side, when any of these standards and procedures is compromised, the resulting dish doesn’t just disappoint a customer with a sub-par meal… the kitchen risks the financial and legal ramification of lost reputation, lost revenue and potentially giving the customer food poisoning.

Michelin Star Governance for the Business Kitchen

It is no less important for your organisation to govern its business information kitchen. The creation of business information resources (we like to call them artefacts) should be strongly governed, to guarantee the business and financial assurance of the company.

When staff take your raw data (like the Chef’s raw produce) and create business information from it, you want to know that what you’ll read at the end (like the customer consuming a meal) is going to be of the highest quality and not likely to give your business “information poisoning”.

Effective business information governance is the answer.

And this is not the responsibility of your IT department.

But don’t IT Data Governance rules protect us against poor quality business information?

Most IT departments have some form of data governance controlling if and how staff access and use raw data, and this may involve some review of the analyses being conducted (but not always).

Ideally, this means that the information artefact created with that data should be high quality and fit for purpose.

But the IT data governance systems can only go so far

Your IT Team is like the farmer supplying the chef with raw produce. The farmer gives the chef guidance on what produce is in and out of season, how to store the produce, how long he can expect it to last and how to get the best from the produce. All of this is information that a Chef wisely takes on board.

Similarly, your staff are given basic governance parameters for raw data from your IT department, based on IT data governance protocols, such as privacy and confidentiality requirements, limitations of the data and so on.

The farmer can not be held responsible for what happens to his produce once the Chef takes possession of it. Neither can IT governance control what staff do with data once IT have given it to them.

Your staff, like the Chef’s kitchen team, will consistently produce Michelin quality outputs from their kitchens only when Michelin quality governance is in place as part of your business assurance processes to ensure standards are met.

So the Chef oversees everything that happens in his kitchen, ensuring all parties are operating to the set standards and procedures.

In the same way, your business information governance team need to ensure your organisation’s Chefs are fully versed on the requirements they need to follow in running healthy, high quality data using kitchens.

Just like a wise Chef listens to the advice of the farmer supplying him with produce, your business information governance team should be communicating with your IT team and developing their protocols and quality standards in collaboration.

In our next blog, we’ll explore information governance as part of your business assurance strategy. [Read it here]

Mark Atkins, Intraversed

Mark Atkins

Mark is a co-founder & Chief Development Officer at Intraversed, helping organisations establish the Intralign Ecosystem, an award winning information management & governance methodology, to achieve reliable information, stable tech spend & greater IT project success.

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