This aspect of program management is so often overlooked however, that we have experienced many organisations, both public and private, struggling with the headaches caused by an inconsistent approach to information management.
Issues we typically encounter and can be hard to recover from include:
- Missing or incomplete information
- Software choices that are unintuitive, difficult to use or not fit for purpose
- Reporting suites requiring significant amounts of manual handling
- Information in multiple locations or scattered in a way that is difficult to find
- Lack of integration between process, data and reporting requirements
- Data security vulnerabilities.
So, what does good information management look like and how do organisations integrate formal information management and communication plans into their program management framework?
At a high level, a good information management and communication plan details the processes and systems that allow data to be stored, retrieved and communicated in a way that ensures easy access to information at all times.
In a project and program management context there are two main components to this. The first is the way in which the information is stored, generally in some form of database or file sharing platform. The second is how the information is communicated.
The detail on how these components come together will vary depending on an organisation’s existing software infrastructure and reporting requirements. A simple system architecture diagram, shown below, provides an indication as to how these components typically interact.