Explaining ELMS

  • Data Governance presentations can be more sleep-inducing than prescription drugs. To keep program sponsors from yawning through the technical bits of a program platform proposal, therefore, this series of slides used a tree metaphor to pull concepts together.

  • Platform
  • The program was called ELMS, short for "Enterprise-Level Metadata System," and it depended on the platform of technical services that I had built from scratch on hardware pirated from abandoned cubicles around the office. To describe how users might value the platform in each of three capital funding phases, I likened the services to a grove of trees that would start as seedlings and grow into an integrated ecosystem of complex value.

  • Baby trees
  • Data Governance has several complex problems to solve all at once; hence several separate services. In the first phase, the services would look rather small, but altogether, they would make up a grove . . .

  • Find their way through weeds
  • But, unlike the multitude of other individual startups scattered across the enterprise grasslands, the DNA of these specimens would destine them to stand out a bit more. At some point in phase two, the grove would reach reach a kind of height and breadth that . . .

  • To overshadow competition
  • Naturally, the roots of these upstarts would go deep too, which would be important for surviving budgetary droughts. And as they mature, their canopies would merge to buffer each other from winds of change. This is when the little forest enters phase three, and . . .

  • Attract critters
  • Finally, with greater capacity to collect resources and manage complexity, the group fully matures . . .

  • And yield good stuff
  • Although none of the program sponsors fell asleep during the presentations, some just never bothered to show up to the presentation in the first place.

    In the end, a change in enterprise Information Services leadership razed the Data Governance program to make room for an entirely different agenda. The platform of services, however, did survive. It attracted the new leadership's attention by quickly proving it could support a mobile-ready, search-based data catalog web application, which would go on to become a cornerstone of the enterprise Information Services pillar.

  • Stick figure style from http://xkcd.com