IS Rating - Quick-view
The strength and value of your IS is equal to the value chain composed with Data+Rules+Processes. The strength of this chain is equal to its weakest link. Therefore, it is no longer sufficient to guarantee a good command of your Processes if your Rules are duplicated and hard-coded within your systems. Furthermore, it is not sufficient to have a good command of your Rules if your Data elements are scattered with a poor quality and a weak governance throughout your IS.
This is what we call the Agility Chain Management System (ACMS): an unified business governance of Data, Rules and Processes, at the same time.
Nowadays, ACMS is feasible because modeling procedures(1) are mature enough and a new generation of Data Governance and MDM tools(2) are available to streamline shared data (reference/master data) that constitute the IS foundation.
(1) see for example the MDM Alliance Group
(2) see for example the Model-driven / Data Governance tool of Orchestra Networks
The IS Rating Tool is established to gauge your IS Assets (Data, Rules and Processes). In other words, company's working procedures required to build, deliver, maintain and run your IS/IT are out of the scope of the IS Rating Tool: to tackle this field you might use additional methods such as ISO900x, CobiT, CMMI, ITIL, SOA modeling procedures, MDM modeling procedures, etc.
Worksheets available with the IS Rating Tool
"Data" for rating your Data Assets
Reference and Master, Transactional, Decisional, Data Flows.
"Rules" for rating your Rules Assets
Core Business, Organizational and Security.
"Processes" for rating your Processes Assets
Core Process, Process and Micro-process.
A last worksheet named "Your IS Rating" provides you with a complete synthesis of your rating with a consolidated mark based on three letters (see below).
Consolidated mark (three letters)
A type of Standard & Poor's applied to your IS/IT
After filling out the three worksheets (Data, Rules, Processes) you obtain a consolidated rating in the form of three letters. Each letter gives a consolidated Performance Level Percentage regarding your Data, Rules and Processes respectively. These letters are as follows, depending on the Performance Level Percentage of each IS Asset:
How to start?
The better approach is to start with Data assessment, then Rules and Processes. This is the more natural and logical path to gauge your IS Assets. Of course, it is feasible to use the IS Rating on the scope of one or two IS Assets only, for example your Data.
The better scope should be the whole scale of your company but it could be difficult to attain it in a first attempt. Then you can apply the IS rating on a lower scope such as a functional domain, a software package (existing or a possible target), a subsidiary, a project, etc.
Five marks levels are available for every question. These levels are used to state your performance in this scale:
- bad : 0% to 15%
- basic : 15% to 30%
- medium : 30% to 50%
- advanced : 50% to 80%
- optimized : 80% to 100%
If needed your can adapt the weight of questions.
Depending on your context, you can adapt the weight of each question by setting the "your weight for the rating" (first column) : let the default value (1) when the question is vitally important and change to 0.5 to decrease its importance, or even to zero to cancel the question.
The last column "guidelines" brings additional information to support your work. This column should be enriched Consultants and Systems Integrators with help from their own methods and procedures.
IS Rating and other IS best practices
The IS Rating Tool provides companies with an approach to assess the stocks and values of their IS Assets based on Data, Business Rules and Processes. It complements with existing IS Governance frameworks (CobiT, CMMi) and other methods or approaches fostering the IS alignment with business (PRINCE2, PMBOK, MSP, MoR, P3O, ITIL, TOGAF, UP).
We firmly believe that without a high quality of IS Assets based on Data (Ref/Master Data), Rules and key Processes, it is difficult to really leverage the IS governance and its alignment.
We are talking about the core values of these IS Assets in terms of Knowledge, Governance Functions and IT Management. It is important to understand that Governance Functions don't tackle organizational issues (such as CobiT) but provide a list of key business functions required to govern IS Assets: Version Management, Permission Management, Auditability and Traceability, Authoring of Data and Rules by business users, etc. The IS Rating Tool measures how IS Assets are handled, not how they are managed through the organization, nor their financial values.
For example, a Customer database has a financial value that an Account specialist is able to evaluate from a marketing and sales point of view. But this Customer database has also a value depending on its own IS quality: Are data easily available to Business Users? Are data models up to date and understandable by business users? Are user permissions well-managed? Are business rules attached to data well-documented and versioned? Are data duplicated with quality concerns? Etc. The ability to align IS/IT with business requirements changing rapidly depends also on this assessment.
To go further, we need to well understand what are criteria allowing a measurement of these IS Assets. To achieve this goal, the Sustainable IT Architecture promotes an IS/IT foundation based on the utilization of three business repositories allowing a better governance of IS Assets: Master Data Management (MDM), Business Rules Management System (BRMS) and Business Process Management (BPM). Why should companies need to hard-code their entire IS when a more adaptable, agile and transparency implementations are feasible ?
IS planification and organization, IS delivering and monitoring are significantly improve when using business repositories such as MDM, BRMS and BPM.
Everybody knows that electronics regulations and other external or internal legislations involve a better IS implementation than a pure IT hard-coded approach. To get more information about this IS/IT foundation you can have a have at our Agility Chain Management System (ACMS) concept.
Considering this new IS/IT foundation, companies must gauge whether their existing IS, methods and IS/IT governance are well-positioned or not to tackle a better IS Assets management. This is why we propose the IS Rating Tool to gauge Data, Business Rules and Processes through three levels of performance: Mastering Knowledge , Mastering Governance Functions and Mastering IT applied to each type of IS Assets, in other words: Data (MDM), Business Rules (BRMS) and Processes (BPM).
If you are interested in participating as a direct contributor or a user tester of the IS Rating Tool, please fill out this request form so as we can add you to the member list and send you the current version of the IS Rating Tool (creative commons).