Data standards are not a one-time deal. They have to be a core part of the way you do business. There's no point in using standards to cleanse your data if the data is then going to be corrupted by inappropriate business processes, or by processes that fail to follow legitimate business rules.
This is the message I get from a blog post by Utopia's John Ferraioli. It set me thinking. Too often, ownership of and interest in process and data are thought to be separate concerns. Yet process and data are clearly intimately involved with each other. If we promote separate excellence in process and data domains, we may wind up undermining the organization's real interests.
Specifically, data standards govern the meaning of data while process models influence the usage of data. Notice how there's an inequality here: We don't speak of “process standards”. In fact, people shy away from the idea of process standards as if it's blasphemous. And yet, unless people see their business processes as standards, they risk implementing them in disparate and incommensurate ways.
If you have a defined business rule, you should be able to define standard business processes which implement and safeguard that rule. This work should align with, and may inform, your standards. This is one reason why the ACORD community is devoting more attention to business processes these days. utopia