If you are reading this series you will recall that the last article focused on corralling your data and giving it to a project manager to diagram. This involved data usage, data mapping and systems used to move data from one place to the next. Remember, we are not looking at who does what or how to monitor the data at this time. This task simply helps the company and the management team get the big picture, regarding how information flows from one department, or system, to the next in order to make mindful decisions about expending company resources.
This stage for the project manager and IT is purely exploratory at this time. Additionally, the work that you put into this project will be documentation requested by the CFPB for an exam. Having this work done will alleviate staff pressure when you do finally receive the exam letter. So it is much better to have an undetermined amount of time to complete this, versus the 30 days you get in an exam notice!
Next up, the IT department steps into the picture to review the systems. They take a look at the following:
- Where & what system does the data start? (Lead’s platform? CRM? LOS? etc.) It all starts somewhere and the key to data integrity is to get a good handle on the first input of information.
- How does it flow through the multiple platforms? If the data originates in multiple areas and migrates through multiple systems, the end result can be a big mess of incongruent data. If management is pulling data from multiple systems and the data is not the same, you probably will not achieve the results you want. Make sure you include those working remotely as this is an area that often gets overlooked.
- What user type is permitted to change data in each of these systems? Are there user levels? If so, what are they? Can they be expanded to accommodate your business model?
- What security is in place to protect the data from internal and external threats?
- What integrations are in place? And just as important, what are the gaps in the integration?
- Where there are gaps, is the vendor sophisticated enough to address them? Or, are their applications that can be installed to cure gaps?
- Finally, can these gaps be cured and if so how much time and money is that likely to take?
IT then builds the systems flow model to demonstrate how data flows from one part of the company to the other. Ideally this should be represented as a schematic which shows the names of the systems and how the data flows in, out and back and forth.
This information is communicated to the project manager who then prepares for the next meeting with the group. Stay tuned you will not want to miss out on what is discussed at that meeting!