Assessing information management competencies in organisations

21 Sep 2015

The history of the management of information systems includes many ideas that were intended to simplify the complexities of the management task, but there is still a great deal of wasted investment that produces no significant benefits. Much of the thinking has been rational and structured, but it can be argued that structured thinking will not solve the problems presented by the ever-increasing scope and depth of information systems, the need for improved responsiveness and agility, and the need to deal with a range of requirements that are sometimes behavioural and sometimes legislative. Three of the more frequently cited frameworks for information management (Zachman, Henderson & Venkatraman, Ward), are briefly reviewed and found to have common characteristics. They are combined into a new, simple arrangement of the central (and critically important) ideas. This new framework has been used as the basis of a survey instrument that is introduced and explained; it works at two levels - the "micro" and "macro" levels. It assesses perceptions of organisational capability to manage information well, as seen by respondents who are normally employees working in different roles with varying responsibilities. The survey instrument comes with an analysis and reporting package that is found to be suitable for the needs of busy managers, and the way in which micro and macro data is presently analysed and presented is demonstrated using data from a reference dataset, a CIO workshop, an investigation within a real estate agency and a large financial services organisation. The contribution of this work to the research programme from which it emanated is summarised and future directions briefly explained.