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Monday, 3 March 2014

The Information Management Tube Map

Navigating the complexities of Information Management and Data Governance

Those of you out there who know me, have been reading my blog posts (either here or on the MIKE2.0 site) or have been following me on Twitter and LinkedIn will know that I can bang on at some length about how Information Management/Data Governance is multi-faceted; that the interconnections between the component capabilities are complex and not hierarchical. 

But up until now, I've struggled to think of a way to represent all of the different aspects of the IM/DG agenda and show how they inter-relate. I’ve sometimes alluded to there being a network of relationship between elements, but this has been a fairly abstract concept that I’ve never been able to adequately illustrate.

Then just this week, Gary Allemann posted a guest article on Nicola Askham’s Blog, which made an analogy between Data Governance and the London Tube map. (Nicola also on Twitter. See also Gary Allemann's blog, Data Quality Matters.)

And in a moment of perspiration, I came up with this….

The “tube lines” represent different IM/DG competencies/capabilities, while the "stations" are indicative of more specific activities (and their associated deliverables or outputs).

This is very much a work-in-progress and I’m not saying it’s perfect by any stretch, but as a “Information Management Tube Map Version 0.1”, I hope it stimulates some thought and offers some form of anchor point for navigating the intricacies of and Enterprise approach to Information Management and Data Governance.

I’ll be developing this further as I go but in the meantime, please let me know what you think.

(NOTE: following on from SethGodin’ plea for more sharing of ideas, I am publishing the Information Management Tube Map under Creative Commons License Attribution Share-Alike V4.0 International. Please credit me where you use the concept, and I would appreciate it if you could reference back to me with any changes, suggestions or feedback. Thanks in advance.)


  1. Wow, I always try to descibe to others all of the different aspects of Information Management but never put it into a pic like this. This is great, thanks.

  2. A correspondent on LinkedIn has asked for an insight into the thought process of how I approached the tube map.

    I've had a pretty well-worn methodology of Information Management competencies, processes and deliverables defined for about 10 years now. It's always been developing, growing and evolving as I learn new techniques, refine ideas and gain new experiences (I'm a bit of an intellectual magpie in that regard!)

    But up until now it's always just been a library of artefacts, templates and presentation materials - organised and structured based on "best fit" for each competency area. The linkage between competencies and capabilities has been in my head - effectively, I'VE been the index and access interface for navigating the interconnections and relationships between different threads.

    When I read Gary Allemann & Nicola Askham's blog post, I had an "epiphany" of how to illustrate the whole IM/DG landscape visually. So I went through my library of competencies (each competency became a "tube line") and then picked out the artefacts & tasks (each becoming a "station").

    It was then just a cae of identifying where in my mind each of the competencies intersect (plus a lot of shuffling to ensure that the resulting map was reasonably clearly laid out and readable!)


  3. I've been struggling with a visual for some time. This is a great start. How would this fit alongside an enterprise architecture framework like TOGAF?

  4. Thanks Bridget - I'm glad you like the concept. I think my Information Management Competency Framework is different from, and complementary to, TOGAF (and other similar Enterprise Architecture models like the Zachman framework).

    EA frameworks describe the required architectural components in each of the architecture layers (answering the "What?" question). Whereas my framework is more target at articulating the capabilities, skills and activities that are needed in to deliver the components within the Data/Information Architectural Layer (the "How?" question.)

  5. Hi Alan;

    As soon as I saw this and read the word 'tube' I thought of this again:


    John O'Gorman
    Quantum Semantics Inc

  6. Looks like a one dimensional layout of the Zachman Framework. It is a really good circuit board design. I never studied circuitry because I found it too confusing. I love the color scheme. The content is exact, but the model lacks structure. It may be inappropriate model these artifacts into a process model, but I would like see project phase flow priorities and technology relationship layers displayed in a more meaningful manner. It may be valuable to add a “best practice” numbering sequence to offer greater clarity and simplification in understanding both “inter-relationships” and “intra-relationships” in the model. Good job… don’t forget to copyright your creation.

    Eric Paul McNeil, Sr.

  7. Thanks for your comments Eric. This isn't a roadmap, a process or a project plan - it's an attempt to illustrate the relationships between the different skills-sets and competencies that an holistic (Enterprise) approach to Information Management requires. The phases and priorities of any specific project where these competencies are applied will depend on the nature of the requirements.

    Note too, that it specifically relates to Information Management practice, nor is it an architecture diagram. In that respect, it has a relationship with, but is different from Enterprise Architecture frameworks such as Zachman and TOGAF.

  8. All too often we have only a vague sense of our development areas and no clue as to how to address development Areas In work, areas of development.T