Future Think

Best Laid Plans

The vicious cycle is one potential impact on a sociotechnical plan for a single data strategy and is something that all large organizations may experience as this type of strategy is implemented. There are natural competing resources in any large organization and trying to align data for an entire organization under a single office calls for a reshuffling of resources, monies, personal and equipment. In addition, to be able to successfully execute the necessary steps the plan also needs the authority and support of senior leadership. This type of consolidation strategy is good for the overall organization but at the costs of the individual offices.

The different offices competing for resources creates natural adversarial relationships between directors and creates an air of distrust. According to Sherden, “reinforcing dynamic can cause small events to escalate with unexpected outcomes” (Sheden, 2011). For example, having a team of folks dedicated to data for a large organization is something that supports the entire organization in lieu of multiple offices having their own dedicated staffs would cut across on each individual office budgets. In this time of reducing cost each office is trying to hang on to as much resources as they can.

One office may feel unjustly targeted if their efforts are disproportionate to the other offices data efforts causing an escalation of counter measures such as hiding programs, personnel and resources. Even though an organization has given the resources and authority to care, feed and maintain the data strategy other office might continue their own lines of their data strategy. A clear example of this in the market place is hardware fragmentation of android devices. Creating different standards for a device that has the same basic functionality across vendors is causing a series unexpected events.

This could also cause an escalation of hostility towards the office receiving the responsibility of executing the mission by way of stonewalling of information needed for research, procrastinating on resource requests or outright refusing to support the strategy by not responding basically ignoring the authority. This in turn could become similar to an arms race or trade war but instead of hording nuclear weapons or goods they would horde data resources while fainting their good intentions.

One of the most prevalent forces is the resistance to change. Humans are creature of habit and we all like familiarity. Any change tends to cause controversy especially if the change affects the way large organization by removing roles, responsibilities and resources. Being overwhelmed offices are fighting for every person to handle existing workloads and every dollar to be able adequately resource programs. Change that takes these things away from an office will undoubtedly end in fighting any sociotechnical plan for a single data strategy.


Sherden, W. (2011). Best laid plans. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger.

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