In Part 1 of our story: The CIO Veritas appointed the ambitious Jason as the leader of a bold new enterprise information initiative called Project Argo, which has the business objective of resolving the organization’s long standing fatal flaw—namely, its inability to achieve a single view of its own customers—by attempting to create the “golden copy” of each unique customer.
In Part 2, we will meet the Argonauts, the project team that Jason has assembled to help him complete The Quest for the Golden Copy.
Due to its epic scale, the complete project team, which includes both internal and external resources, numbers close to fifty people.
For now, we will just meet six of the most important Argonauts.
The elder statesman of the organization, Nestor has worked there for over 25 years. Conversationally fluent in a dozen languages, he helped launch nearly every one of the international offices. Although Nestor has held several positions at various levels of management, he is now just a few years from retirement and currently serves as a roaming executive consultant.
He has become a trusted advisor to business units and individuals all throughout the organization, as well as up and down the corporate ladder. Nestor possesses a comprehensive knowledge of the organization’s (often quite complex) business processes. He doesn’t speak up often, but whenever he does, everyone else falls silent and gives him their rapt and respectful attention.
Nestor has long served as a mentor to Jason. Jason knows that with Nestor involved, rival factions throughout the organization will always attend Project Argo meetings.
Jason is the Project Leader. Nestor is its champion—the “Golden Copy Champion.”
Although well-regarded by the vast majority of both his co-workers and direct managers, Heracles has always been ill-favored by executive management.
Veritas especially seems out to get him, often assigning Heracles to perform labors believed by many to be impossible. However, for consistently accomplishing each challenging task (either business or technical) assigned to him, Heracles has earned somewhat of a legendary reputation throughout the organization.
Unlike Jason, Heracles has no interest in management, executive or otherwise.
Heracles seems content with the simple joy of challenging work. While the presence of Nestor brings respectability to Project Argo, having Heracles as an Argonaut brings credibility that such a challenging initiative might possibly be successful.
Atalanta is by far the organization’s best data analyst. She has developed a legendary data gazing reputation for identifying meaningful patterns hidden within massive volumes of operational data. She is also a skilled huntress known for her unrivaled ability to track down the root causes of data quality issues.
Jason knows that her skills will be essential in profiling potential data sources, as well as defining and monitoring meaningful data quality metrics for Project Argo.
Since her data expertise is just as comprehensive as Nestor’s business expertise, Atalanta is without question one of the most irreplaceable Argonauts.
Orpheus is a young and underutilized member of one of the organization’s many marketing departments. A master of multi-media presentation, data visualization, and social media, he is a natural storyteller, a gifted writer, and an accomplished musician.
His artistic abilities have historically been unappreciated by his co-workers, since they believe such talents are irrelevant in a corporate setting.
However, Jason needs someone with these creative skills to help with the internal marketing campaign and training program, because he knows the project’s success is highly dependent on engaging normally disinterested audiences.
Additionally, Orpheus will create and manage a wiki, a blog, and an e-mail newsletter to promote and maintain the enterprise-wide communication and collaboration that Project Argo will require in order to build and sustain its momentum.
Medea is a technical architect whose amazing skills with technology are seemingly indistinguishable from magic. She has mastered all of the diverse hardware and software platforms, applications, and services in use across the organization.
There is never a single technical challenge that Medea can’t overcome, regardless of which vendor’s product or bespoke solution she is using or customizing.
She is affectionately known as the “Queen of the Nerds” because every member of the IT staff will freely acknowledge that “her Kung Fu is the best.”
Jason knows that the insight and talents of Medea will be absolutely essential, not least of which for determining whether investing in new technology will be necessary.
Similar to Nestor’s ability to bring any and all of the business stakeholders to the table, Medea can also command the same respect from technical stakeholders.
Theseus is a corporate culture expert and organization change agent who after starting his career in human resources, transitioned into business process management where he is always looking for ways to streamline inefficient processes.
He is also the primary person that the organization sends to industry conferences to learn about emerging new trends and the next wave of technologies. He has recently become an evangelist for both data governance and master data management.
Jason has recruited Theseus to be Project Argo’s Sneezer.
What say you?
As I explained at the end of Part 1, I would like your storytelling assistance so that we collectively decide if the quest will provide a cautionary tale of what not to do, or convey some recommended guidelines and standard practices for real-world success.
Have I identified and effectively described the most important Argonauts?
If not, what other characters (or roles and responsibilities) would you like to add?
Next week in Part 3 of our story, we will join the Argonauts as they attempt to achieve consensus on an enterprise-wide definition of the term “customer” as well as define both tangible business benefits and clear success criteria for Project Argo.
Please contribute your story ideas by posting a comment below.