In this article we explore the innovative work being carried out by BearingPoint and the rapid achievements they have made in creating a completely open source and collaborative information management framework that features many benefits for the data migration sector.
For many consulting firms operating in the information management sector, their methodologies, frameworks and delivery approaches are a closely guarded secret.
Seen primarily as a tool for winning customers and fending off competitors, any intellectual property is typically released only with some form of non-disclosure agreement attached.
One organisation that has opted for a radically different approach is BearingPoint, the global management and technology consulting company.
BearingPoint has published its strategic information management methodology called MIKE2.0 (Methodology for an Integrated Knowledge Environment) in a wiki format using a creative commons license. This allows anyone to use, adapt and extend the framework in a truly collaborative initiative.
MIKE2.0 has a number of components that will undoubtedly benefit many within the data migration community.
Strategies for information management disciplines such as data migration, data integration, data quality and data warehousing are all provided and the content is continuously developing in terms of quality and depth as a growing list of contributors become involved.
To find out more we spoke to Sean McClowry from BearingPoint. Sean is overall lead for MIKE2.0 and the founder of the initiative.
Data Migration Pro: What were the main reasons for creating MIKE2.0?
Sean McClowry: There were a number of reasons:
- We felt there was a market need. Our customers told us they wanted consistency and transparency on information management projects. They believed in our message around the complexity of information management and the need for what could be a multi-year “journey” but did not want to be locked into a single provider or proprietary methodology.
- We wanted to show the depth of our knowledge. As a company we felt our approach was very strong but sometimes we would lose out on price or flashy presentations.
- Our biggest competitor was organisations not doing projects at all. As IM Transformation can be a complex topic to sell internally, some projects struggle to mobilise. In particular, we wanted to help people sell the idea of addressing the problem on a broad scale as opposed to point-wise solutions.
- We felt the industry needed a standard. We believe Information Management as a competency is immature. We wanted to shape the standard but didn’t have all the answers so we wanted to bring in community knowledge. We believe the integrated standard approach we have built that anyone can mashup to is definitely what is needed in the industry.
- We want to attract and retain the best staff – we have had people join our organisation specifically based on our approach.
Data Migration Pro: What difficulties did you face getting MIKE2.0 into the public arena?
Sean McClowry: There were 4 main challenges:
- Convincing ourselves internally that giving away some of our key IP would actually help bring in more business.
- Licensing complexities:
- Making sure we weren’t violating anything in terms of client confidentiality in terms of the IP that we contributed
- Providing a model that encouraged contribution
- Making sure the license was easy to understand
- Determining the best way to structure content in the wiki (content model, classification model)
- Determining the best way to provide a methodology in a collaborative form that maximized stability but still allowed for innovation
Key to solving these challenges were the concepts of the Integrated Content Repository and Open Methodology Framework. The creative commons license (attribution version) was a perfect fit for our requirements.
Data Migration Pro: How can members of Data Migration Pro benefit from using MIKE2.0?
Sean McClowry: They can benefit in several ways:
- As a user: they can benefit by getting access to free content that’s been used successfully in many project scenarios, across industries and from around the world.
- As a contributor: they can benefit by getting their perspectives in front of a significant audience of information management professionals. Their articles will be widely read and become part of projects around the world. They will still own initial rights to the content under the terms of the creative commons license (you maintain your copyright but are effectively giving others the rights to leverage it) so they don’t “lose” their IP.
- As a community: we can all work together to move Information Management “up the stack”, network with other IM professionals, make our lives easier through proven methods and ultimately make the pie bigger for IM projects.
Sean McClowry: This is quite straightforward as we’ve picked an industry-standard license with few restrictions.
Members must adhere to the terms of the creative commons attribution license, which means they should say where they got the content from, just like a reference in any other published document.
If you are referencing a specific article, you should link to the article; otherwise you can just reference the overall approach. This article summarises the approach to licensing.
Data Migration Pro: What should members do to extend and add value to MIKE2.0?
Sean McClowry: There are several ways to contribute and it doesn’t necessarily need to be in the MIKE2.0 wiki. These include:
- Anyone can create a new article, just click on this link. You may want to read these instructions first.
- Add links to other information management articles through OM bookmarks. We are doing something quite interesting things with social bookmarking on MIKE2.0 as we link in articles off the site and use tags to link them into the standard. Adding a bookmark is the perhaps the easiest way to contribute.
- You can help edit existing articles – it a wiki, don’t worry about editing anyone else’s content.
- You can discuss articles on the wiki talk page
- You can evangelize MIKE2.0 – tell others about it, encourage them to contribute, publish project implementation stories and write about it on other sites. If you blog about it, use the tag “MIKE2.0” and it will appear on the site.
There are lots of different types of articles to which you can contribute. Refer to the content model for an overview.
One area where we are still working on is determining who will get to edit “core articles”. Some articles are locked down and only some members can contribute.
We’d like to follow a meritocracy-based model like the Apache group, so if you become a major contributor you’ll be able to edit core articles.
As described in the release methodology, we are going to experiment with this model and see what works best.
Data Migration Pro: What are the future plans for MIKE2.0?
Sean McClowry: We have been at MIKE2.0 for a while, but there is a still lot of work to do. Some of the major activities include:
- Keep building the community!
- Launch a Consortium to act as stewards of the open approach. Our planned approach is described here.
- Get better coverage across Information Management in areas such as Business Intelligence/Enterprise Performance Management, Data Center Management and unstructured content
- Work of making MIKE2.0 a more usable plan with additional detailed deliverable templates
- Keep building depth around solutions and supporting assets
- Help drive new theories in Information Management to solve the complexity
- Drive the product specific story with vendors to enhance the standard
- Drive a stronger business-IM story through Business Solution Offerings
- Release new capabilities to the open methodology framework to enhance collaboration
- Put a greater focus on internationalization through multi-language sites
Our long-term goal is to provide a better to link the approach to executable code through an Organizing Framework for Information Development.
Members of Data Migration Pro may find the following links useful: