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Should Your Organization Establish a Single Source of Truth (SSOT)?

In business, defensive and offensive strategies play different and critical roles aimed at the same goal: successful projects, product development, marketing initiatives and even workplace morale.

An offensive strategy supports (usually marketing) goals directed at increasing revenue, customer satisfaction and profitability in a competitive marketplace.

A defensive strategy minimizes risk and maximizes productivity by maintaining the integrity of information project managers and teams use to do their work.

Both strategies depend on the integrity of the data, procedures, plans and processes used for decision-making and stakeholder buy in. Boost Midwest has found that establishing a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) can be crucial to the success of both.

An SSOT is the practice of storing all relevant information in one central place so everyone using it is pulling it from one shared source.

A secondary benefit — as noted in a recent Harvard Business Review article — is that “the framework will help managers clarify the primary purpose of their data, whether defensive or offensive.”

For project managers, an SSOT ensures all team members refer to the same data and use the same processes and procedures. This is especially an advantage when managing hybrid teams of remote and in-person employees.

For all internal stakeholders, an SSOT means they:

  • Can trust internal information is accurate and up-to-date.

  • Use one reliable source for data and documentation.

  • Can quickly and easily locate that information.

Companies without an SSOT may find the same recurring problems:

  • Information is siloed in different, stand-alone management systems.

  • Time is wasted searching for information.

  • Errors occur from using outdated information.

Boost Midwest recently worked with a mid-size technology firm in mid-developing three new products. Each complemented the firm’s established and successful core software tool. And each was being developed under its own project manager and team using the same data, processes and procedures.

But each team stored that critical information in its own management system, so what started as one central document turned into multiple versions as teams updated crucial information.

Equally challenging, team members —remote members, in particular — would save documentation to their individual hard drives and return to them over and over again after updates were made to the original, master document.

The result was that product development was behind schedule from delays directly related to teams using outdated data and processes to inform their decision-making and goals.

Boost Midwest worked with stakeholders to establish one cloud-based repository for the crucial data and procedures being used to develop the three products, from project planning to quality assurance to customer reviews.

The SSOT provided everyone access to relevant, standardized data across the company and eliminated duplicate documents stored in different folders and servers. This central, shared location provided the organization with immediate benefits as compared to its former siloed information storage:

  • Reduced or eliminated duplicate data entries and documents, software version control issues, and incomplete or inaccurate information.

  • Improved the quality and integrity of information and data.

  • Provided stakeholders and team members real-time access to the information appropriate for their roles.

  • Streamlined the decision-making process for management and executives because they didn’t have to sort through multiple data sources.

  • Maintained consistent procedures and processes across multiple teams and departments.

  • Helped the onboarding of new team members go more smoothly because of consistent data and documentation.

  • Process consistency helped establish a system that identified bottlenecks and areas in need of improvement.

  • Kept all teams and stakeholders aligned and working toward the same goals.

It was during a time of growth and change that the need for an SSOT became crucial for the organization’s successful project completion and product launch.

How can you establish a Single source of Truth? Contact our team for a free consultation.

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Ready to learn more about how Boost Midwest can help you optimize your project management and operations? Schedule your free consultation call with us today using our Quick Schedule Link here.

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