Monday, October 19, 2009

Wild wild MDM...

I am a visual learner, and that ends up transpiring into how I demonstrate my experiences. If you have been reading my postings, I'm sure you noticed I have lots of diagrams.

This visual need has led me to think about a good comic strip for MDM. More recently, inspired by Jim Harris and Phil Simon debate about which board game is the better metaphor for an Information Technology (IT) project, I have “resurrected” my long time desire.

I did come up with an original idea, I think. But obviously, only time will tell if the theme I came up with is any good.

Growing up, I used to read western comics. I don't read them anymore, but I am a long time fan of Tex Willer, which was originally created in Italy. In any event, I can see a good analogy between MDM and the old west. It was a time of political compromise, technological innovation, treaties, and establishment of law and order. Sounds familiar?

With that, I came up with “Wild Wild MDM...”

The characters:

1. Native Americans: the IT department. Granted, the native americans weren't technologically advanced, but I see them similar in their wild spirit, like to “hunt their own food,” value and take care of their resources (land, water, etc vs. hardware, software, etc).

2. Cavalry: the Business. They share a somewhat pompous attitude, highly structured and formal. Don't be offended, please. I am a business person, btw.

3. Sheriff: Data Governance. Obvious analogy, I believe.

4. Ranger: data quality people. The duties of the Rangers consisted of conducting criminal and special investigations, apprehending wanted felons, and suppressing major disturbances. I can see a plausible analogy here. Guns could be data quality tools...

5. Outlaws: bad quality data. Data will assume various forms, which I think is very reasonable since data is indeed very elusive. Bad quality data will be like outlaws at times. Data could also be smoke as shown on one of the cartoons below.

More characters will be added as needed. I'm still evolving them.

With that said, I have to excuse a few things in advance:

1. My drawings are not good. I can't draw real cartoons, so I'll have to use some pre-defined objects, and get them to express my ideas. Please, use your imagination.

2. Incorrect historical facts. This is a very “lose” analogy. I will use fictitious characters/situations combined with real ones, or combine characters/situations from different times. I will not be doing vast research on American history. I'll stick to the fundamental stereotype defined, and sometimes show character relationships that didn't quite exist.

3. Strips will not necessarily be funny. As a matter of fact, most of them probably won't be. They likely will reflect a common situation just to express a message.

4. I may run out of ideas very quickly, which could be a sign my analogy wasn't that good, or that my drawing capabilities (or lack thereof) are preventing me from representing my thoughts.

I have two strips to start. Here they are:

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