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A Dirty Little Secret About Getting Identity Initiatives Funded

  
  
  

In my last blog entry, I wrote about the varying faces of Identity Management stakeholders as the project progresses through 5 phases: The Bright Idea, Selling the Idea, Getting Funded, Off to the Races and Yippee!  During "The Bright Idea" phase of the project, you are the sole sponsor. Once you progress to the Selling the Idea phase of the project, an Executive Sponsor (and potentially a Middleman) joins the list of stakeholders.  In this article, we'll explore the new stakeholders for the Getting Funded phase.

 

Lifecycle of an Identity Initiative

The secret about getting your Identity Management initiative funded is that the "Selling the Idea" phase never really ends. It just lingers.  Therefore, in the "Getting Funded" phase (as in subsequent phases) of the project, there's inevitably more evangelizing, pitching, convincing, coaxing, etc.

Follow the Money

Although in many scenarios, the Executive Sponsor has the budget and foots the bill for the Identity initiative - we're seeing a common scenario where the budget is shared amongst multiple stakeholders.  Here's some anecdotal evidence:

One of our clients (a financial institution) had an Access Governance initiative focused on role based access recertifications.  The executive sponsor (who heads Application Security, Compliance & Risk Management) had an initial budget to start the initiative.  After getting some initial success, he was in need of additional budget to expand the footprint of the program.  He chose to sell up the corporate ladder to another business unit, who helped him identify other groups that were in need of a similar solution.  What followed was months of meetings and presentations to recruit additional stakeholders who had their own budgets to contribute to the initiative.  This process consisted in:

  • Selling the business value of Access Governance, in specific to that business unit
  • Discussing lessons learned from the first successes
  • Gaining consensus that his team was the best suited to lead the initiative

The result was that the other business unit ended up doubling the initially allocated budget, thereby funding a wider program in 2011 across multiple continents.  Not too shabby!

The lessons learned?

  • "Selling the Idea" is a continuous process.
  • It is worthwhile to think about how your solution may benefit other constituents in your organization.
  • Wider participation in funding can substantially benefit the scope and success of your overall initiative.

In our next entry, we'll get into the stakeholders of the next phase: Off to the Races.

 

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