Life is a journey, as is the implementation of an effective information quality (IQ) environment. It is not a "project" that will be accomplished in a six-month time frame. There will be a number of successes, failures and eureka events that you will celebrate as your IQ function and environment matures.

I am most thankful for a number of important milestone anniversaries for me this year:

  • 60: If I am still alive at the time you read this, I will have reached the age of 60, thankfully disproving my mother's early prediction that I would not live beyond early childhood.
  • 30: My daughter, Ashley, reached the age of 30, thankfully disproving her father's prediction that she would not survive her teenage years.
  • 20: In January, my company, INFORMATION IMPACT International, Inc. celebrated 20 years of successful, profitable and meaningful years.
  • 20: Twenty years ago I met Diane Marie Testori Poyner, who was destined to become my wife and life partner. In two years, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary. Having been a successful consultant for a major health care company, she also became my business partner, enabling INFORMATION IMPACT International to reach a new plateau of performance. She is my most supportive advocate - and she is my most helpful critic, trying to keep me on track with our A-priority initiatives.
  • 10: January also saw the completion of 10 years of my DM Review column, "Plain English about Information Quality." Because I am writing my next book, my column this year will contain a number of guest columns by IQ practitioners who will share challenges, successes and lessons learned in their IQ journeys.
  • 1: The Total Information Quality Management (TIQM) Certification Mastery Training Program is now one year old and has gone through a complete cycle. The 11 to 13-day training program has seen several IQ practitioners complete all the training requirements for certification in the most comprehensive IQ management methodology available today. Those TIQM certification candidates are now working on their practicum projects, applying TIQM to real problems in their organizations.

What milestones are you celebrating in your IQ journey? Are you reaching critical milestones in helping your organization overcome its information quality problems? Do you need help moving to the next level?

Why IQ Certification is Required

With any new paradigm-shifting profession, there will be misconceptions, faulty thinking and bad practices paraded as best practices foisted on unsuspecting customers. Certification in sound IQ practices is required to separate the wheat from the chaff. Professionals seeking to learn sound practices need training programs and certification programs that teach sound principles so they can implement effective IQ functions without making mistakes. They have a right to learn from expert teachers, as Dr. Deming used to say. It is a crime to pay so-called IQ or data quality consultants only to have them implement defective processes that amount to mere automated information scrap-and-rework or inspect-and-correct methods promoted as DQ management.

Many professions require certification or licensing to assure the public that the service providers are qualified to provide competent services to their customers. Medical doctors, nurses, attorneys, accountants, engineers and public school teachers are professions that require certification. In quality management, the American Society for Quality provides certification in a number of disciplines, such as certified quality engineer, certified quality auditor, certified quality inspector, certified quality improvement associate and certified manager of quality/organizational excellence. There is already a demand for certification for IQ professionals and managers.

The International Association for Information and Data Quality (IAIDQ) has recognized the need for certification in the discipline and will be developing certification programs over the next few years. These certification programs will address the sound quality management principles learned from the successful quality systems that transformed manufacturing quality.

The TIQM certification program I have developed has been well received by the certification candidates. TIQM certification is not just education; it also requires conducting a TIQM initiative to actually perform its core processes.

During Sigmund Freud's lifetime, those who aspired to become psychoanalysts in the Freudian school had to undergo psychoanalysis with the father of psychoanalysis, Dr. Freud himself. In the same way, the TIQM certification program is not just training and head knowledge - it requires the candidate to perform critical TIQM processes, document how he or she conducted them and record the results. Candidates get personal feedback for improvement to ensure their success.

Several world-class organizations have adopted and licensed TIQM and, with staff certified in TIQM, have adapted it into their quality culture.

To learn more about the TIQM certification program, send me an email. For a schedule of TIQM Certification Mastery Training, visit www.infoimpact.com.

What do you think? Let me hear at Larry.English@infoimpact.com.

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