An Interview with Janet Brimson

Take a few minutes to meet Janet Brimson - Business Aspect’s principal consultant in the information architecture and governance space.
Highly knowledgeable in human behaviour and energy psychology, Janet brings a deep understanding of information and business architectures to support organisations through change.
She has successfully led government and corporate clients through large and complex projects in the roles of project director, solution architect and enterprise information architect. Read on to find out more about Janet, including of her thoughts on how to approach a transformation project and the biggest opportunities out there for organisations today.

Tell us about your latest work for Business Aspect clients?   
I recently finished working on a project with a large Government agency to prototype the path to the O365 cloud.  Currently I am working on the enterprise presentation of a platform transformation for a software house. I am also looking at a project to bring insight into the standardisation of government data models across Australia and New Zealand - a mix of governance, enterprise architecture and visioning as well as operational interface design.

In your opinion what megatrends (Information Governance, Business Ecologies, IoT, Cloud, etc) pose the biggest challenge/opportunity for organisations?
Everyone wants to go somewhere quickly (to Cloud, to Master Data swamps, to dashboard nirvanas).While the technology has reached a great out-of-the-box state of maturity, the organisation’s ability to understand how they should best use these tools for business value, or find the meaningful questions to answer, or manage internal information management processes is still drowning in theory.

There are big struggles with migrating from terabytes of information on local drives, bringing context, meaning and usability to the information quickly. And this type of transformation has a big impact on culture and change. New interfaces often hold a mirror to an organisational soul and if the dark side shows quickly the success of a platform or transformation project can be quickly lost. This type of rich contextual understanding of information presentation and its power is not well respected. It was always a hidden aspect of user-centred design and is now being more richly explored in information governance, contextual knowledge and BI modelling, customer experience modelling and business energy psychology. Getting to the ‘human-centred’ psychology of information presentation and use is where value and success lies.

It’s difficult for any organisation to take these large strategic journeys . Strong Information Governance ensures that not only are the greater legislative and control layers are understood, but also guides value based projects for standardisation, building information maturity and measuring business value.

Do you have any advice for organisations looking to embark on a digital transformation project?
Look at the practical side of education and information cleanup while you are tech and architecture shopping. It takes a long time to get the business on board, aware and trusting of the transformation – the tech and the final interface are just the icing on the cake.

Do you have any advice for organisations looking to position themselves for ongoing information growth?
Be conscious – reflect that in an information governance function and ensure this is driven by strategic business value not compliance. There are so many new ways to synergise organisational intent with markets, with staff beliefs and with customer belief and need. Often it just takes a step of the cliff into disbelief to find the win-win architecture, transform business and information process and sustain agile environments. 

As a consultant, what have been your most interesting experiences?
This makes me feel old – Y2K, market collapse, GST, being a foundation member of the Australia Post Enterprise Architecture team, QR separation – these were all time critical learning and solution curves which taught me so much about team dynamics. Also, anonymously profiling a MOG impacted business unit in a Government agency and seeing how attrition had impacted their ability to deliver was transformational for all of us involved.

What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love to spend time on the Noosa River, sometimes fishing, more often taking photos of birds (kites and eagles). I write fiction and help others get theirs online. I am also on the Regional Arts Development Fund for Noosa Council and enjoy working through a cornucopia of ideas with artists and seeing their commercial success.  
For some time I have been developing new methods to help business leaders explore business meaning and value at an enterprise level using creative disruptors– which really help disparate teams find common ground and help people with stretch visioning. My brain does not like to stop! 

For more information on any of the topics discussed in Janet’s interview please contact the Business Aspect Head Office online or call us on +61 7 3831 7600.