Getting Our House in Order, for the Holidays


Thanks to some planning and preparation – and one fine looking Christmas tree – our family is looking forward to the best season yet. What does 2013 have in store for you?

‘Tis the Season to Be Merry
Just like the opening scene from the holiday classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, our six-person family recently set out to find our family Christmas tree. As we were driving to the tree farm, we could actually feel the sense of excitement coming from the back seats of the mini-van. The kids were bouncing around, barely contained by their seat belts,  volume was high (as usual) and, amazingly, everyone was getting along.

I remember this same feeling as a kid – the excitement of another Christmas. My sister and I would be eager to see the tree standing once again, full of ornaments and lights, and with any luck, it would hold a few candy canes that we could swipe before Christmas Day. Traditions are great, but they do take some work to uphold.

We Worked Really Hard, Grandma
I still love the holidays, and now that I’m officially a grown-up trying to uphold our own traditions, I have a newfound appreciation for all that it takes to pull them off. Typically, we’re one of those families who rushes through December, getting the house decorated the week before Christmas only to leave it up for a few weeks into January to feel like it was worth it.

This year, I decided things would be different. I started hanging lights the day after Thanksgiving, but in my excitement to begin wrapping our trees and home in hundreds of little lights, I hurriedly unwrapped the strands just to find myself with a giant knot. What’s worse, as I pulled the wires trying to loosen them up, I ended up breaking one of the bulbs (fortunately, I had a spare). I realized what I needed to do was to get organized and borrow some wisdom from my day job. In this case I proceeded to do the following:

  1. Pump the brakes and slow down the excitement.
  2. Lay out the lights and determine the best path and plan for decorating the house.
  3. Understand the limits and hang all of the lights successfully, without falling and crushing a hip.

The end result is something the family is pretty proud of – I think even grandma would approve.

Is Your GRC House on Fire, Clark?
Have you ever found yourself doing this in your professional life? Getting caught up in the moment with big plans, only to find that you have arrived at an impasse or a tangled knot of bureaucracy?

Just this year, the OrangePoint team started a new series of projects that we now affectionately call GRC G.O.H.I.O (Get Our House in Order) projects. In these projects, we focus on helping our clients overcome the same struggles as they relate to GRC software implementations. Typically, problems are born from the best of intentions. If you’ve faced any of the following problems with your GRC technology deployment, you’re not alone:

  • Too Much GRC, Too Fast
    When presented with a shiny new object such as (insert the name of your new GRC technology here), it’s tempting to jump in and build and deploy new features and functionality too quickly. After sitting through weeks of tailored demonstrations and sifting through stacks of marketing collateral, all your stakeholders are excited about the promised, “unlimited” potential of your new tool. This is when things get tangled. If time was not taken to pause and reflect before easing back onto the accelerator, the various business groups step on one another as they rush to deploy, causing internal strife and turmoil that is challenging to unwind.
  • Assembling Your GRC Program with Hieroglyphics
    One of the holiday rites of passage as a parent is assembling a toy at 2 am with instructions written in what appears to be an ancient, indecipherable language. Perhaps you’re new to your role and you’ve inherited the well-intentioned architecture of a previous colleague. You may be left with plans and system documentation that lack the context and details you need to be successful. Maybe your predecessors moved so quickly to accommodate the fast-paced stakeholder demands that there was no time to develop a quality, long-term plan for your GRC program. Having a plan that is easily understood and communicated can go a long way in ensuring your organization can smoothly pass from professional to another.
  • Overcrowding Your GRC Outlet
    One quote I like to reference during a GRC deployment is, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Yes, it is possible to put multiple extension outlets into a single wall plug. However, there is a point where you sail far past the best use of that outlet. When you began your GRC implementation, did you have a good feel for what the software was great at? Did you understand when the software was out of its league? For example, few, if any, GRC tools will you stop you from trying to load and manage millions of records within the database. However, is this action the best use case for your selected product? Understanding the core use cases of your technology helps you better set expectations with your various audiences and minimizes the number of fires and blown fuses you’ll be called on to put out.

We’re All in This Together
With many of these scenarios, sometimes you can power through on your own– you yank the wire and the knot breaks free. However, other times you need someone to lend a helping hand to achieve the result you desire.

If none of these scenarios has never happened to you, then congratulations on being the proud owner of a world-class GRC implementation. If you’re human and have more than you’d like to manage, you need only make out your “wish list” and give us a call. We’d be happy to review your existing GRC universe, provide you with a plan for success and partner with you to ensure your house is in order, before the guests arrive.

–Chris Pantaenius, Principal and Founder

This entry was posted in GRC Consulting, GRC Technology Implementation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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