Building consensus for your IAM program and turning it into an enterprisewide initiative is critical to its success.

Our team recently had an onsite meeting with the CIO, CSO, CTO and ten or so other key players to review our joint progress on their IAM implementation. We reported that we were on task and under budget but that we had identified a significant risk to the project.

The risk we were facing was that Human Resources was neck deep in rolling out a new HR system and that they were unwilling to collaborate with the IAM team until sometime in January. During the meeting, we highlighted that the most important item we were waiting for was a data file needed to populate the Identity Governance system so we could begin the critical identity correlation process. We told them that we estimated the work effort around creating the data file at about an hour and we then told them that we also needed half a day for interviews that would allow us to refine our understanding of HR processes.

The audience in the room was somewhat disturbed by this and immediately started having a discussion to determine who would speak with the VP of HR and who would "gently nudge" the IT program manager for the HR application roll out. They didn't make any promises on the spot, but they were clearly on it. Within a week we had the data file and the half day meetings are now scheduled.

Executive support allowed us to remain on track, keeping all of those involved working at optimal levels. Prior to the meeting, we were running the risk of the project going idle which is a recipe for failure and team frustration. This data file issue may seem trivial, but politics are a factor in any organization with more than two people. Most projects quickly go into the "weeds" and sometimes have a very hard time gaining executive visibility once they kick off. Program management best practices such as periodic executive status briefings are also important to ensure that the support that was initially created is leveraged throughout the life of the project. Had we not had this executive briefing our project would have started treading water and we would have all suffered.

Treat IAM as an enterprise-wide program. Leverage a capable third party to help you navigate the politics within your organization. Execute program management best practices to ensure that projects stay on track. Those that don't are going to find themselves in a very dark, cold and lonely place.

Pitfalls of an IAM Program
Luis Almeida

Luis Almeida

Luis Almeida is the Vice President, Sales And Business Development at Identropy. He finds helping customers build their IAM program, select a vendor that is best suited for their needs and then helping them run their program to be tremendously rewarding.