Author Interview – Daragh O Brien

By Daragh O Brien
September 30, 2021
9min read
Black and white photo Daragh O'Brien

A bit of a cheat this week as I’ve been a bit under the weather and have been playing catch up on getting the edits done on the interviews I’ve done with the other authors in this series. The process involves me giving final cut approval to the interviewee. So, what better way to buy myself a few more days slack in the process then to interview myself. After all, I’m unlikely to want to demand a reshoot of my own interview…

The Interview

Daragh O'Brien

In this video, I talk about the first book I wrote, which was a 2011 extension of an industry report I did for Ark Group back in 2007. The Data Strategy and Governance Toolkit is now sadly out of print (and even when it was available, Ark had priced it as an industry analyst report and it was silly money to buy).

This book grew out of a 2007 research project and was updated to align with the syllabus and knowledge/skill requirements of the IQCP certification I helped develop for IAIDQ (now IQ International, sadly wound up as an organisation last year). In putting the book together I had the privilege of interviewing and discussing in a significant amount of detail the data quality management and data governance methodologies of a number of leading practitioners to try and identify the common core disciplines and practices for the “toolkit”.

Although I forgot to ask myself this in the video, I would do a lot of things differently if I had the chance again. The first thing would be to get a better publisher. But I would also spend more time on the data governance and strategy aspects of this work and develop out the change management and narrative story telling topics. In effect this is what I’ve spent the last decade doing in client engagements and in other forums.

Watch the interview below (and then scrolls down for our competition).

Daragh’s Influences

I’ve joked with other authors in this series that picking your favourite or most influential book is bit like picking your favourite child, friend, or sibling. All of them mean different things to you at different times.

However, I decided to go for a book that has influenced my thinking on process management and process design. It’s a favourite because of the hidden message it contains about the impact of scrap and rework and perils of automation without first understanding the process. (Those of you who have attended lectures of mine in the past will recognise this as the genus of “O Brien’s 3rd Law of Process Automation”).

The book is Slack by Tom DeMarco, and it looks at why super-efficient organisations are ailing and failing due to bad process understanding. It’s also a bit of a blunt and irreverent read.

Competition Time

If you would like to be entered into a draw to win some of the books referenced by Laura in this video and in the rest of the videos we’re running this month, please provide your email address and an answer to the simple question in the form below. The terms and conditions for the competition can be found here:

Books Referenced in this Video

  • The Data Strategy & Governance Toolkit (Daragh O Brien)
  • Slack (Tom DeMarco)

Related Castlebridge Content

Related Insights


Keep up to date with all our latest insights, podcast, training sessions, and webinars.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.