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What Is The Single Source of Truth? 3 Tips For Creating SSOT

Single source of truth

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Single Source of Truth in 2024

Ever since my days delivering construction projects, the topic of a single source of truth (SSOT) has been front and center in my way of working. Now, it is something that all project teams and organizations strive to achieve. This blog explains the concept of a single source of truth, outlines three areas to focus on when implementing it, and discusses the main challenges organizations face.

What is a Single Source of Truth?

Defining Single Source of Truth

A Single Source of Truth is a term used to describe the practice of storing, managing, and interacting with data in a centralized location. This means that everyone across the business references the same up-to-date information. Every project produces information, forming the foundation from which any project will be managed. Examples include the scope of works, execution plans, contracts, or project controls such as risk and issues registers.

Throughout the lifecycle of your project, these pieces of information will change and be added to, so controlling this change and additional information is critical to a project’s success. This is where a single source of truth (SSOT) comes in. Using an SSOT ensures that the information you have access to is current, correct, and reliable, avoiding miscommunication, confusion, and mistakes.

Single Source of Truth Synonym

Think of this approach as having a definitive line in the sand or a North Star for your project. An SSOT allows you to have full, transparent control over your project information. Key areas to focus on include:

  • A clear and strong governance model
  • An information structure that is simple and easy to understand
  • Awareness and understanding from the whole business.

The Role of AI and Automation in SSOT

AI and Automation

In 2024, AI and automation play a crucial role in maintaining a single source of truth. By automating data entry, synchronization, and updates, AI reduces the chances of human error and maintains data consistency across all platforms. AI-driven analytics can also provide real-time insights, helping businesses make informed decisions faster.

Single Source of Truth and Innovation Management

Connection to Innovation Management

The concept of SSOT is pivotal in innovation management. Accurate, centralized data allows for better tracking of innovative ideas and their implementation. It ensures that all team members have access to the same information, facilitating collaboration and reducing the risk of redundant efforts.

Challenges in Implementing a Single Source of Truth

Common Challenges

Implementing an SSOT is rarely straightforward. Common challenges include:

  • Information Overload: The sheer quantity of information can be overwhelming. It’s important to use the right tool for the right job.
  • Multiple Formats: Different tools and formats can complicate data management.  Example: Business Cases. Here at edison365 we have a dedicated business case platform that makes this process seamless and transparent.
  • Poor Document Storage: Without a coherent structure, finding information can be difficult, leading to duplication and missed details.

3 Tips for Creating a Single Source of Truth

1. Governance

Your organization and project governance is your rulebook and framework. You need to have in place a solid and clear governance model.It defines the processes, tools, information storage guidelines, and expectations for everyone within the organization and project. Governance is non-negotiable for achieving an SSOT.

2. Structure

Applying structure to your information in three ways:

  • Document Naming: Use consistent naming conventions to make it easy to find information.
  • Folders: A clear folder structure helps in organizing documents efficiently.
  • Tools: Use the right tools for the right purpose, so everyone knows which tool to use for each task. For project Management we use edison365projects

3. Awareness

Making sure that everyone in the organization is aware of the governance and structure is critical.Effective communications, education, and recognition are necessary to reinforce the importance of the SSOT and encourage adherence to the established processes.

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What should I read next? Dive into our end-to-end innovation management guide.

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