Jun 07
privacy program structure

Why structure determines every privacy professional’s success

In a recent guide of ours, we explored some of the top barriers to privacy collaboration that privacy teams such as yours face.

Now, we’d like to revisit one of these barriers in particular.

This barrier keeps reappearing in conversations with our existing customers and prospects. And, we think it may be the single greatest cause of misalignment and inefficiency across many privacy programs today.

The barrier? Lack of structure.

Lack of structure in gathering and working with personal data processing proves to be the arch-nemesis of many a privacy professional today.

Understanding two main roadblocks that make creating structure difficult

Let’s look at some common symptoms of lack of structure.

Your organisation probably has a long list of privacy related tasks, that require information from different business functions. Most likely, these are disconnected from the functions’ core priorities.

The extent of processing information needed, and the distance between your privacy team and other parts of the organisation, are two key road-blocks to privacy success and efficient collaboration. This is especially true for where privacy processes are still unstructured.


In many companies, it’s been left to privacy professionals to gather splintered processing information from stakeholders in multiple business functions into sustainable records of processing.

Right now, you might be using Excel to help you cope with it all. But you’ve quickly realised Excel isn’t scaling, much less helping you stay in control long-term.


Because you lack a system for storing the processing information, you run into problems when checking in with and reviewing information from business functions. Functions that process personal data for multiple purposes based off countless legal grounds.

The lack of a scalable centralised system makes collaboration efforts unstructured, one-off, or plainly non-existent. Even if you want to involve more internal stakeholders from your organisation, it might prove hard.

Both roadblocks relate to lack of structure.

Solution-wise, unstructured, excel-based, or other in-house inventory solutions make it difficult for your organisation to track personal data processing across all business functions.

Business process-wise, fractured in-house solutions for managing processing information can cripple efforts to work on privacy work in a unified way. This limits the ability of business functions to collaborate efficiently with privacy teams.

How privacy solutions improve structure and control

It’s not an easy place to be in. Privacy professionals are tasked to get in control of company-wide processing of personal data, but aren’t supplied with the tools to do so. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this hard, or complex, to get privacy work done or build sustainable collaboration initiatives while you do so.

To move forward on GDPR compliance, organisations need an efficient, interactive way to coordinate knowledge sharing.

Instead of sending privacy professionals like you into every business department to corral effort on privacy, collect results, and come back with action points, a company needs a CRM-like software to guide these efforts.

A tool like DPOrganizer is custom-built to help companies build upon their initial work on privacy.

Using flexible data mapping features that guide you to structure company-wide documentation of data-processing activities, flows, storage locations, access-points, subject categories, and more, you’ll be able to empower every individual at your organisation to contribute to filling in the gaps on how personal data is processed.

With a software that asks consistent questions across every business function, you’ll gain access to a meaningful gap analysis, in the same tool with which to delegate privacy tasks efficiently to close gaps.

Trying to manage a privacy agenda without a software is similar to trying to manage a marketing and sales funnel without a CRM-system. There are too many moving parts to keep track of in a way that drives progress and efficiency while enabling collaboration.

You can tackle structural challenges in privacy management best by providing your organisation with a system to make each contribution to privacy work easy and measurable.

Unsure of how to move forward with your privacy program overall?

Check out our recent guide “How to Jumpstart your Privacy Program”. It will provide you with a framework to tackle both lack of structure and organisation-wide collaboration on privacy matters.

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