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MDM: Is it any good for IDMP?

NO and YES

NO, if…

  • Bullet If you are doing this only for IDMP (id it’s not an organizational top down long term commitment, this may be the first thing to get cut or worse, half-done when the project is pushing the limits of its budget and timeline because it isn’t ‘business-critical)
  • Bullet If you are smaller firm or company with less than 100 products(MDM benefits may be down railed  by lack of good organizational policies, proper discipline, and training related to data creation and management. For smaller firms, having these pieces tied down with long-term perspective is a challenge)
  • Bullet If you have not clearly defined ROI of data management for next 5 years (MDM for customer facing projects get funded as “”customer satisfaction” is measurable and ROI can be driven. For Regulatory Compliance projects like IDMP, in lot of companies Business and IT are not brainstorming to define a clear ROI)
  • Bullet If Business doesn’t take leadership (Though IT can lead the efforts for implementation, it’s the business who owns the data and maintains it. If there’s no clarity in business support on daily basis, after implementation, this may become IT project and IT should not be owning this and had to justify budgets every year)

YES, if…

In reality, the actual system implementation is perhaps the easiest part of the solution it will be the impacts to Company Change Management, Business Process Re-engineering, and the appropriate resource allocation that will present the biggest hurdles. If your company already voted YES and in the path of next steps, some points below for successful implementation:

1. Organizational Engagement
Engaging the senior management team and communicating the inherent value is significant, but don’t forget that you will also need to gain confidence//buy-in all of the impacted teams with the inherent value explanation from their perspective. Listen to their concerns and try to meet in the middle, if at all possible. A phased MDM initiative or a proof-of-concept will help mitigate some political resistance as well. Managers will want to test-drive the functionality and see its benefits and ease of use before fully committing resources.

2. Organizational Politics
Although office politics are rarely discussed in the open forum of a typical business meeting, there is always underlying risk associated with its existence. When looking at this in terms of an MDM solution you must consider the conflicting interests associated with a silo approach to company goals. Managers are often measured (and thus compensated) based on the performance of their division, business unit or functional area and then based on a performance component of the overall organization. Your goal is to adequately communicate how an MDM approach will enable them to deliver on their individual goals as well as position for the larger perspective. Help them to realize the win/win: how the information can be more effectively utilized for their specific requirements and also benefit the entire organization.

3. Budgeting and Planning
As with any significant project, the various business units must understand, up front, the need to dedicate the appropriate time and resources. In IDMP case, they must also realize that the scope may encompass potential changes to their core business processes and associated applications to align more closely with the MDM goals. A definite word of caution in this area is that if the scope of an MDM project is not properly and pro-actively managed (even more so than your typical project), it can quickly become unmanageable and will be destined for failure. Consistently scheduled scope reviews are highly recommended.

4. Data Governance
The simple reality is that if a company is going to dedicate the time, effort and resources required to implement a successful MDM, it would only make sense that they should have the processes in place to adequately protect and manage this investment. The data governance function needed to manage the MDM implementation and enable its continued effectiveness doesn’t need to be bureaucratic. To reduce the tendency toward bureaucracy and over-engineering, strive for simplicity in governance standards, policies, and procedures. Keeping it simple, and having a plan up front to properly manage the solution, will pay dividends to the company and everyone involved.

5. Appropriate Technology
Look for a flexible, easily adaptable solution that is the least invasive to your current systems, and technology standards. Remember: There is not a one size fits all, nor consequently a single technology solution or software implementation. Be sure to evaluate the integration caveats with the majority of your corporate systems. The challenge here – as always – is to not only solve for today, but best position for the inevitable changing regulatory and corporate environment of tomorrow.

To summarize: an MDM solution for IDMP will be a complex and challenging investment for a company. It will unquestionably take a collaborative relationship between IT and the Business Partners to ensure its success. Above all, realize that no matter what anyone tells you – there is no simple solution. There are, however, several common approaches and technologies that will help with the facilitation and implementation of the appropriate tools and processes to help ease the pain. If done properly, the rewards will be significant.

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