Tuesday's Tip: Master Data Management - Focus on the End in Mind

"Begin with the end in mind is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There's a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.

~ The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey"

This Coveyism rings quite true especially with MDM deployments.  Those seeking to innovate with MDM as opposed to just finish the job will find themselves asking key questions such as:

  • For whom will this data be for?  How will they use this information to take action?
  • What's the outcome?  What are we trying to achieve?
  • What will this information look like for another user?
  • When does this question need to be answered by?
  • How does this align with our business drivers?
  • Where can we find the most accurate source?
  • Why is this data important?

This "end in mind" reasoning then leads to the First and Second approach as Covey puts it:

  • Mental creation. When beginning the design of an MDM project, focus on the result provides a design point to work backwards from and design role based scenarios.  With those scenarios in hand, business process can be mapped back to the corresponding data.
  • Physcial creation. With a solid blueprint in hand, the implementation teams can now test the scenarios.  Assumptions about data integration, process integration, and strength of executive sponsorship will all be put to the test.

The bottom line.
The planning phase is a critical component of MDM.  Successful projects often start with a detailed design process that asks the key questions with both a proactive data management focus and role based actionable insight approach.   Successful project teams tailor design to how people are using the information.  Build this Coveyism as a principle in your design phase and avoid the hassles of a failed MDM project.

Your POV.
I'd love to hear your lessons learned.  Feel free to share with me your MDM implementation story. You can post here or sending me a private email to [email protected].
Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.