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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Master Data Management Maturity

Managing master data and content has its benefits and barriers, as stated in a former blog post (here). Many enterprises are tempted to buy Master Data Management (MDM) vendor solutions that can help them address master data challenges.

Having a competent support system is an obvious success factor, but I will outline some other aspects that are beneficial to consider when starting an MDM initiative. The factors below are organized as a simplified maturity model for a rapid positioning of your MDM program or project.

Organizational awareness

  • Reactive: There are minimal awareness or some locally IT driven master data activities
  • Managed: Business and IT understand master data needs and solutions. Requirements are aligned
  • Proactive: An information-centric approach are established where master data and content assets drive business process and application landscape improvements

Metadata and modeling

  • Reactive: Few or project driven data and content models
  • Managed: Information models for prioritized master data and content domains
  • Proactive: The enterprise information model covers important master data and content domains

Application patterns

  • Reactive: Siloed data and content are extracted for business intelligence, portal publishing or similar
  • Managed: Master data and content are consolidated into trusted sources that enable consumption and reuse via integration
  • Proactive: The trusted sources are migrated into MDM hubs that operate in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) environment

Governance mechanisms

  • Reactive: Absence of ownership and stewardship roles
  • Managed: Key master data and content governance roles and cross-functional forums are put into practice
  • Proactive: Master data and content governance processes are defined and unified with business and IT governance structure and processes

Quality control

  • Beginning: Mostly fire fighting and other unorganized activities
  • Managed: Centralized quality management supported by key roles
  • Advanced: Quality processes in place driven by service levels and zero defect policies

To get the most effect of an MDM initiative, it is essential to develop the above factors in parallel. For example, what use is it to deploy a full-blown MDM solution if there are not governance mechanisms or quality control to assist it?

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