In our experience, Master Data Management (MDM) projects tend to be very ambitious – and rightly so. Unfortunately, many an MDM development project fails. The reason is often the fact that the IT unit is left to handle it alone
MDM is the management of the master data, i.e. the most critical data for the organization and the business. MDM projects aim to improve the quality, reliability, and manageability of the data. Data is now one of the most important assets of a company, so it is essential to understand current and future data needs. In addition, the data must be correct and accurate so that it can properly support the business. As we can see, these things are related to the content of the business and doing business; the IT unit’s role is mainly to offer technical support.
The management needs to take responsibility for running MDM projects so that the full potential can be achieved. That is why MDM projects should be monitored using performance indicators. For example, a project target could be for the sales team to be able to see the real-time availability of a product. The performance is successful if the sale goes through on the first attempt. This prevents the usual to-ing and fro-ing, which results, in the worst-case scenario, in losing the customer. For this reason, the MDM project indicators should not be limited to measuring the technical quality of the data but the actual benefits that the project can bring to the business should also be taken into account.
My advice is: Any MDM development project should only be launched if the management takes the ownership and the team has a comprehensive understanding of the business. Technical knowledge only takes you halfway there.