My View

This post is inspired by the view from our roof terrace, where I’m sitting with the laptop right now.

One of the buildings I can see in the skyline is the spectacular new Hotel Bella Sky that will open tonight.

The new hotel is situated by the main fair in Copenhagen called Bella Center, the venue of the recent disastrous climate change summit where Wen, Obama and Singh couldn’t agree about anything.     

The Bella Sky isn’t the only new high rising hotel in the nearby skyline. Actually there is currently an overcapacity of hotel rooms in Copenhagen. But as it is said, the new hotels were planned before the credit crunch and couldn’t be stopped.   

Planning several years in advance has always been difficult. Within information technology it’s also a well known fact that projects that is set to deliver some years ahead almost always fails to meet the actual business needs when that time is reached.

On the one hand we need some more agile hotel projects – and agile information technology projects – including agile master data management and data quality programs.

On the under hand, I like it when I see some nice hotel architecture and some good data architecture.

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7 thoughts on “My View

  1. Jim Harris 15th May 2011 / 16:07

    Another well-architected blog post, Henrik 🙂

    Excellent point (as always) about projects set to deliver at some point in future (years, or even in some cases just months) usually fail to meet the actual business needs when the delivery date is reached.

    The business requirements gathered in preparation for these projects represent critical business needs (otherwise these initiatives would not get funded). So what does the organization do about its critical business problem while awaiting its solution? Temporarily shutdown all business operations affected by the problem? Of course not.

    In your blog post Things Change, you explained how getting data right the first time doesn’t guarantee perpetual data quality.

    The same can be said for business requirements. You may have got them right at the start of the project, but by the end, those same business requirements may have changed.

    Maybe last year, the business really needed a new Data Hotel, but at the grand opening you discover that what they need today is a new Data Bridge.

    Best Regards,


    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 15th May 2011 / 16:29

      Thanks a lot Jim for sharing my view.

  2. Prashanta Chandramohan 16th May 2011 / 15:38

    It’s amazing how well you can relate a real life problem with an IT project involving master data management and data quality. Good post Henrik.

    Best Regards,

  3. James Standen 16th May 2011 / 16:14

    Great post Henrik!

    Its a bit of a catch 22- if you don’t do ambitious projects, there are limits to how far you can go- if you do nothing but ambitious projects its probably a recipe for bankruptcy.

    I think one part of the key is to be certain that big projects don’t only address point business problems- but bring infrastructure (data and process and cultural) that will likely be useful for tomorrows business problems as well as todays.

    Of course as Niels Bohr, (and later Yoggi Berra) said;

    “Prediction is difficult, especially about the future.”

  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 16th May 2011 / 16:38

    Thanks a lot Prashanta and James.

    Yep, there is a balance between being able to deliver business value in an agile way and the need for the bigger innovative infrastructural changes that do takes a while and – if done right – pays back over the coming years.

  5. Adam 19th May 2011 / 01:13

    I saw that beautiful building while it was going up. I frequent Copenhagen now and then for some work with Nordea on their MDM solution.

    It’s funny you mention Agile Development and Agile MDM while I am taking a break from analyzing a client’s as-is MDM implementation. It’s quite large and complex in it’s logic and basically violates the product and even it’s own data model. There is a muddy mess of ETL, Data Quality, and Analytics dripped all over the place. I have probably seen worse but I rarely see better.

    Agile MDM would demand the right aspects of the data model to be flexible and the services to be as modular and flexible as possible. I know it’s possible with even the larger products out there as I have completed such implementations. The trick with MDM is that you can usually trace back the vitrification of the model and process to the organization itself, especially if there is a political battle between the LOBs.

    One alternative solution to the monolithic development process of many MDM projects that last 6 months to 1.5 years. is an ROI-based approach. The all-or-nothing approach is enticing when you are virtualizing/centralizing master data, but frequently causes a greater degree of risk to the project. Shorter project with more ROI conceived goals have yielded better and more manageable solutions. For example, if you just need to feed an EDW and reduce your billing/mailing/marketing costs then don’t be tempted to add the 4 other data sources that were not necessary for your goal just because you think you are “doing MDM”.

    Great post. Excuse my rant. 🙂

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 19th May 2011 / 06:59

      Great comment Adam. It’s a small world we live in. I agree about the advantages of having flexible data models and modular flexible services. If you are able to choose the right aspects of good data architecture and select the best services for achieving immediate ROI you will be happy.

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