Business in the Driver’s Seat for MDM

It has always been a paradox in Master Data Management (MDM), and many other IT enabled disciplines, that while most people agree that the business part of business should take the lead, often it is the IT part of business that is running the projects.

However, at Tetra Pak, a multi-national company of Swedish origin, MDM has been approached as a business problem rather than as an IT problem.

Yesterday I touched base with Program Manager Jesper Persson at Tetra Pak.

A main reason for Tetra Pak to focus on MDM was having a very specific business problem related to master data, not an IT problem. Taking it from there the business has been in the driver’s seat for the MDM journey.

Master data quality and related data quality dimensions are seen as triggers for the essential KPI’s related to process performance. The model for getting this right is starting with the business requirements, putting the needed data governance in place, getting on with managing master data which leads to the actual master data maintenance all as part of business process management.

Jesper is telling a lot more at the Master Data Management Summit Europe 2013 in London in the session Business in the Driver’s Seat for MDM – Integrating MDM with BPM.

MDM Summit Europe 2013

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4 thoughts on “Business in the Driver’s Seat for MDM

  1. datasherpa 1st February 2013 / 17:18

    In business “putting someone in the driver’s seat” implies others are no longer accountable or responsible for the outcome. Data is an enterprise resource and has to be managed systemically.

    In the past we’ve seen the business throw things over the wall to IT as a self-perpetuating behavior. IT has contributed to this behavior with a “take charge attitude. IT knows the most about data and the business doesn’t understand. The reality is different.

    IT doesn’t really understand data; they understand the production machinery (systems and software) that processes data. Ask most CIO’s, IT managers and programmers what they know about semantics, subjectivity, and quality of data and few will have a comprehensive understanding of what data is. As a result many suggest pushing the responsibility for data onto the business side who are equally ill trained and skilled in data. Ask business people the same questions and most likely you will get a blank or annoyed stare.

    Data is not the sole domain of business or IT; it is the domain of all departments and functions in the enterprise. However, the data capabilities of the enterprise has to be developed to effectively manage data. Until this is done, the arguments of it’s IT’s responsibility or it’s the business’ responsibility will continue without improvement in the data.

    Effective data management requires developing enterprise awareness of data and skills to manage data. This is not a technical problem and in my opinion IT is ill equipped to provide the training and knowledge required since they lack those data skills themselves.

  2. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 1st February 2013 / 22:30

    Indeed, the fact that business ownership hasn’t gained more traction suggests that the problem isn’t simple at all. In my eyes IT (people) is part of the business. Data is part of any business function and when I started earning salary IT was called Electronic Data Processing.

  3. AFFÄRSBLOGGEN- Bernt-Olof Hellgren 11th March 2013 / 12:46

    A company should be business driven in all parts of the organisation and I believe we will see new “hybrid” teams with both IT and Business people in the future. Companies that gets stuck in this IT versus Business situation will be extinct in the future. There is only one customer and that customer is OUTSIDE the companys walls.

  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 11th March 2013 / 21:27

    Thanks for adding in Bernt-Olof. I like the saying:

    “Companies that gets stuck in this IT versus Business situation will be extinct in the future.”

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