The linkage between Master Data Management (MDM) and Business Process Management (BPM) was intensively discussed at a workshop on a MDM conference organized by Marcus Evans in Barcelona, Spain today. More than 30 master data professionals from a range of large mainly European originated companies attended the workshop.
There was a broad agreement about that the intersection between MDM and BPM is growing – and should be doing so.
One of the challenges identified is that MDM tends to be global within the enterprise while BPM tends to be local.
The global versus local theme has frequently been mentioned as a challenge over the decade MDM has existed as a discipline. The core MDM global versus local challenges spans over common definitions, common value tables and common data models across different geographies. Having a mix of common business rules and business rules that have to be local adds to the difficulties. When applying the full impact of business process management with the variety of formal and informal organizational structures, decision rules and working culture there are certainly both wins and obstacles in linking MDM and BPM.
I think the commonly used phrase about thinking globally and acting locally makes sense in the intersection between MDM and BPM. Thinking big and starting small helps too.