The Intelligent Data Management Blog

MDM is not about products and tools? Well...

I have read many times the following statement:

MDM is about governance, people, business, practice, organization, management and skills. MDM is not about products or tools.

I must say that I agree with every word of the first sentence, but strongly disagree with the second one.

Before preparing the pitchforks, ropes and spades, please read below.

MDM is about Skills

MDM discussions mainly focus is on the organizational and project management topics. These discussions provide answers to a variety of valid questions:

  • How to sell the value of MDM to your executive?
  • How to build a case/ROI for MDM?
  • How to define the standards, policies, roles for MDM?
  • How to manage changes in the organization?
  • How to drive success/avoid MDM project failure?
  • What is the impact/benefit of MDM for the business processes?

Having the answers to these questions is critical to succeed in a Master Data Management initiative. And more generally, answering the same questions is also applicable to any kind of project - simply replace MDM by any initiative in the previous lines, and it still works. Mastering all these aspects is what I call - to make it short - the Skills.

MDM is not about products and tools? Well...

I am uncomfortable with this second statement as it simply denies the fact that we have to get things done.

Apologies to all, I am a (former) techie. Earlier, I learned that for any project, there was a poor soul (usually Me) who had to implement things. I also realized that the tool actually mattered a lot to me, and to my manager as it was defining whether I could deliver results on time or not.

Every person who has ever done home improvement projects (or any hard work) will tell you that the right skills make the difference, but a good tool makes it too!
Last year, I decided to cut firewood with a lumberjack hand saw, spent hours out there freezing, and my back hated me for five days after that experience. This weekend, I did the same with a chainsaw. Job was complete in 2 hours, and I was sitting by the fire in no time! And guess what, my skills didn't change between the two experiences. I just used a more appropriate tool.

Extending this way of thinking to MDM, you would probably want to experience an Evolutionary platform that adapts to your needs and accelerates your project timeframe. So excuse me to disagree, but: Yes, it is about products and tools!