Selling MDM to Leadership: Organizational Readiness

According to Gartner, the #1 reason for MDM failure is the lack of a business case to qualify and quantify data management value creation. Learn what being ready for MDM looks like in this informative & lively discussion with Bill O’Kane – Profisee VP & MDM Strategist, Harbert Bernard – Profisee Director of Value Management and Christopher Dwight – Profisee VP of Customer Success.


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What does ‘ready’ look like?

So many companies think they are ready for MDM because they have a data problem.  The data is dirty, it’s stored in multiple systems, no one knows who owns the update/maintenance of the data and on & on.  While that may all be true, and while you think you might actually be ready because you are ready to do a data quality project or you’ve got buy-in for a Customer 360 project – that doesn’t mean you are actually ready to implement a successful MDM project.

Why do you think it’s important?

You really need to begin with the business outcome you want.  And so while you will get one single view of the customer or a customer 360 project, the outcome for the business is that you are going to reduce shipping costs by 30%.  How?  You can achieve that goal by de-duplicating data, cleaning up the bad shipping addresses and reducing returned mailing catalogs.  Bill, Harbert and Chris all make the case for focusing on the operational impact and when you do that, you are ready for MDM.

Got business sponsorship

This is where you are really focusing on getting the business to state the problems they are having. You aren’t telling them how you will solve it or what strategy you will use; this scares people away. You are focusing on hearing what needs fixing and then working on turning your project into the thing that solves that problem. The business doesn’t really care about clean data, they care about the fact that they keep sending duplicate catalogs, and their shipping costs keep increasing year over year. You will get the business to sponsor an MDM project when that project solves their specific pain point that can be easily articulated.

Do you have a business case?

Harbert talks about really describing your sense of urgency for solving the business problem you’ve identified. How big is the problem – is this a $3MM issue or a $30MM issue? What’s causing the pain point and really diving into understanding this pain and the financial and operational cost impact of not solving it.

Q&A

How long does a Business Impact Roadmap (BIR) take to complete?

This can vary but many of them are 5 to 10 days and include 5 to 10 interviews with both IT and Business stakeholders to get everyone’s input.  You are really focused on putting the guardrails around the project and defining the outcomes, success metrics, and potential savings and/or operational efficiencies.

How are regulatory requirements modeled in the BIR?

We will take into account regulations and either use the potential for fines if you are out of compliance and/or use operational efficiencies gained by being in compliance.

Do most companies that complete a BIR buy the solution?

What has been our experience is that by the time companies are willing to make the time investment in the BIR, they are serious and committed to buying an MDM solution.  Is it our solution 100% of the time?  No, but about 90-95% it is.

What impact have you seen COVID-19 make on BIR for MDM projects?

Well, we are seeing more potential clients really taking the time to search for the soul of their business and use this time to come out stronger and more ready to face new challenges.  And so we’ve been busier than ever working with clients looking to create MDM projects around solving specific pain points in their business and see if they can do better than they are today.

Example: How master data management can help

In summary, we learned:

It’s important to understand the problems the business faces.  Then work to build a vision of what solving that problem looks like to garner support from the business.  Finally, you want to pull together a comprehensive roadmap of what the impact will be on the business by solving that problem.  The real impact that comes next is now you have a repeatable process to solve as many problems as you can find in the business.

Thanks for reading through this session.  Next time, we will dive deeper into defining the why of your MDM project and discuss justification, prioritization and rightsizing.  Until then!

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