How confident are you when it comes to the quality of data within your Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP?
According to a
If you cannot master your master data, it can result in incorrect decisions, loss of credibility, and a waste of time and money.
In our experience at To-Increase we’ve had so many people ask us this question "When is the best time to implement a master data management (MDM) solution?"
It’s easier to start early on in your
We’ve created a solution,
5 Master Data Management Implementation Best Practices
Are you considering implementing MDM in your Dynamics 365 ERP? Then, read on to know the best practices for MDM implementation.
1. Build your business case for MDM
One of the top reasons for the failure of an MDM initiative is a missing business case. Your business case should answer the why's, how's, and who's of master data management implementation. Here are a few more best practices to follow to build a better business case.
- Connect your master data projects to your business strategies, goals, and objectives so that the benefits are clear.
- Reach out to business users to understand how data is used in your organization's functions and processes.
- Decide when and where to start and don’t forget to plan for data governance.
- Identify and prioritize business challenges and data issues and be clear on the organizational objective of MDM implementation.
2. Identify your stakeholders
Identify stakeholders and get a senior executive to act as the sponsor or champion for MDM implementation. Stakeholder alignment is a vital part of MDM implementation. The champion or sponsor is actively invested and involved in the implementation process and communicates with all the stakeholders. This ensures that the goal of your MDM implementation project is aligned with the company's objectives.
In addition to stakeholders, you also need a project team that is empowered and held accountable for meeting milestones and completing goals. Get inputs from each department within your organization for a worthwhile MDM project, as every department uses data in one form or the other.
Here’s a list of potential stakeholders for master data management implementation:
- Senior management
- Business users
- Data stewards
- Application owners
- Information architects
3. Follow a clear implementation strategy
Approach your MDM implementation with a well-researched plan. Do not ignore scalability and future design considerations. Many of you might wonder if it would be better to start with one domain of master data at a time or focus on multiple domains. I would say this entirely depends on your business challenges, data pain points, and the timelines within which you must solve the challenge.
For instance, we had a prospect with a failed ERP implementation because of issues with master data. Since they faced challenges with product data, we advised them to follow a phased approach for MDM implementation and focus on clarity of product data as the primary goal of the implementation project. But this may not always be the right approach. Some organizations may need to focus on multiple domains, (e.g., customers, products, and rental objects) as it becomes critical to solving their business challenges.
In your Dynamics 365 ERP, you can use MDM solutions to focus on data distribution, data entry,
4. Focus on business processes
It is key to define the correct business processes for creating master data. When defining the process, you must take data governance into consideration. During data entry, how can you ensure smooth processing or speed up data entry?
Often, we see that multiple disciplines contribute attributes to a single master data record. A workflow solution is recommended where multiple users will be guided to provide their part of the master records. Each user gets a subset with relevant fields and workflow steps assigned to them.
5. Plan for data governance
MDM implementation cannot be successful without proper data governance. You can compare data governance to the blueprint of a building. It provides the framework for creating policies, standards, and processes to optimize the value data can provide to your organization. Managing master data and data quality are dynamic processes that require constant monitoring to meet the organization's goals. Data governance aligns the essential elements, mainly people and processes, that can contribute to the success or failure of MDM implementation.
Can you implement MDM without data governance? No, you cannot do MDM without data governance. It's like asking if you would build a house without a plan. Now that would be a recipe for disaster…not just for you, but the builder too. Similarly, MDM implementation will fail without proper data governance.
How can you get started with Master Data Management implementation?
Following best practices sounds like a great idea, but what if you do not have the time or the resources to put an MDM implementation plan into action?
The only advice I have would be to start small. Don't wait till your business process breaks. If you wait, then the chances are that you would incur an exponentially higher cost. Identify one or two areas where lack of quality data is causing friction and start working on a plan to resolve that.
And relax, you are not going to solve it in a day. You have to focus on what you do best and leave the task of implementing MDM to the experts. The worst place to be is on the wrong side of a good idea, and MDM implementation is a good idea.
Our MDM Studio can empower your data stewards to manage master data within D365FO and D365 F&SCM.
You may not need our solution if you are a very small business. But if you are not, you might want to get more information on our solution, the MDM Studio.