In my earlier post about Securing Confidence In Rightness Of the Master Data, I discussed how ‘people’ part of the projects impact MDM implementations. I discussed some of the key challenges we face while establishing a new MDM ecosystem. This post is second in that series.

We know for sure MDM provides a valid, right for purpose data if implemented correctly. Yet we face numerous challenges in gaining trust & confidence of everyone in the organization.

One of the major pitfalls is the inability to recognize and incorporate key technical resources required for the project.

When organizations invest on the toolset for Master Data Management, the usual tendency is to look for in-house resources who meet the minimum criteria. For example, if the MDM toolset is written on the Java platform, few folks working on this platform will be aligned to work in MDM project. At the max, these folks are given a crash course on MDM/Data Quality tools.

What is wrong with this approach is that the solution thus created is shaky at best. There will not be any best practices applied, no good design, no documentation and no performance considerations taken into account. With what I have seen so far, this approach has caused a lot of frustration and annoyance to both team members and management. This short sighed talent acquisition is very unrealistic as you are asking people to learn a set of new tools which are complex and at the same time deliver what is supposed to be the most convoluted phase of the project.

MDM implementation requires specialized knowledge. It needs people who have done similar work many times before, know the ups and downs and can apply their experience to help run the project smoother. Unfortunately, many customers do not realize the importance of this and end up creating a precarious solution. And before the rude awakening happens, a lot of time, effort and dollars would have been wasted.

Realizing the importance of having suitable skills, head hunting and hiring right talent is crucial to MDM success. Perhaps this is more important than the strategy. You will need a number of such skilled resources including, Technical Specialists, Business Analysts, Architects and the like to make MDM work for your organization.

Realizing the importance of having suitable skills, head hunting and hiring right talent is crucial to MDM success.

MDM skills are still sparse no matter which vendor product you are using. Even though the tools and MDM processes are around for a while now, there is still gap in terms of key skills and finding experienced folks who can help greatly in realizing MDM goals. MDM products are transforming rapidly and there is an increasing need for people having good experience and knowledge of new features getting introduced in every version of the product.

I have a suggestion for you – Work hard to form a team with right competence. Get specialists who have good expertise and command on the vendor product you are using. And once you get them, do not let them go at any cost. It’s worth it.