Master Data Management (MDM) can be a game-changer for your organization. Yet some companies delay their implementation because they fear disruption.

In truth, MDM does cause disruption. But if you understand the potential pitfalls and prepare accordingly, MDM will create a positive disruption for your business.

So, what should you evaluate before starting your MDM or Product Information Management (PIM) implementation? Here are three top factors to consider.

1) Do you have input from relevant stakeholders across the business?

When IT spearheads an MDM or PIM project from the beginning, there’s often a disconnect between what the business needs and the ultimate direction of the project. If you wait to involve business stakeholders until late in the process, you’ll lose out on their invaluable perspective.  And the last thing you want is to have the Business step in after weeks of preparation, only to find out that the platform was configured without capabilities they deem necessary.

How can you ensure you get the right input? Consider these steps:

  • At the start of the project, gather key stakeholders from all relevant areas to provide their input. Listen to their concerns, pain points, and hopes for improvements.
  • During the implementation process, have stakeholders collaborate directly with your project consultants. That way, crucial capabilities and use cases aren’t overlooked.
  • If possible, establish a steering committee and schedule regular meetings with project leaders across the organization.

When all key team members have input from the beginning of the process, you’ll save time, achieve faster ROI, and have a more seamless launch.

2) Do you have data readiness and team readiness?

Many companies underestimate the work (and proven processes) needed to get data ready for the MDM or PIM system. That’s another area where an expert can help. An MDM consultant can help you organize your data cleansing processes, so your data quality is sufficient for the system.

However, that doesn’t mean your data needs to be perfect from the outset. Instead, focus on a thorough assessment so you understand your data’s current state. Imperfect data can be planned for, but surprises in data readiness will lead to unpredictable project delays.

In addition, project leaders must consider team readiness. For example, ask yourselves:

  • Does the organization have team members in the right roles to drive the project? Before starting, you’ll want to clarify key roles like the primary decision-maker and escalation points for the project.
  • Do you have a good mix of technical capability and organizational understanding? When you have one without the other, it could extend the testing duration, the training, or both.

Without these considerations, your implementation risks include running over time and budget. But when your team is identified, prepared, and on the same page, it makes the next consideration easier.

3) Are your project goals and vision clear?

Finally, a good question to dig into as an organization is, “How will we define success after go-live?”

That definition starts with your purpose for implementing PIM/MDM in the first place. Do you want better data quality? More organizational efficiency? More agility to grow and expand into new channels or markets? Coming up with the answers (and reaching something resembling an organizational consensus) will place you firmly on the path to project success.

Do you have the right processes for a pain-free implementation?

MDM implementations require effort and organization, but they don’t have to be painful. Experienced MDM consultants can help you clearly articulate your system goals with stakeholders, understand your data readiness, and create organizational alignment from day one.

For more MDM or PIM implementation tips — including how to incorporate people, processes, and technology — check out Amplifi’s expertise and resources here.