30 April 2017
We persuaded the organization to pursue an Enterprise Data Model. Our objective is to align the business requirements with the organization’s business values and vision as a starting point. Let’s begin to make the business case.
The first step in establishing your business case is to find a sponsor who will champion and support your initiative. Someone with a vision of the end state, who is willing to set aside the necessary budget to realize that goal. You’re not served by a nominal sponsor; instead you need someone with authority within the organization who socializes the message that an EDM is the way to go. This is very important, or else your initiative will end as a document EDM. You created the model on paper, but nobody follows your guidelines and rules.
Don’t fall into the trap of making it a purely IT effort. Along the entire implementation process you will impact the day-to-day business. You will never get the prerequisite buy-in when the business itself is not driving the EDM initiative.
Define a clear scope for your EDM. You can’t build a business case as a big bang that you are going to launch. To finish the EDM may take more than 10 years, so make a clear step-by-step plan for the first 3 years, and split these into a yearly plan with clear scope and deliverables. Your activities will impact the day-to-day developments, so it’s important that you can measure the costs, as well as tangible and intangible benefits of the EDM in each impacted project or program. All your efforts should be stored in a framework with expected budget, costs and deliverables. On top of this framework, you need to put a number of KPI’s. Each framework should cover a measurable timeframe linked to a budget. This allows a clear overview of the progress and the cost of your EDM.
Don’t assume that your EDM is merely a modeling effort. You should also cover the processes linked to each aspect of the data model. To achieve efficiency improvements, you need to focus on data quality and standardization. Both have an impact on daily processes. For example: how are you going to avoid new data quality errors from entering the system? There is a high probability you will have to adapt one or more processes to achieve these gains.
It is recommended that you create a separate team to handle the EDM. A team focusing on the implementation of the EDM and following each project and/or program. They provide the reassurance that developments are in line with the objectives of the EDM. You also need an architecture board to approve the data model and process for each project and/or program. This board will decide which data items will be modeled next, approve the process, and oversee the costs involved.
Don’t forget that you are not the first pursuing an EDM. Look for peers, talk to vendors that provide EDM’s, and incorporate their lessons learned in your business case.
And last but not least: communication. From day one you need to communicate your progress, improvements, budget, costs, etc. … The entire organization needs to be aware of this effort.