Implementing PIM/MDM projects that are precise both in their capabilities and enterprise requirements is no mean feat. These projects are often complex and multi-layered, and, since they involve a range of enterprise resources, they are also costly. While organizations have been using an array of tactics and techniques to get their PIM/MDM right, they often face obstacles. One of them being how slowly PIM/MDM initiatives move. This impacts their end value too. This is why using an agile approach like SCRUM can accelerate the process and pave the way for speedier outcomes.
In an age of constantly increasing data volumes from a growing number of data sources, understanding the customer buying journey and providing contextually relevant product information is critical. These customer expectations emphasize the need for MDM processes to be agile and responsive. However, with MDM projects taking months (or even years) to complete, the end result is often sub-optimal because the data may have already changed by the time the project ends.
For organizations looking to engage with the modern omnichannel customer, taking the Agile route is a great option. Agile techniques like SCRUM enable organizations to accelerate their PIM/MDM process. Since it takes cues from agile software development, it enables them to create PIM/MDM records in an accelerated manner. Unlike traditional MDM projects where data is updated only periodically, agile MDM enables the master record to be updated with real-time data, making it more flexible and adaptable to the constantly changing demands of customers.
Implementing PIM/MDM with SCRUM
With the goal of promoting a common foundation of data within the organization, MDM when implemented correctly, can deliver concrete value to the business. Implementing PIM/MDM with SCRUM paves the way for an evolutionary scale-out that is collaborative and self-organizing in nature. This makes delivering high-quality systems cost-effective and timely. To embed agile MDM activities into your organization, you need to focus on promoting common data definitions and reducing data inconsistency. That said, here’s how you can implement PIM/MDM with SCRUM:
- Begin your MDM process with data classification and then consider how your data is being accessed. Streamline data standards and make sure they are sensible, easy to understand, and easy to access.
- Use collaborative strategies for governance that strive to enable and motivate the use of consistent and updated source data; if necessary, include data professionals in your agile MDM development strategy to run your data governance activities efficiently.
- Identify master data elements, define corresponding metadata and use the right tools to manage metadata.
- Make sure enterprise administrators and architects are closely collaborating with each other and are actively involved in enhancing agile MDM efforts.
- Clearly define the roles of product owner, scrum master, and team members from the very beginning, so everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
- Ensure all team members contribute effectively towards sprint planning meetings, daily kickoffs, and sprint review meetings; empower them to clearly define product backlogs and finalize tasks to meet major project goals.
- Embed MDM activities like identifying and capturing metadata with your day-to-day development activities and automate as much of this work as possible.
- Make sure your Agile MDM project has support from enterprise leaders even with activities being carried out at a project-level so there is alignment between all stakeholders.
- Make it a point to take an evolutionary, iterative, and incremental approach to software development. Evolve your data definitions over time and ensure it meets your requirements as the organization grows.
- Build your MDM with a usage-driven approach – including use cases, user stories, and usage scenarios – so you can incorporate features based on how users will work with, or interact with, the system.
- Enable short feedback loops, so you can address issues sooner and reduce the cost and impact of bugs affecting the overall project.
- Implement your MDM project in sprints, so new functionalities can constantly be tested and added from the available product backlog.
Make a difference
Modern omnichannel consumers have massive expectations. They want a consistent experience that takes into account their behaviors and preferences as well as their past interactions. However, presenting a consistent experience across channels is never easy. It requires organizations to propagate a single source of truth for product data across the enterprise.
Implementing your PIM/MDM project with SCRUM is a great way to ensure data consistency and relevance while addressing the changing needs of your customers and driving substantial business value. After all, your ability to show value faster can become the most significant difference between you and your competition.