Managing and securing your organization’s master data is crucial for supporting any organizational goals which rely on data – so all of them!!! It’s also important for today’s business to work with their master data in an accurate, efficient, and well understood way. As such, the process for managing change requests to either add, remove, or edit master data entries should be well defined and understood and part of this process is ensuring the proper information is captured in a change request to not only document the changes and their rationale, but also inform their approval.
Spoiler: I’m offering a free MDM change request template of at the end of this article.
Here is how you should create a MDM change request and what information should be captured in it:
ID/ Request#: I always encourage the usage of unique ID for tracking out any request or inventory item in order to reference these quicker between and data stewards, data custodians and stakeholders.
Requestor Name: Self explanatory, this is the individual’s name filling out the change request form. Most often, this would be a data steward.
Date submitted: This date field helps you keep track of when data change requests are submitted, which can help you identify how long a request remains unanswered.
Data Architect: The person responsible with designing, creating, deploying and managing your organization’s data architecture (for large organizations there could be multiple ones split on different data domains)
Scope change: A simple “yes” check-mark should indicate right away if this would signify a scope creep. When working with contractors on a well defined project, this can flag other implications right away around risks and resources.
Priority: Noting the priority level for any change request would help further inform the approval designate and put it in relation to other concurrent change request items. You can either adopt a number spectrum (1-5) or the classical critical, high, medium, low values to note the priority, just make sure it is well defined and understood what each would mean as you don’t want everything to be submitted as a critical or high priority.
Affected Line(s) of Business: What business units will be affected by this change? Filling this out will help determine the priority, but also inform the change management process to follow.
Change request details
Reason for Change: Provide justification for of why such a change is needed and any background information or details on the change catalyst in order to support the rational of this change.
Description of Change: Describe what is required to be changed.
Implementation of Change: Describe the steps and requirements necessary to implement this change as well as how the change will be communicated to stakeholders.
Cost Details: Provide details on any proposed budget items, one-time or on-going, which would result as part of this change. Ensure you outline their total if there is more than one budget item identified.
Ramifications: Provide any details on any impact this change would have on schedule, staffing, risks, stakeholders, and scope, and what change management steps will be taken to address all of these.
Note: If any of these descriptions are filled in by another individual other than the requester, that should be noted. This is usually the case as there might be details coming in from a project manager, data custodian, report developer, etc.
Approval Status: Is this master data management change request approved, rejected, or cancelled? You might also want to provide details or comments if the status is not approved.
Authorizer’s name and Signature : Formally note the approval status with a name and a signature
Date: When was the decision made to approve, reject, or cancel the change request? This will be helpful for project or task auditing.
Many master data management tools would offer a MDM change request form and workflow as part of its services. This form is not to be used as a substitute, but as a starting point to capture the necessary requirements and details if your budget does not permit the adoption of a MDM tool at the moment.