As data volumes and platforms increase, organizations struggle to keep the data that drives their business synchronized with their many applications. Also, many companies struggle to maintain some of the data that is most critical to their operations and analytics—master data. Master data could be customers, products, store locations, or anything that is essential to the business and is shared among multiple systems. Managing this data is beyond a technical challenge; it’s an organizational one. The McKnight Consulting Group (MCG) methodology seeks to understand these challenges, determine the best technical solution and establish the proper governance and oversight for a successful Master Data Management (MDM) program.

We provide MDM Action Plans, Tool Selection and Complete MDM Programs.


The Cornerstone of the MCG

Methodology: The Action Plan

The MCG Methodology combines significant experience in up-to-date best practices for Information Management. The key deliverable of the Methodology is the Action Plan. The Action Plan is the culmination of the discovery process and the path moving forward with defining and implementing the MDM program. The plan combines specifications for the technologies required to support MDM and a client’s own resources. This ensures that the Action Plan is not only pragmatic but also fully takes into account the client’s specific requirements.



McKnight Consulting Group MDM Action Plans encompass the following:

Best Practices – brings a capability in line with the international best practice standards

Requirements – both current and anticipated business and technology requirements

Architectural Model – enhances key data and improves the quality and security of data across all systems, all lines of business and across all channels of communication with customers

Measurable Outcomes – a set of appropriate Key Performance Metrics which supports the ongoing process to maintain and improve data quality, security and archiving.

Transition Plan – guide to extract and cleanse data from existing systems to create a “single source of the truth” for future operations and reporting including risk assessment and mitigation

Typically, the Action Plan is the beginning of a long-term program, which will eventually implement an information, process and technology plan throughout the organization.  Therefore, the MDM Action Plan is created to be a workable solution and not just a theoretical exercise based on wishful thinking.



Actionable – creates an action plan that is a workable solution, not a theoretical exercise

Collaborative – actively provides input, articulates stakeholder’s views and reviews output

Manageable – takes bite sized chunks at a time, which allows for increased demonstrated success and credibility to maintain continuous project support before taking the next steps

Successful – ensures continuous buy-in, persistent project momentum, and gradual progression


Action Plan Process and Phases

Implementing a new MDM Action Plan is a major undertaking involving executives, line-of-business managers and IT. We, therefore, typically recommend a staged approach be taken to reduce risk, gain buy-in across the business and demonstrate achievable results within visible timeframes.

To help simplify the project, we have broken the Action Plan formulation into two stages:

Discovery Phase – to concentrate on understanding the current and future business and technology needs for effective MDM and the size of the task to transition to a possible future state

Definition Phase – to elaborate on the Action Plan that defines the necessary components for a successful launch of a MDM initiative


Discovery Phase

In summary, the discovery phase is made up of the following key activities:

  •   Cast short/long-term VISION through interviews with staff
  •   Understand CURRENT information management operations
  •   Analyze GAP between current state & vision as well as identifying quick wins
  •   Create high level DEFINITION of the plan & operating model
  •   Identify ARCHITECTURE options to underpin the action plan


Definition Phase

In summary, the definition phase is made up of the following key activities:

  • Define in detail the ACTION PLAN, including: business ownership, process definitions, external workflows, policies, data retention, risk, KPIs, job descriptions & training needs
  • Design the SOLUTION MODEL, including: technology, models, data cleaning approach, data movement & architecture
  • Draw an end-to-end ROADMAP

Produce EDUCATION tools and a COMMUNICATION process to present, train, inform & disseminate (which are unfortunately often neglected in MDM programs)


The roadmap will be developed according to our MDM Program Management Methodology, MDMPMM. The input from the interviews and discussions of options will be the main input to the roadmap development.