Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Can Business Process Management (BPM) and Master Data Management (MDM) work together?

Ramesh Dontha

By Ramesh Dontha

On March 13, 2017

Master Data Management (MDM) and Business Process Management (BPM) are two significant investments that enterprises usually undertake to realize tangible business benefits by streamlining business processes and leveraging data as an asset. They are inter-related in many ways and I believe that enterprises can be more effective and efficient by making sure that these two initiatives work together. Before I discuss how they can work together, let us first get grounded on definitions for MDM and BPM.

Business Process Management (BPM) is an approach to making enterprises’ workflows more effective and more efficient by streamlining personnel-centric dependencies and heavily emphasizing change management.  Master Data Management (MDM), on the other hand, is focused on enabling an enterprise to link all of its critical data to a ‘master’ file as a single point of reference thereby streamlining sharing of data among employees and various departments.

Even though one is driven from a business process perspective and the other is driven from a data perspective, both these initiatives can work synergistically benefiting each other and here is how.

CollaborationCombine BPM and MDM initiatives with a joint value proposition: I know that many people’s initial reaction is that it is an impossible task. But MDM initiative will undoubtedly impact business processes and BPM initiative will not only touch business processes, but associated data flows. So why not look into joint value proposition? As per best practice, though, start small with one business group or function. Large enterprise-wide BPM and MDM initiatives without some small wins will face significant impediments based on our prior experience.

Start with one executive sponsor: It is stated as a best practice to have a strong executive sponsor at the highest level possible to drive a successful BPM or MDM initiative. If possible at all, start with one executive sponsor from business unit for both BPM and MDM programs. Impress upon the sponsor how business process initiative results in higher data quality and how a well-thought-out data management program results in inefficient business processes.

One Governance organization: Governance is key to the success of BPM and MDM initiatives.  Two separate governance organizations will interfere with each other as most of the participants will most likely overlap. To eliminate this friction, proactively think about one governance organization with representatives from business units, IT, and other functional areas.

Change ManagementChange management to address both Business Process and Data Management: A well thought out comprehensive change management program with high-quality training for rank and file can result in BPM and MDM reaping benefits for enterprises. Put together a change management program addressing both business process changes as well as focus on data initiatives to realize the benefits from both.

I passionately believe that BPM and MDM are interconnected and it is not possible to drive one without dealing with the other. Instead of organizations dealing with the after-effects from not-so-successful initiatives, it is best to confront the realities upfront and address them right from get go. I’d love to hear from you on your thoughts.

About Ramesh Dontha

Ramesh Dontha is Managing Partner at Digital Transformation Pro (www.DigitalTransformationPro.Com), a management consulting company focusing on Data Strategy, Data Governance, Data Quality and related Data management practices. For more than 15 years, Ramesh has put together strategies and implementation plans to meet/exceed business objective and deliver business value. His personal passion is to demystify the intricacies of data governance and data management and make them applicable to business strategies and objectives. Ramesh can either be reached on LinkedIn (, twitter (@rkdontha1) or email:

image credit @jenn_azraimages @unsplash