Does anyone have any best practices for data change management post ERP implementation?

Question
From: Ian Dawes

I work for a consultant in the water industry and run a group of Water Industry Asset Information Managers. I have been tasked with trying to establish good / best practice for data change management post ERP implementation. I have been searching for a framework / guidance in this area but have not, as yet, found much. Does anybody know of any published work outlining the quesitons / issues that must be addressed?

Answer
From: Shane Starr

The first disappointment, and one on which I hope you can be flexible, is that intuitively, the term “best practices” seems a perfect definition, but in reality, rarely exists for ERP situations. There simply is no governing or judgmental body – such as ISO 9000 auditors – which has responsibility for examining which set of solutions represents the best approach to an ERP problem.

Having said that, even if there was such a thing as “best practices for data governance”, I would encourage you to first gain alignment around what your desired endpoint is. There are several important axes that represent data management tradeoffs that are not the same for every company: (1) Does the company want tight or loose control over data availability and data access (2) Does the company want business analytics to be performed locally in the business, or centrally, at corporate HQ? (3) Who owns the development of new avenues of business intelligence, and who dictates the priorities? (4) Who has input to the overall architecture of the data organization? And so on.

If at this point, you feel the argument is circular – that you understand the questions, but wish for a shortcut like best practices to get to the answer, while we are responding that you have to answer these questions first – then imagine asking if there is a “best practices” to your business strategy. Hopefully, the answer is no; your business strategy is specific to your organization, your skills, your products, and your aspirations. In the same way that best practices doesn’t apply to business strategy, it really cannot apply to data governance, either.

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Phil Marshall

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Phil Marshall

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