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William McKnight

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I will periodically be sharing my thoughts and observations on information management here in the blog. I am passionate about the effective creation, management and distribution of information for the benefit of company goals, and I'm thrilled to be a part of my clients' growth plans and connect what the industry provides to those goals. I have played many roles, but the perspective I come from is benefit to the end client. I hope the entries can be of some modest benefit to that goal. Please share your thoughts and input to the topics.

About the author >

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group, a firm focused on delivering business value and solving business challenges utilizing proven, streamlined approaches in data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence, all with a focus on data quality and scalable architectures. William functions as strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide. William is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored hundreds of articles and white papers, and given hundreds of international keynotes and public seminars. His team's implementations from both IT and consultant positions have won Best Practices awards. He is a former IT Vice President of a Fortune company, a former software engineer, and holds an MBA. William is author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. Contact William at

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in William's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

As applications discover the need to work with MDM for their projects to be successful, and the data and the parties are identified, the MDM team needs to be able to engage the requirement.  This is what I call setting up shop. 


You will need to balance structure and agility.


Early in the project's planning/research phase, a general conversation about the project and its data needs should be conducted with MDM Leadership.  As enough information is made available to complete the project plan tasks, the MDM team could provide the project team with the appropriate tasks for inclusion into their project plan.  A description of a superset of those tasks follows.   


All projects engaging MDM data need to share these documents with the MDM team or put MDM Leadership on outright sign-off for the following documents during the Requirements phase:


  • Business Requirements  

  • Non-functional Requirements  


The Business Requirements should contain diagrams and commentary on the interface(s) that the project will have to MDM.  Depending on your working model, either the MDM team or the application team provides the technical aspects of the application integration with MDM.  Figure out which in the manifesto or be prepared for MDM to be labeled "hard to work with."

MDM should also have a set of documents that it will maintain under revision or with a new document, for its purposes.  These documents include:


  • Business Requirements  
  • Functional Design  
  • Technical Specifications  
  • Non-functional requirements
  • Architectural Decisions
  • Data Model


The MDM team also needs to continually estimate if any new data will affect its available space (in all environments - development, QA, other pre-production and production) and begin the process to procure that space.

Posted February 19, 2011 9:39 AM
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