The Dutch branch of a multinational company operating websites for ordering and delivering meals was looking for a specialist to help the company with their master data management. It concerned financial processes in particular. The organisation in question had grown considerably over a number of years, and became too dependent on team members for data knowledge.
It was soon decided to start working not only with Master Data Management, but also with Data Governance. The organisation did not have a complete overview of all processes, nor was it precisely defined which function was responsible for which processes and associated data. In addition, the client was aware that the data processes were taking too long. To identify the bottlenecks and optimise the processes, the assignment began with the creation of process descriptions, flow charts and documentation.
Understanding processes and determining ownership
Together with team members of the company, workshops were organised. These workshops focused on 10-15 financial processes, such as profit centre and cost centre. The aim was to gain knowledge from the business about the progress of processes. During the workshops, the processes were jointly clarified using flow charts. A description was then made of what happens within the flowcharts, and the corresponding instructions were recorded. Each process was assigned an owner who would become the decision-maker. Although this can sometimes be a difficult process (often people want to be responsible for specific parts of a process but not for the whole process), determining ownership is very important. Especially when it comes to day-to-day operational processes.
Based on flow charts, it was possible to determine which steps of the process could be automated and by which tool. We then moved on to defining procedures, for instance about creating objects. Among other things, it was investigated how long it took the team to create an object in the existing situation, what the desired time would be and how the process could be improved. Statuses were then attached to all phases so that internal customers would have insight into all subsequent steps. The tools that would be put into use to support the process optimisation were also selected.
The result was immediately noticeable because clear steps could be taken immediately, as well as concrete agreements within the finance team and the organisation about ownership. As a result, knowledge can now be shared much more easily and when a new colleague starts, the knowledge can be transferred quickly. This saves the team a lot of time and the new colleague is quickly settled in. In addition, continuity is guaranteed and data governance is integrated into the organisation. Quote Tentive consultant: “I myself like to compare data governance with the various members of an orchestra: if everyone knows what to do, you are well attuned to each other and you achieve the best result”.
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