data governance? market readiness?

Everybody in the item management supply chain instinctively knows high data quality requires some sort of governance plan. Getting it to stick and stay fresh is another story. Structuring your product experience management (PXM) governance program for success requires gaining resonance from at least two very different perspectives: MDM (data at rest) and PIM Workflow (data in motion).

Master Data Governance

The master data management perspective, or at rest Data Governance, is the typical purview of the Chief Data Officer, IT and/or Data Operations teams. It’s the more traditional point of view, focused on ensuring high attribute data fill rates, attribute value accuracy for each SKU, regulatory and product claims compliance in each data repository. You’ll see a lot of data quality audits performed here, review and enforcement of business compliance and industry standards rules, and change management approvals for taxonomy and records metadata.

Traditional MDM/PIM Data Governance tends to involve steering committees, quarterly benchmarking of metrics and quick-action remediation response in case of a crisis. At its best, Data Governance is rigorous, repeatable and rewarding. At its worst, it can feel bureaucratically risk-adverse, a thankless task, and a business agility-blocking nightmare. Yikes!

PIM Workflow Governance

The product information management process perspective, or data in motion Workflow Governance, is the typical purview of the Chief Marketing Officer, merchandising and/or eCommerce teams. It’s the product launch and marketing campaign point of view, focused on ensuring high content and digital asset differentiation, “first mover” introduction through publishing and syndication, line planning to active to markdown to archive lifecycle. You’ll see a lot of category by category and hero product influence here, emphasis on changing demand allocation priorities, and change management approvals for channel, trading partner and marketplace merchandising.

Market-focused Workflow Governance tends to involve staging gates between in-house and third party teams, daily/weekly/monthly benchmarking against revenue expectations and highly-visible executive overrides in case of a crisis. At its best, Workflow Governance is forward-looking, flexible and frictionless. At its worst, it can feel like “busy work” tone-deaf to operational reality, totally disjointed and chaotic among creative teams, and a speed-over-quality nightmare. Random!

[perfa sounds off on] Market Readiness Governance

The best advice we ever took on product experience governance was that organizational branding, balance and backing matters - both data at rest and data in motion perspectives are important to success, yet almost every company has a failure, faction and fatigue story. To quote one executive at Bauch & Lomb, “when we called it ‘governance’ no one showed up, but when we called it ‘market readiness’ we had to turn away volunteers”.

For fast-moving brands and retailers, our market readiness governance programs combine the traditional risk-mitigation and metrics of data governance with the product lifecycle and experimentation aspects of workflow governance, tweaked for your individual business model and cultural reality. We explore, train and facilitate as necessary to get the best fit. So whether we do it or you do it, high product data quality and product experience agility demand nothing less.

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