Successful ICM project? Its all about data…

We have been having an internal discussion, what are the most critical aspects of an ICM project, the differences between success and failure – Teamwork? Executive sponsorship? Architecture? Reporting?

The view of our most experienced ICM project managers; it’s all about the data.

Customers buying an automated ICM solution are dazzled by the front end; the reports; the dashboards; the modeling; the possibility of driving business, empowering their employees.

That is fine, but what really needs to be understood from the first conversation is that ICM is a data driven solution, therefore the product or information coming from the system is wholly dependent on the timeliness and quality of the data.

These are projects that are all about the back end, identifying the data sources, getting access to them, integrating them, and above all ensuring the data is clean and consistent.

This data reliance brings another complication. The data is owned (the intellectual property) of the customer and in most cases managed by IT. Therefore in order to get to the data IT have to been involved and work closely with the business (who are normally the owners of an ICM project, which are rarely IT driven projects)  and any 3rd party vendor or consultancy.

The business requirements can be aligned, the architecture perfect, the integration faultless, the system configured in a textbook way with perfect calculations, but if the data is not clean the jazzy report will ultimately be useless.

Lesson from this? Right from the beginning get the customer to realize and take ownership for the importance of the data, retain this focus throughout the project.  

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