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Let's imagine you were about to use a CRM Enterprise-Application that contains your working-data (street, housenumber, office phone number and so on).

Should we allow the user to change this data at their own will, or should that be exclusively to the administrators?

I'm just thinking of Microsoft's ActiveDirectory, where one can't simply change their own data without asking the IT department.

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1  
What is the data used for in the CRM? –  JonW Feb 11 '13 at 19:32
    
Good question @JonW, depends quite a lot from the use of data. (Who to blame of wrong information :) –  Samuel M Feb 11 '13 at 19:57
    
@JonW Well, good point indeed. It is used for communication with the client, it is embedded in the users vcard and is used when transferring datasets to other entities (such as to websites and there used as the contact person) –  SeToY Feb 11 '13 at 20:15

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Depends.I would say it depends on the potential use cases which can arise due to the user wanting to change the data or changing the data. For example some use cases I can think of are :

  1. You need to define what your potential use cases are why the user might want to change the data and what would be the impact on the system.
  2. You also need to determine the potential scope of how many people might want to change the data and if the IT department or the administrative team can handle the work load. In context to that, if the amount of data updates are high, you also need the consider the delays which might arise with the admins not being able to respond quickly and hence there being an increase in frustration due the wait.
  3. Lastly you also need to determine the time it takes for the admin to make a data update and how that would influence the user with regards to the reason for the data change.

As stated above, determine the different use cases and the factors associated and then make the decision.

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In my own opinion, you should be able to change your own personal details, like home address, phone number, bank account number etc. Since if the details in the system are critical to be up to date, for example used for automatically paying your salary or something similar.

If the data in the system is incorrect:

  1. You editing the data yourself: It's your own fault.
  2. Administrator editing the data: The fault might be yours, or then the administrators who has input the data.

But my opinion is that if it's your personal details, you should be able to change them. (Not details like your name and social security number, since they USUALLY don't change (and are used to identify you), and if they do change then the administration possibly would like to know why Jack is now Jill.)

I have once implemented an Enterprice Application that was connected to Microsoft ActiveDirectory, in a way that the application was handling user creation / modification to AD. Since the user credentials and details also needed to be in the application and external systems, we inserted/updated the user to all places at once, from the application. So when user changed his/her address, phone number or any other detail, it was updated to AD by the application. With that their own data was up to date in the AD without asking IT department.

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I believe it ultimately depends on the effect of the change. For example, changing even personal information about a firm in the insurance industry can actually have an impact on how that firm does business.

However, if it is simply just personal information stored for non-critical reasons, I don't see a benefit of not letting the users change their personal information. It actually seems more of a hassle for both the user and administrators to jump through this hoop without probable cause.

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No-one knows your address better than you, trust the user with this control but log changes (e.g. 'we have a problem because you changed your zip code last week') - what needs to be maintained though (and this is more back end) is integrity of live processes - always treat this data as changeable and don't tie processes to the contents.

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