BAAM 2.0 – Cognos Implementation & Upgrade Success

Let Me Introduce You to BAAM
Let Me Introduce You to BAAM
September 26, 2019

Are you struggling to realize the full benefits of your Cognos investment?  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to roll out the new Cognos Analytics (BI) functionality or to update your Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1) models.  Well that’s all about to change with Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM 2.0 for Cognos implementation and upgrade success!

BAAM 2.0 – (Business Analytics Agile Methodology) is Lodestar Solutions’ proven Cognos implementation methodology that has been updated to make you successful even when time and resources are limited!

Agile methods have been used for innovation, driving more value and quality for a number of years. At Lodestar Solutions we have taken our knowledge of agile methods, and years of experience implementing IBM Cognos solutions and created a unique approach that is repeatable and included with all of our Cognos implementation and upgrade projects.

Why do we call it BAAM?

According to the highly respected Urban Dictionary, BAAM is a “surprising or unexpected action or response to show that you are smarter than expected.” And you know at Lodestar Solutions we try to be hip.  

But it’s the perfect name for what you are going to achieve when rolling out the new functionality of IBM Cognos Analytics and Cognos Planning Analytics with your upgrade.  Your executives want amazing results but in most organizations executives feel their investment in business intelligence and analytics has fell flat. 

“More than 87% of organizations are classified as having low business intelligence (BI) and analytics maturity”, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. BAAM 2.0 is designed to help you achieve success. 

Stages of Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM 2.0

  • Pre-Project Planning - Time to get organized and discover the strategic goals of the company
  • Project Kickoff – Team meeting to set expectations and define communication methods. This is where we introduce Smartsheet to our clients.
  • Discovery Meetings – We dive deep to discover what’s possible given your data, resources and timeline.  This creates the game plan for the project
  • Sprints – The project is chunked into smaller projects for success and validation by executives.  This is the secret to the BAAM process, smaller agile components with incremental delivery.
  • Go Live – Knowledge transfer is complete, and you are ready to soar on your own.
  • Post Project – Every project is a learning experience. BAAM projects include a retrospective to share ideas on how to make the next phase faster.
  • Videos for Growth – BAAM teaches analytic professionals that a huge component of success relies on soft skills like influence, communication and facilitation. So we provide educational videos as part of the BAAM process.

What’s New in BAAM 2.0?  

Agile is about improving as you go and learning from your mistakes. Well, even with our BAAM process we learned we had room for improvement. In BAAM 2.0 we focus more on what your executives need to succeed. I am always shocked by how many BI managers are unable to communicate to me what the strategic goals of their company are.  Think about it, your task as a business intelligence and analytics professional is to deliver data and insights to help the organization achieve the strategic goals of the organization.  But, no one communicated what those goals are. Hmm… do you see the disconnect here?  BAAM 2.0 coaches you to focus on what executives and the organization really need.  We are talking about the needle moving dashboards.

BAAM 2.0 Tools 

Effectively running a project requires the proper tools and techniques.  With Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM Cognos implementation solution, we leverage the powerful tools offered by Smartsheet to communicate to everyone involved where we are in the process! Check out to learn more. Smartsheet is more than a great project management tool, it’s a leading work execution platform. Smartsheet helps align people, with technology to empower BAAM to move faster and achieve more in less time.  In full disclosure, Lodestar Solutions fell in love with Smartsheet so much we are now an official Smartsheet partner. Contact us at to learn more.

How to Get BAAM?

Interested in learning more about Lodestar Solutions’ BAAM 2.0 - Cognos Implementation & Upgrade Success, and how you can use our unique Business Analytics Agile Methodology in your organization? Contact us at to schedule an initial consultation.

Facilitation Workshop Coming in Early 2020

To complement our BAAM 2.0, we are designing a new workshop for Analytics professionals on how to facilitate effective requirements discovery sessions and meetings. So that when you run a meeting with executives to create your Cognos Analytics roadmap, your executives will have a BAAM look on their face! Email us at if you want to be notified when the workshop dates are announced.

Cognos Analytics Roadmap 

To learn about building a roadmap check out our video and take our action assessment quiz to see how you are performing based on success criteria.

Increase End User Adoption with BAAM

Increase end user adoption
Keep your lients close & engaged – BAAM

As business analytics coaches, it is our passion to talk about things that make your job easier. Today we are going to talk about developing applications & working closely with the client to gain end user adoption which is the essence of Lodestar’s new BAAM (Business Analytics Agile Methodology) program. Since planning and analysis software is becoming more focused on the citizen developer, it is even more important to now empower the client to be engaged in the development of their application. For too long, the cycle of creating complex applications with too many unnecessary bells and whistles has been going on. In many cases, this is done deliberately to create a dependency. Developers create black boxes that are only understood by them and the client has difficulty either maintaining or modifying the model. This just alienates the client and forces them to go back to environments that are familiar to them like Excel.

New vendors in the performance analysis space have taken this issue as an opportunity and focused on self services and citizen development capabilities. These vendors have promoted benefits like rapid prototyping, rapid development and quick deployment as benefits of their products. These concepts have forced some of the traditional players to change course and now they are trying to play catch up with the new breed of product offerings. By in large, this a good thing for the end user because it cultivates transparency and clarity in the model. What this also does is allow for ideas to flow freely and the best ideas get incorporated in the application. Going back to the subject of keep the client close, it can be seen that there are a number of advantages to that. At Lodestar, we have been developing application from a remote site. We schedule web meetings for the entire duration of the build and it allows the client to view, advise, and participate throughout the entire process.

Lodestar Solutions has created BAAM by incorporating Scrum and Agile methodologies into application development. Using this structured approach allows us to further immerse the client into the process. The client in most cases plays the role of Product owner and developer in some cases. They are part of the team that goes through sprints and deliver a potentially shippable product increment to the stakeholders. They are extremely intimate with the increment and can present it to the stakeholder with authority. In addition, at the end of every sprint, they are highly capable of eliciting feedback for the next increment of product development. In a waterfall approach, this is not possible because by the time the product (entire product) is delivered, it is too late. Either the delivered product is entirely different from what the client wanted or does not meet the core requirements. By making the client part of the core team, this can be avoided. It ensures course correction and allows the client to make requirement changes as the project progresses to the end.

Keeping the client close ensures constant communication, feedback loops, and active participation in the model that belong to them. If they have a say in how it is built, it is highly likely they will be its champion in the organization, hence…a higher end user adoption. A happy client will always come back to you for the next problem they want to solve.

For more info on increasing end user adoption, BAAM, or ideas on Agile & Scrum, feel to reach us at