Pizza & Beer: Bridging the BI Gap between IT & Business

You have successfully installed, built and implemented a BI solution on time and on budget. This is an incredible victory and deserves numerous accolades. However, it comes to light that end users are not adopting your incredibly powerful application and refuse to move from Excel. Unfortunately, this is a common story.  How do I go about Bridging the BI Gap?

The problem is that the relationship between the Business and IT is completely dysfunctional. If they weren’t so codependent on each other, their poor communication skills would have driven them to divorce years ago. But as it is now, they both sleep in separate rooms and barely speak to each other, staying together for the “kids,” so to speak.

The communication block isn’t really IT’s or the Business’s fault. The reality is that they speak two completely different languages.

At the beginning of a project, IT puts together an incredibly beautiful requirements document, full of impressive words…words that the Business doesn’t understand. However, instead of questioning what is being built, the Business makes the mistake of thinking that IT knows best because they are in the business of data. Wrong! Both parties are at fault. Requirements documents should be written from the view and the language of the Business; and the Business needs to be more proactive in the build, testing and implementation of their business intelligence solution. This is one of many reasons why Lodestar is a big proponent of the agile project management methodology. Not only does it provide iterations of improvement, but it keeps the Business involved throughout the lifecycle of the project.

So the question then becomes, “How to build a happy marriage between IT and the Business?” First, it starts with mutual respect of what each player brings to the table. Start bridging the gap by going out for pizza and beer (or just lunch) to open the lines of communication. I think you’ll find out that those IT people are very similar to those Business people.

To learn how to speak IT, work on Bridging the BI Gap or how to write better requirements, register for Lodestar’s “The Psychology of Requirements Gathering for Change Agents” workshop.  Check our website for scheduled dates.