How to Implement BI – Part 1
- Get an Executive Sponsor. Get sponsorship from your organization’s senior executives; determine their expectations. Meeting the expectations of the executives will help provide continued funding.
- Create a Project Charter. A project charter is a mini business plan for your project that defines success, and is approved by the team members. It includes objectives, risk factors, timelines, and resources.
- Plan 8-10 Weeks to Achieve Results. Most executives want to see results in 8-10 weeks. Define your scope to deliver something in a short period of time. This allows you to build on small wins and gain momentum.
- Set a Realistic Budget. Plan for emergencies and contingencies. You may need to reduce your scope to meet your budget.
- Save Costs Where They Matter the Most. Don’t just pinch pennies for present savings; ensure the savings will pay off in the long run. Compromising on quality now, could result in rebuilds and missed deadlines. Training and design are two areas you should never skimp.
- Involve Key Users. IBM Cognos projects must involve both business and IT representatives. Both sides need to work together to understand and respect each other’s needs, capabilities and timelines.
- Put Resources on the Project that Know Your Organization. Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding your organization internally. It will help save time and missteps on your project.
- Spend Extra Time on Architecture and Design. Think big start small. Your initial design should consider subsequent phases and future data sources. Explore reporting requirements by reverse engineering current reports.
- Remember End Users. Avoid assuming what the end user does, needs or wants. Involving end users helps to gain their buy in. Ensure the project plan includes end user training.
- Self Reliance. Your organization should own the project and not rely solely on consultants. Look for consultants that mentor and train your team members to be self-sufficient; this will help increase your project’s long term ROI.
- Test Contingency Plans. Waiting for disaster to strike is a dangerous way to find out if your emergency plans will hold. Test backup plans periodically and modify them when things change. Make sure backup plans are well documented to help reduce stress during an emergency.
- Under Promise but Over Deliver. Don’t create deadlines that you know you can’t meet. Promise only what you know you can do, not what you think people expect, and you’ll be able to finish on time or early and under budget. It’s less stressful and the team will look like heroes.
- Ample Testing is Required. Do as much testing as you can as early as you can. Allow time for rework and retesting to ensure that you’ve eliminated errors without introducing new ones. At the business level, include end users in testing. Remember that the goals are end user satisfaction and added value.
- Avoid Scope Creep. Evaluate all events that could change the project’s schedule and all scope change requests. Review the affects of any change before making a decision and then implement a revised plan. Make sure all stakeholders are informed of any scope and timeline changes.
See Part 2 of our How to Implement BI series HERE
See Part 3 of our How to Implement BI series HERE
See Part 4 of our How to Implement BI series HERE