Sunday, November 27, 2011

Business Intelligence Planning

Plan meticulously before launching a business intelligence (BI) project. Brief the senior managers while implementing a BI application project so they can back the information technology department's plans. This way, the team remains cohesive and goal-oriented. In addition, the IT managers, MIS directors, and chief information officers should carefully assemble the right team for implementation and select the right business intelligence product.

Establish the Need

Management and business community must have a general understanding and appreciation of the value that business intelligence applications can provide. Create a compelling need for developing a business intelligence application within your organization. Company individuals can use it to access data to obtain specific information or use it to solve any type of business problems. Plan your project thoroughly before implementing it, and complete the project within the stipulated time frame.

Develop a Formal Project Plan

Your plan is a living document that must be updated continually through the life of the project. It is a reference document to all the project details and helps to manage the expectations and outcome of the final delivery. The plan should contain:

Business requirements

Scope and delivery

Critical success factors

User acceptance criteria



Roles and responsibilities

Proper planning leads to a successful BI project in which all of organization's expectations are met or exceeded. Formally documenting and communicating the deliveries help to fulfill user expectations.

Checklist for BI Planning

To ensure the success of your business intelligence project planning and implementation, use the following checklist:

Define the project

Identify the users

Develop a formal project plan

Assemble the project team

Assess all information and technical needs

Select the software

Configure the business intelligence application

Deploy a support strategy

Train all users

Ensuring Success

Present your business intelligence strategy to someone you report to before implementation. Give a presentation to the executive committee on the expenditures, data restructuring, overhauls, incremental expenses, requirement of skilled manpower, ramifications and effect on the enterprise. This will provide a nucleus to work with and develop or implement a well-planned BI project. Follow the following checklist to ensure success:

Have a corporate BI mission statement.

Have a centralized managed approach.

End user and IT representatives should meet regularly.

Justify BI acquisitions with RFI/RFP, specific application, end-user surveys and requests, IT decisions with use input.

Evaluate criteria and measurement processes to track BI efforts in place.

Have a formal model of BI support structure in place.

For end-user input requirements, allow individual departments and functional areas to select and maintain their own BI strategies.

Publish an approved BI strategy document describing all selections in details for future references.
Review the necessary documents periodically.

Take steps and spend time to plan your business intelligence initiative to avoid business failure. Goals and organizational aspirations cannot be achieved without a plan. A proper plan enthuses the project team to aim for success within a given time frame and with an optimal use of resources.