This is the third post in my series on changing our approach to BI development. In order to break the BI backlog, move towards more pervasive BI and increase the BI business ROI, an enterprise needs to make fundamental changes to their BI efforts. These changes are interrelated and necessary for success.
For an enterprise to truly experience a BI breakout, here are four of the things we should do differently:
- Business people need to be given BI tools that enable self-service BI (see previous post on this)
- Triage business requests for new BI deliverables such as dashboards, reports, cubes (see previous post on this)
- Establish hybrid BI development methodology (explained below)
- IT needs to concentrate on creating an information backbone
I’ll discuss the third one below, and the final one in an upcoming blog post.
Establish hybrid BI development methodology
One of the hot topics regarding IT project methodology is agile development. This type of methodology better supports the incremental and iterative development approach that has been so successful with BI programs rather than the “Big Bang” approach that enterprises often try using their systems development lifecycle (SDLC). Although I would love to recommend a pure agile methodology, unfortunately too often that scenario has led to development chaos and anarchy.
The best approach would be a BI Hybrid Project Methodology:
- Use agile development for initial exploratory analysis and BI prototyping. Iterate on the 80 percent of the BI requests that do not need to become production reports quickly. These requests often have business value if they are answered quickly and not months after they are requested.
- Use the formal SLDC development methodology for 20 percent of requests that need to be running in production with all the associated documentation, source control, data governance and process management. Caution: just remember to not overdo.
Check back in a couple of days for #4, “IT needs to concentrate on creating an information backbone.”