Nobody likes failed projects. Especially in an economic climate where project funding is sparse and everyone is scrutinized on their individual and team performances.
BI (Business Intelligence) projects are necessary for businesses to make pragmatic and informed business decisions. BI projects help organizations measure their business performance. But not all BI projects are successful. So the key question is: how do we prudently manage the performance of BI projects in the first place?
Below is a list of some of the top reasons why BI projects don’t deliver what they promise. If these areas are addressed, the project success has a much higher probability.
1) No Executive sponsorship: Most BI projects are highly cross-functional in nature. It needs collaboration from various departments within an organization. Unless there is executive buy-in and commitment, seldom do departments come together in a timely fashion and collaborate, as every department has its own priorities and targets to meet.
2) Underestimating the commitment levels, cost and effort: Let us be honest – to have a really meaningful BI solution that helps strengthen the organization’s top line and bottom line, it takes sustained effort, which could translate into a considerable commitment and cost. Many BI projects are abandoned mid-way and deemed a failure as the executive sponsors are not briefed about the needed commitment in advance.
3) Biting more than what can be chewed: The old adage “Don’t bite more than you can chew” is still valid today! Most BI teams get into a ‘monument building’ mode right from the word go. The best way to succeed in a BI project is to intelligently prioritize business needs and break them into manageable chunks.
4) Making IT drive BI projects: The term BI stands for Business Intelligence – it means it is intimately related to the business! Ideally the business should be driving it with collaboration and support from IT. Many organizations let IT drive their BI projects from concept to completion with minimal involvement of the business. This is a sure recipe for mismatched expectations and unexpected results, often leading to failure.
5) Trying to Fit a Square Peg into a Round Hole: This cliché is very much true in most cases where BI needs / requirements are not understood clearly and the project team tries to fit the business needs into an incorrect technology solution.
There is abundant knowledge out there in the marketplace. Select a team that has ‘been there and done that’ to help you with your BI needs, to prioritize the requirements, to select the best technology solution and finally, to deliver a roadmap and solution – all in deep collaboration with your business and IT.
For comments and questions, please email Eashwar@cerebrateinc.com