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Business Intelligence Management

Need business intelligence management for an information management project and want some practical suggestions to ensure rapid project delivery?

Business intelligence management management requires:Business Intelligence Management
  • Business intelligence project management skills; and
  • A business intelligence project framework.
What are business intelligence project management skills?

Project management skills needed for information management projects include the usual IT project management skill set but also include technical skills not normally required for traditional project management

Why is that?

Business intelligence projects are data centric and require highly skilled IT specialists to handle things such as:
  • Requirements e.g. these are different than traditional projects with much more emphasis on data requirements, and business intelligence usage requirements;
  • Architecture and design is different as much if the emphasis is on data storage and data movement;
  • Quality assurance testing is highly technical and requires significant involvement from the technical team; and
  • Release testing is sometimes more extensive and error prone than traditional projects and needs to be carefully managed to ensure that time is not lost e.g. if a back-up is not taken at the correct step, and something goes wrong that involves a restore, much time could be lost waiting for a restore from earlier back-ups.
What skills does a business intelligence project manager require?

Business intelligence  project managers should have:
  • The usual project management skills including planning, organizing, and communication;
  • An excellent knowledge of business intelligence policies, standards, best practices and project methodology;
  • Demonstrated experience providing technical leadership to multi-disciplinary teams comprised of requirements analysts, data architects, data movement and BI designer/developers, quality assurance testers, and release management teams;
  • Experience with project management tools such as Microsoft Project or Omni Plan, and other tools such as requirements management e.g Clearquest, ReqPro, document management, testing and configuration management; and
This experience can only really be gained through 12-15 years of technical design and project management experience in a variety of information management, data warehousing and business intelligence environments.

What is a business intelligence project management framework?

A business intelligence projects methodology provides predictable, repeatable processes designed for use when conducting information management projects.

It should include the following key project management phases:

  • Planning & analysis, which should define roles and responsibilities and work breakdown structure required to:
  • architecture and design, which should define the architecture for the entire solution;
  • Build and test, which should deliver:
    • Code required to extract data from the source systems;
    • Programs that will load the data warehouse with the source data;
    • Processes to clean the data;
    • Programs and scripts that ensure backup/recovery;
    • System processes to handle the data warehouse manager;
    • A query manager to support business intelligence requirements;
    • Pre-developed queries and reports and user access tools;
    • A set of repeatable system integration, volume and aggregation tests; and
    • A set of repeatable manual reconciliation tasks.
  • User acceptance test (UAT) should ensure that the business intelligence solution meets agreed requirements; and
  • Release to production, which should:
    • Migrate the business intelligence solution into a production environment;
    • Pre-load the Data Warehouse; and
    • Complete final performance testing
What else does business intelligence management require:
  • Project management templates; and
  • A responsible, approve, consult, inform (RACI) matrix.
Summary...

Information management projects are data centric and require highly skilled IT specialists including specialized business intelligence management leadership skills.

Don’t make the mistake of having a project manager learn on your project!


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