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Why Agile for Business Intelligence?

I have identified three categories  related to the nature of Business Intelligence projects that makes them highly suitable for Agile approach. These categories are Skills, Change,  and Data.  Skills * BI projects are cross organisational and require both business and IT skills. * Skills required...

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Strategy Driven BI

Posted by Anahita | Posted in Business Intelligence | Posted on 17-05-2012

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Often when companies look into finding their next BI initiative, the first step they take is to find the technical tools that help them achieve the business requirements, but along the way the choice of the technical tools and the related technologies takes over the actual goals of the business intelligence initiatives.

Once the technology is delivered, then users start to think of how to achieve their business requirements using available and provided tools.

For a business intelligence initiative to be successful, and to eventually meet the business requirements and deliver tools that help achieving the desired outcomes via implementation of the correct KPIs, strategy plays a vital rule.

Strategy driven BI programmes, concentrate on the business vision and goals. These goals could be decomposed into desirable outcomes expected from the programme. The trick is to start from the end and think about the success. “What success looks like?” is the question that has to be answered at early stages of any business intelligence programme.

Listing the success factors, will lead  the way for clear BI initiatives that could feed  into all the requirements, including the technology, business process modelling and human resource requirements such as training and new staff.

ITIL, the IT Infrastructure Library, indicates the four Ps of service management as People, Processes, Products and Partners. I find this appealing to business intelligence projects as they should really be business driven and have to consiter all the Ps as opposed to just the Products, which include all the tools and  related technologies.

Although it is critical to use the correct tools and technologies when delivering the BI, but these should not be the goals of the  BI projects, but rather part of a working cog that will aim to deliver outcomes driven by the business strategy.




The Strategic BI Framework White Paper

Posted by Anahita | Posted in Agile, Business Intelligence, Project Management | Posted on 23-04-2012

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A new white paper  is just ready for download from http://www.it-performs.com/business-intelligence/whitepapers.

In this white paper, I worked with Glen Westlake, CEO of IT Performs, and Simon Grey, ITP Advantage Business Improvements Expert,  to develop a strategic framework for BI, creating a life cycle from the Strategy, through to Planning and Agile Implementation, feeding back to the BI Roadmap and BI Strategy for measurable actions that result in behaviour change, and ultimately achieving the strategic goals via realising benefits and continuous improvement.

Here is an extraction from the above paper that explains the stages in the BI life cycle:

“BI Strategy: identifying valuable opportunities aligned with your business vision, outlining the business
case to proceed;
BI Planning: creating a high value roadmap of BI Initiatives alongside a Business Change Management
Plan to assure business readiness;
BI Deliveries: providing access to relevant, timely and accurate information driving changes to
behaviour that realises benefits and kick-starts a cycle of continuous improvement.”

Please free free to visit the above link and download a copy. Any feedback on your thoughts are very welcome.