Defining Achievable Scope for your BI Initiative

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This presentation addresses critical principles that will guide the scoping of your BI initiative or project, as well as a single iteration within a project. It was originally presented at the ITA BI …

This presentation addresses critical principles that will guide the scoping of your BI initiative or project, as well as a single iteration within a project. It was originally presented at the ITA BI round table in February 2009.

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  • 1. ITA BI Roundtable Defining Achievable Scope in your BI Initiative Jeff Block Capstone Consulting Tuesday, February 10, 2009 © Copyright 2008 Capstone Consulting, Inc. Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 2. What are we talking about? Today’s Agenda  Why are we here?  Who’s in the room?  Presentation – Defining Achievable Scope  Discussion / Networking © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 2 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 3. What are we talking about? Today’s Agenda  Why are we here?  Who’s in the room?  Presentation – Defining Achievable Scope  Discussion / Networking © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 3 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 4. Where’s “here”? Why are we here? Welcome to the ITA Business Intelligence Roundtable © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 4 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 5. Who am I? Why are we here? Jeff Block, Capstone Consulting BI Roundtable Chairman © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 5 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 6. Logistics Why are we here? • 2nd Tuesday of every month; 8-10 AM – Here at the ITA TechNexus unless there’s a good reason to change venues • Sometimes a presentation – My ideas, your ideas, case studies, best practices, new developments, etc • Sometimes an outside speaker – Love to have some of you step up to the plate – Don’t want to hear myself talk to much • Always discussion – Collaboration is the whole point of this group • Always networking – Meet people who will be valuable connections © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 6 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 7. Topics and Target Audience Why are we here? • Business and technology leaders – Not going to spend much time deep in the technical weeds • Those who want to – Learn from each other – Collaborate on solutions – Network in the BI space • ITA members and their friends and their friends and … © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 7 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 8. In Scope Why are we here? • Business Intelligence – Vision and strategy – Planning and implementing BI initiatives – High-level architecture – Best practices / Anti-patterns – Case studies – Etc • What about data warehousing? – It’s in! (part of BI, in my world) © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 8 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 9. What is Business Intelligence? Why are we here? BI is not about delivering access to a massive repository of data, often unconstrained and overwhelming. BI is about delivering highly relevant, highly valuable applications, reports, and dashboards, designed to maximize the user’s ability to gain specific, actionable knowledge from corporate data. Of course – and this can’t be overstated – this requires a culturally-relevant, well-supported governance model and a highly-specialized, flexible data architecture, both optimized for this purpose. © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 9 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 10. What is Business Intelligence? Why are we here? BI is not about delivering access to a massive repository of data, often unconstrained and overwhelming. BI is about delivering highly relevant, highly valuable applications, reports, and dashboards, designed to maximize the user’s ability to gain specific, actionable knowledge from corporate data. Of course – and this can’t be overstated – this requires a culturally-relevant, well-supported governance model and a highly-specialized, flexible data architecture, both optimized for this purpose. © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 10 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 11. Classic BI Architecture Why are we here? Our focus is the stuff in this picture and the practices and processes that get it there effectively. BI Presentation Components Data Data Data Data Mart Mart Mart Mart OLAP Services Source Source ETL ETL Data Warehouse Systems Systems © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 11 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 12. Out of Scope Why are we here? • Other stuff – How’s Aunt Ruth’s cat? • Building the tech together • Arguing over low-level tech details • If we talk about – Project management / SDLC – Architecture and design – Business processes – Etc then it will be in the context of BI / DW © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 12 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 13. Some Quick Feedback Why are we here? How does this line up with your expectations? © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 13 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 14. What are we talking about? Today’s Agenda  Why are we here?  Who’s in the room?  Presentation – Defining Achievable Scope  Discussion / Networking © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 14 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 15. Brief Introductions Who’s in the room? Please share with us… • Name • Company • Role • What you want to get out of this group? © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 15 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 16. What are we talking about? Today’s Agenda  Why are we here?  Who’s in the room?  Presentation – Defining Achievable Scope  Discussion / Networking © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 16 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 17. Three Problems Scoping your Initiative Scoping your Project Scoping this Iteration © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 17 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 18. The Practitioner's Top Priority Universal Principals Focus on delivering business value – This is your primary objective! © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 18 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 19. The Scoping Mantra Universal Principals “Meaningful, but manageable” – Meaningful = business value in the language the business speaks • Start significantly – Manageable = something that will actually get built • Start small Brought to you by our friends at the Kimball Group, of course. © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 19 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 20. Who defines the scope? Universal Principals Representatives from the Business and IT – Neither party should attempt to establish scope on their own.  Initiative: Initial launch team  Project: Governance body  Iteration: Project team © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 20 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 21. Defining Achievable Scope in Your BI Initiative © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 21 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 22. Requires a Shift in Thinking Scoping your Initiative Building a BI/DW initiative is not about building a BI application or a data warehouse, It’s about building everything else you need to be able to effectively build BI applications and data warehouses © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 22 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 23. Required Elements Scoping your Initiative (1 of 2) • Vision, Mission, Strategy – How does this initiative align with the strategy and vision of the organization as a whole? – Which of the organization’s KPI’s are you supporting? • Value Statement / Business Case – Justify a long-running initiative • Why is this needed? • How will it be funded? • Roadmap – Vision defines “Where are we going?” – Roadmap defines “How will we get there?” – Identify bedrock process/data and start there © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 23 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 24. Required Elements Scoping your Initiative (2 of 2) • Governance Model – Consider people, process, and policy – Must be personalized to fit the business • Compatibility with the organization’s culture is critical • Architecture and Technology – What sandbox will this initiative play in? – Consider hardware, software, security, performance testing/tuning, capacity planning, etc – Compatibility with remainder of the enterprise key • Best Practices – Whose philosophy will you work under? – Who will help you when you need it? © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 24 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 25. What sized bite? Scoping your Initiative (1 of 5) • Vision, Mission, Strategy – Not solving world hunger – Must come from upper management and be influenced by your expertise / experience – Fight battles you can win – Remember our mantra: “Meaningful, but manageable” • Provides solid business value and will actually get built • Value Statement / Business Case – Scope and justification go hand in hand – If you can’t justify it, you won’t be able to build it • So you’re biting off more than you can chew © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 25 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 26. What sized bite? Scoping your Initiative (2 of 5) • Roadmap – Easy to build once you understand • Current state – where we are / what we have • Future state – where we envision we’d like to be – Never more than 5 years; recommend 3 years • “It is almost certain that the further you try to see, the worse your vision becomes.” - Ralph Kimball • Stakeholders are going to fixate on 1st year anyway – Make sure your pace is realistic and sustainable • Consider resource management, other initiatives, factors influencing corporate priorities • Initial projects should be small, able to be taken to market quickly – Bedrock process / data • Every project should graft on to where you started © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 26 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 27. What sized bite? Scoping your Initiative (3 of 5) • Governance Model – Can’t live without most “best practice” functions • Scale back by making them part time, rather than eliminating them – Build iteratively and incrementally • Start with only what you need, defined by – Critical mass to maintain cross-functional ownership – Necessary support for initial projects © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 27 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 28. What sized bite? Scoping your Initiative (4 of 5) • Architecture and Technology – BI / DW is different from other IT initiatives / apps • Okay to have unique components / approaches • Some exceptions: tool vendor selection, security, parts of capacity planning, coding standards for BI/EIM tools, etc – If there’s an EA group in place, deal them in • But allow ample extra time for consensus building – If not, probably shouldn’t start one now • Even more time / energy / political capital required – Capacity Planning • BI/DW usage will likely only grow, and have peaks during key reporting periods • Start small, make sure you’re modular, so growth is easy © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 28 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 29. What sized bite? Scoping your Initiative (5 of 5) • Best Practices – Pick a philosophy and stick with it – Recommend Kimball Lifecycle • Tons of history / proven success – Okay to be a little dogmatic here • There really are best practices out there – Have experts on speed dial © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 29 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 30. Six Key Elements: Questions? Scoping your Initiative 1. Vision, Mission, Strategy 2. Value Statement / Business Case 3. Roadmap 4. Governance Model 5. Architecture and Technology 6. Best Practices © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 30 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 31. Other elements? Scoping your Initiative 1. Vision, Mission, Strategy 2. Value Statement / Business Case 3. Roadmap Anyone have other key elements 4. Governance Model we should keep in mind? 5. Architecture and Technology 6. Best Practices © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 31 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 32. Defining Achievable Scope in Your BI Project © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 32 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 33. Key Principles Scoping your Project (1 of 4) • Must fulfill goals of initiative – Scope project in context of larger initiative scope – How does this project align with the strategy and vision of the initiative? • Must have an established governance model – They should have prioritized that this project is happening – Understand what else is happening • What are the other priorities? • Why did this project get chosen to happen now? • Tells you leadership’s priorities – Submit to it; do things by the book © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 33 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 34. Key Principles Scoping your Project (2 of 4) • Must be driven by business requirements – Do NOT build what’s cool or what IT thinks needs to happen – Do NOT get sidetracked trying to retool your org’s enterprise’s architecture or infrastructure • Focus on a single business process – First project should be on “bedrock” – Every other project grafts on to the first in an orderly way • Don’t build a stovepipe – Don’t create solution in a vacuum – Easy, in the name of “starting small”, to build an analytic app on top of limited requirements and data • Making it cross-functionally unusable © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 34 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 35. Key Principles Scoping your Project (3 of 4) • Iterative development – Key phrase: Graft on incrementally – Break down into bite sized chunks – Leverage lightweight methodologies, like Agile/Scrum – Bound release for time, not function • BI Presentation layer: every 30 days • Data marts: every 60 days • Data warehouse / ETL: every 90 days – Ensure real business value in each release • Must consider marketing – Marketing efforts are key to overall BI success – Project needs a name, even a logo or image – Budget time for marketing / user education functions © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 35 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 36. Key Principles Scoping your Project (4 of 4) • Beware of dashboards and scorecards – VERY hard to lock down requirements – Almost always involve many business processes and source systems – Easily susceptible to “runaway expectations” (Kimball) – Lend to bells and whistles / slick UI components which drive up delivery cost (time and money) – Leverage them, but … • Add plenty of time to the schedule if tackling these • Don’t include them in the first few projects © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 36 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 37. Eight Key Principles: Questions? Scoping your Project 1. Must fulfill goals of initiative 2. Must have established governance 3. Must be driven by business requirements 4. Focus on a single business process 5. Don’t build a stovepipe 6. Iterative development 7. Must consider marketing 8. Beware of dashboards and scorecards © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 37 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 38. Other Principles? Scoping your Project 1. Must fulfill goals of initiative 2. Must have established governance 3. Must be driven by business requirements Anyone have other principles 4. Focus on a single business process Don’t build a stovepipe in mind? we should keep 5. 6. Iterative development 7. Must consider marketing 8. Beware of dashboards and scorecards © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 38 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 39. Defining Achievable Scope in This Iteration © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 39 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 40. Key Principles Scoping this Iteration (1 of 5) • Execute entire methodology per iteration – Pick a process, and stick with it – No matter how small the functional set to be delivered, don’t skip steps © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 40 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 41. Key Principles Scoping this Iteration (2 of 5) • Focus on a single source system – One iteration should very rarely work with more than one source system – One source system almost always implies one business process • One business function dictating requirements • One ETL process to write / change – Work increases exponentially as you add source systems © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 41 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 42. Key Principles Scoping this Iteration (3 of 5) • End-to-end thread through architecture – Each iteration should touch whole architecture • Source system  ETL  DW  data mart  BI presentation layer – First few iterations focus on a “steel thread” • Proves hardest parts of architecture to drive out risk • Sometimes better to scope these in their own project – If not possible to get end-to-end thread in one iteration, then scope of iteration likely too large © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 42 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 43. Key Principles Scoping this Iteration (4 of 5) • Minimalist ETL function – ETL always takes the most time, so will limit your scope – ETL only what you need • If you can’t “justify” why a piece of data is in the data warehouse, then it shouldn’t be there • “Justify” means relating back to the business case / strategy / top-level KPI’s • Everything you do should have that traceability – Bringing extra almost always creeps scope and leads to rework later on © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 43 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 44. Key Principles Scoping this Iteration (5 of 5) • Phased rollout – Key phrase: Radiate outward in controlled fashion – Start with pilot groups, add concentric circles of users – Build high-value easy stuff first – Don’t move on to harder stuff until easy stuff is “a few circles out” – Scope of new iterations has to account for this Easy Stuff Iterations Pilot Group Super Users Employees Harder Stuff General Public Iterations © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 44 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 45. Five Key Principles: Questions? Scoping this Iteration 1. Execute entire methodology per iteration 2. Focus on a single source system 3. End-to-end thread through architecture 4. Minimalist ETL function 5. Phased Rollout © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 45 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 46. Other Principles? Scoping this Iteration 1. Execute entire methodology per iteration 2. Focus on a single source system 3. End-to-end thread through architecture Anyone have other principles 4. Minimalist should keep in mind? we ETL function 5. Phased Rollout © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 46 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 47. A few additional principles in Defining Scope © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 47 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 48. Write it down! Additional Principals Whatever level you’re working on, always document scope – This is part of setting expectations – Everyone knows what you’re going to do because they can read it themselves – Of course, that also means they have a concrete way to grade you – The best scope documents include what’s NOT in scope as well. © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 48 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 49. Scope Creep is your Enemy Additional Principals “Scope Refinement” and “Scope Creep” are not the same things – Refinement: same box, different contents – Creep: the box keeps getting bigger, with more stuff in it But make sure the “box” doesn’t sit on the shelf – It should be revisited continually as iterations deliver and requirements are better-understood © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 49 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 50. Q&A Group Discussion © Copyright 2009 Capstone Consulting, Inc. 50 Capstone Consulting, Inc
  • 51. w w w. c a p s t o n e c . c o m © Copyright 2008 Capstone Consulting, Inc. Capstone Consulting, Inc