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Managing Essbase and Dodeca 2010 ODTUG (June 2010)

Managing Essbase and Dodeca 2010 ODTUG (June 2010)






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  • 11.0 FTE in 5 states (Utah, Oregon, Kansas, Washington, Ohio)
  • 11.0 FTE in 5 states (Utah, Oregon, Kansas, Washington, Ohio)
  • New resources are inexperienced with Essbase & DodecaKnowledge and skill set are with a few people in each group, which is not easily transferredInconsistent development and maintenance methodsRedundant data & effortsUnique business requirements everywhere
  • Last 2 most complicated
  • Simple framework

Managing Essbase and Dodeca 2010 ODTUG (June 2010) Managing Essbase and Dodeca 2010 ODTUG (June 2010) Presentation Transcript

  • Managing Essbase & Dodeca Support & Development at Kroger
    Matthew Holt, CPA
    ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010
    Washington, DC
    June 30, 2010
  • Poll the Audience
    Have a Center-of-Excellence today?
    Considering a CoE?
    Attended TriNet’s CoE presentation yesterday?
  • Intent of this Session
    “The focus of this session will be to look at one solution for consolidating support and development of Essbase and Dodeca, which is currently spread across multiple lines-of-business, and reorganize it into a single department, or center-of-excellence, using only existing resources. In addition, discuss how we brought Essbase out of the shadows and defined the partnership between the business units and IT, which allows each group to do what they do best.” – ODTUG Kaleidoscope
  • Agenda
    The Kroger Co.
    The Problem
    The Solution
    The Journey
  • Kroger 2008 Fact Book
    Headquartered in Cincinnati
    Fiscal sales of $76.0 billion
    #22 ranking on Fortune 100
    326,000 employees
    2,481 supermarkets
    781 fuel centers
    771 convenience stores
    385 fine jewelry stores
    40 manufacturing plants
    2009 Fact Book was not yet published at time of this writing.
  • Kroger Banners
  • The Problem
    It’s a good problem to have…
  • The Problem
    Essbase & Dodeca have been too successful
    A 10+ year evolution
    Still has a “buzz”
    Too many lines-of-business (LoB) continuing, enhancing and/or requesting Essbase
    No internal structure to guide the growth and development
  • The Problem
    A LoB new to Essbase was on a island:
    Obtain licenses
    Purchase hardware
    Staffing with existing personnel or hire consultants
    If internal, sent them to Essbase Bootcamp
    Develop and support Essbase cubes
    Develop and support Dodeca
    Manage versions
    User training
  • Major Development Efforts
  • Resulting Environment
    Various support & development methods
    Redundant data
    Redundant efforts
    Silos everywhere
    Minimal collaborations across business units
    Each LoB did their thing; IS&S did theirs
    An unwillingness to share, or seek out, best practices
    Collaboration not required
    Knowledge with a 1-2 people in each group
  • Despite all that…
    Happy end-users
    Implementations & ongoing support have been generally successful
    Management not overly concerned about risks of putting “all the eggs in one basket”
    Demand for new Essbase & Dodeca efforts continues to grow
  • The Realization
    Essbase has evolved & grown up
    More complexity
    Users are demanding more
    We can do more
    Making the same avoidable mistakes
    Slow to launch new apps
    Poor design decisions
    “We had the same problem 5 years ago”
    Growing too dependent on too few people
  • The Solution
    Change how the enterprise supports Essbase & Dodeca development
    Establish a partnership between the lines-of-business and IS&S
    Agree on a direction
    Allow each to do what they do best
    Reassign existing resources within the lines-of-business to create a Center-of-Excellence
    Current responsibilities will also transfer to new CoE
    Create a cross-functional team
    Define roles & responsibilities for both Center-of-Excellence and IS&S
  • The Journey
    A quick look at what we’ve got
    and how we got there…
  • Essbase Landscape
    Essbase 7.1.6 & 11.1
    2,000+ unique users
    100+ reporting, budgeting & forecasting cubes
    Most BSO; some ASO
    EAS & EIS
    MaxL & some Esscmd
    Extensive/complex calc scripts for budgeting & forecasting
    About 11.0 FTE for support & dev in 9 lines-of-business
    Plus 2.0+ FTE in IS&S
  • Dodeca Landscape
    4 Dodeca apps in production today
    3 more in next 12 months
    300+ unique templates today
    User base
    Corporate & regional offices, manufacturing plants and IS&S management
    Controllers & analysts in all 18 divisions
    200+ stores, via Citrix
    Several major roll-outs and/or expansions planned
  • Essbase & Dodeca Use
    Many users have access to more than one environment.
    Major expansion pending.
    Finance groups now using one Dodeca app.
  • In 2007, a group began monthly meetings to manage the long-term direction of Essbase & Dodeca, including:
    Retail Operations
    Bring Essbase & Dodeca out of the shadows
    Control growth
    Share ideas and concerns
    Share more data, quicker
    Leverage existing data & processes
    Eliminate redundancy of data & effort
    Establish best practices
    Steering Committee
  • Asked Ourselves Questions
    What’s the right balance?
    Lean & flexible vs. structured & rigid
    Elite strike team vs. the whole field army
    “change it now” vs. a formal change control process
    Who does what?
    IS&S involvement/oversight?
    LoB involvement/oversight?
    Should the org chart change?
  • Attempt #1
    Work with counterparts
    Best practices
    Agree on
    Share knowledge
    Become each other’s back-up
    Collaborate on future projects
    Share data & eliminate redundancies
  • Yeah…that didn’t exactly work
    No authority
    Voluntary compliance
    Silos continued
    Additional development methods emerged
    Limited data sharing
    Even less collaboration
  • Attempt #2
    Steering Committee became more assertive
    gave itself authority
    Asked questions
    What’s working?
    What’s not working?
    What are the risks?
    How much risk can we tolerate?
    If starting from scratch, how would we be organized?
    What have we learned?
  • Top 5 Things Learned
    Business users “love” the functionality, autonomy and control of Essbase & Dodeca, but…
    New resources don’t understand Essbase, Dodeca and/or the business practices
    Knowledge & skill set with a few people
    Inconsistent development & maintenance
    Redundant data & efforts
    Everyone has unique business requirements
  • Committee Requirements
    Keep control with business users
    Increase IS&S’s involvement
    Eliminate redundant data
    Use existing resources
    Develop cross-functional resources
    Define roles & responsibilities
  • Cross-Functional Resources
    To develop cross-functional resources:
    Need authority to:
    manage/shift work
    set priorities
    Build a common language
    Learn together
    Set & enforce best practices
    Truly collaborate
  • Top Recommendation
    Reassign existing resources to the new Center-of-Excellence
    Resources remain embedded with their current LoB
    Roles & responsibilities could be aligned across multiple groups
    Reports to Finance, but collaborates with IS&S
  • Example of Org Chart
    LOB #1
    LOB #2
    LOB #3
    LOB #4
    Business Analyst
    Business Analyst
    Business Analyst
    Business Analyst
    Expand current Finance group, adding “dotted-lined” accountability to lines-of-business (LOB).
    Primary and back-up responsibilities based on skill set, experience and/or physical location.
    Provide more career path options.
  • Finally, Roles & Responsibilities
    …which are not completely finalized yet
  • Proposed Roles & Responsibilities
    Cube design, calc scripts, etc
    Filters, groups and security
    Cube extension
    MaxL automation
    Build & deploy Dodeca views
    User training
    Prioritize data requests to IS&S and validate results
    Coordinate with LoB and/or IS&S on new efforts
    Pull data from host systems and load cubes
    Support software & hardware
    Manage vendor negotiations
    Provide surge resources for project execution
    Facilitate software upgrades, testing, certification and enterprise deployments
    Provide stable environment
    Maintain architectural integrity
  • Update – June 2010
    Numerous staffing changes in past 6-months
    Recent actions will modify this proposal
    Basic intent remains unchanged
    Increase IS&S’s development responsibilities
    Define all existing Essbase cubes in production as either:
    Core – to be supported by IS&S
    Business Use – to be supported by the CoE or trained power users
  • Responsibility by Cube Type
    Business Use
    Highly dependent on business logic & calc scripts.
    Frequent changes or customizations.
    Quick turnaround times.
    May pull and load subsets of data from Core cubes.
    May have a very targeted user base.
    Examples include budgeting & forecasting cubes.
    Outlines built entirely from upstream sources.
    Extensive ETL requirements.
    Few customizations.
    A locked-down, controlled environment is desired.
    Examples include standard load and calc cubes, usually for reporting only, which mirrors the system of record.
  • Thank you!
    Matthew Holt
    Feel free to e-mail me questions,
    comments or thoughts.