Chapter 21. Ten Secrets to a Successful BI Deployment

The first installation of BI tools is the trickiest, because not only are there the common technology hurdles facing you, but there are cultural hurdles and engrained habits that must be dealt with as well.

Because the environment is full of moving parts, it's easy to lose focus on what really matters. And this is no time to lose focus! When the curtain rises on your BI applications, the company will form a lasting judgment about your team's ability to perform, and about the usefulness of a business intelligence solution. In short, the first release will presage things to come, so it's vitally important to get it right the first time.

Start Early!

A BI project is like a big operations management problem, where the timing and quantity of raw materials deliveries affect how quickly and efficiently the factory can manufacture its products. BI requires specific decisions early on that affect the overall process down the road.

Among the first lists a BI project manager should make is of any critical deliverables (that's project-speak for discrete items that somebody has to complete or present to the project team, like a document, a project task, or a chunk of application code.) It's important to stay on top of all delivery deadlines—especially those where the lead time could balloon out of control. For example, if the process of procuring and installing extra network hardware in your company's data center is long and involved, start ...

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