Chapter 10. Scoping the Effort and an Approach for Success

We have all read dreadful stories of business intelligence initiatives that are months behind schedule, millions of dollars over budget or fail to deliver promised functionality. All too often, these projects encounter challenges caused by lack of solid business requirements, complexities within the data, and poor implementation of technology or mismanagement. The success of a business intelligence initiative extends well beyond the selection of technologies or promises of exclusive capabilities or amazing return on investment. A successful implementation requires a precise understanding of the corporate environment, sponsorship by the business, a methodology for execution, and technical and subject-matter expertise supported by strategies that mitigate risk. Although approaches to delivering solutions are as diverse as the people who are responsible, most successful implementations share a set of common principles that ultimately ensure their success.

This chapter highlights key principles for a successful approach necessary in a business intelligence initiative. We include a discussion on managing well-known risks that such projects often encounter. In addition, we include many of the best practices observed across hundreds of projects and provide some suggestions on how to avoid common mistakes. Throughout, you will be reminded of the need for proper planning and the importance of defining the right scope.

In analyzing ...

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