Aug 15, 2012

Put an end to the biggest lies in BI Implementations

Some of the lies found around BI project rooms
 We have done this before and therein lies your success
 By auditing and reporting on traditional PM (Budget, Time and Tasks) we are assured of success
 We treat our employees well and that is the guarantee of your BI success
 Business inclusion is one of the prime reason BI projects fail
 There is little need for a methodology, standards or processes for companies like ours that have implemented this many times before
 Just activate business content and it will meet eighty to ninety percent of your needs, and then provide you with reports that you never expected.
 Our resources known what your business needs even better than your business folks
 The global average is 50% and that is what you should expect from your BI project

Big is not necessarily beautiful

Traditional BI implementations assume that if your partner is a big ‘N’ and your contract is solid then your BI project is sure to succeed. Over the last six to seven years I have been sent to more BI projects that were heading south or had crashed through the floor of disappointment and continue to burrow downwards in an endless spiral of technocratic smoke and mirrors.

Business First- everything after that
We this not true then Gartner would not report that ‘Less than 50% of BI projects will meet business expectations’, or we would not surrounded by companies and business users gasping to get their day to day information and IT leaders hyperventilating to meet the promised expectations of business stakeholders.

If you have never seen this then stop reading this right now as we are possibly from two different planets.

Reality Check
What we see, sometimes under the rug, in enterprise BI initiatives is teams of ‘advisors’ who believe what they have been doing for the last twenty years or so is the gospel truth in business intelligence. They can write contracts that even your best lawyers cannot find fault with. They define the success criteria’s for your BI projects, they define the UAT test scenarios without business inclusion. This is reportedly applicable to more than 50% of BI projects worldwide which reportedly fail. The 2011 global BI spend was $11.3 billion and 50% of this was wasted.

Some signals your BI project is not on track
- Dissatisfied Business Users
- High churn of both SI partners and good resources
- High tension work atmosphere, where the blame game is common
- Unplanned Projects and higher than planned expenses
How to climb out of a BI Nose Dive
The new and modern (being deployed since 2007) BI methodology is based on ‘The Scientific Principles of Information Delivery’. Where the end-game of key stakeholders is not to complete a BI project or deploy a new flashy application and then blame the rest of the planet on a BI gone south. The goal of every BI project must be a singular focus of ‘Meet Business Expectations in BI’.

New Scientific mentors and methodologies are now ending with scores in the upper 90 percentile in user satisfaction and project success. Not one week but 20and 30 weeks after go-live. This is important because a 2010 BI Valuenomics poll indicated that ‘98% of BI projects are declared successful in week 1 after go live. Yet, less than 50% remain successful by week 10’. So if you want to assure success you need to reach week 10 with your partners and if it is still a nirvana kind of success then your must hug your partner and hang on to them for dear life- as they are a rare breed of partners in the world of BI.

However, what we find in reality is that despite continious failures many company continue to work with the same SI’s, or worse they go out and find someone at half the cost and half-way-across the planet. The problem here is neither the partner nor their proximity- but that the management continues on the very path that got them into the mess in the first place- a BI project that is not based on scientific principles, methodologies, standards and processes.

The foundations of the ‘Scientific Principles of Information delivery’ were born in the 2004-5 timeframe. By 2010 it was expressed in ‘BI Valuenomics – the story of meeting business expectations in BI’. It has since been further filtered and the end result is the new book ‘The scientific Principles of Information delivery’ as I realized the solution was not in deploying a BI application or in finishing a DW project, but in delivering decision capable information.

‘The Scientific Principles of Information delivery’ hatched about a year ago within the chaos of technocratic system integrators packing their new wine in old bottles. It was further exasperated when one of the technocratic leaders made a statement that the reason BI projects and BI strategies fail is because IT includes business in BI decision.

I was immediately reminded of a statement made in 2007 by a Greek maritime CEO I had worked with Alex Paleologoes who had calmly stated “Most partners forget two fundamental anchors of BI, the first is ‘business’ and the second ‘intelligence’”. Another statement that I wished I had coined was made by Gartner and is my all time favorite ‘Without business in business intelligence, BI is dead”. So if your ‘advisor’ comes in and makes any indications to keep business out of the door that is the very door you need to show them- in that is your strategic safety.

Finally all scientific principles, and this goes back to Taylor(Father of scientific principles of management) in 1890’s on to Ford (Assembly Line) in early 1910’s and onwards to Deming (JIT), Philips Kotler, Stephen Covey (excellence), Edwards Deming’s (Knowledge Worker)- we see one constant factor – Scientific and repeatable methodologies based on breaking down each step, removing inefficiencies and then automating anything rule based.

So say good bye to autocratic and technocratic BI Project management and say hello to ‘The scientific methodology of BI deployment’ based on global standards, processes, architecture, self-tuning & automated modeling, or in other words a documented global ‘Enterprise BI Cookbook’ that eliminated human interpretations, assumptions and the need to sell BI. Welcome to the marketing of Information Delivery and IDCM (Information Delivery & Consumption management), where technology has now become a service partner and a catalyst to ‘Meet Business Expectations in BI’ 

1 comment:

  1. (: Things did not change a lot. Glad to hear;)

    So the consultants do now have better experience in the hand over process but the the results did not improve obviously.

    >Dissatisfied Business Users
    BI systems are not built considering those. I don't want to generalize too much. In companies who consider users the need for BI is a minor one and those who require are limited to their strategy to prefer self-flagellation over getting past of their fear of doing something wrong. A certain kind of new Angst I don't understand ... Most of the arguments, many of them sales arguments, are a response to this kind of Angst. Who knows. For me it's the result from the decoupling, first the main processes into separate entities and now decoupling employees from the job roles. World gone crazy.

    Building BI systems is an engineering task from humans for humans and not from job role to job role. 5 billions wasted is cool and of course no cent invested into getting the source systems data clean, learn from and improve the process itself ... and have additional benefit from this.

    Thank you for providing a new book - will be an interesting read. Have Fun! Mike

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