Consider yourself as managing the construction of a building - you need to design, build and furnish it. Now let’s say that building as an IT system.
Where ERP could be an office building – once built and furnished its ready to go – BI is more like a shop. It needs stock and then continual re-stocking.
So the initial system implementation for both is based on a similar waterfall-type approach:ERP and other business process systems tend to have an inherent set of business processes they enable. A BI system, on the other hand, can encompass any number of business processes – just add data sources and business objects.`
A bit like the departments of your shop – you can open new departments as fit consumer tastes.
You also need to think about the stock within those departments, keeping that relevant. Likewise a BI system needs to ensure it business objects stay relevant to the evolving organisation.
So once live, a BI system is cyclical. This means that during the system implementation the processes you set up to manage this constant change are as important, if not more so, than the initial business objects which are delivered.
So whether your shop is a supermarket (enterprise-wide BI system) or corner shop users visit your shop to choose the business objects they want.
Some of your stock goes out of fashion and sits on the shelves, eventually needing disposal. In the same vein BI content becomes unused and a well-managed BI system has processes to manage its update or disposal, keeping the system appealing and meaningful to users.
Project management should set up not just the platform but the processes to mean success for the future
- Acceptance criteria needs to cover both
- Processes are more important than the content
- Technology – auditing and impact analysis – can support the processes but is only useful if processes are in place to harness it