Project Management Services
Take the stress out of delivering your business intelligence project by making sure you’re using the right systems in the right place.
Project Methodologies – Agile or Waterfall?
‘Agile’ and ‘Scrum’ project management techniques are all the rage these days, promising to achieve faster results for projects with constantly changing business requirements, by reducing project bureaucracy, meetings and documentation. These Agile approaches work well in highly experienced project teams, where all members implicitly understand how to deal with issues and risks in an informal way. They don’t work as well with a less experienced team, where the structure of the Waterfall approach (eg PRINCE) helps to provide clear guidance on best practices at each stage of the project life cycle.
So what approach should you use for BI projects? Business requirements tend to be quite high-level at the outset, and evolve during the course of the project.
This suits an Agile approach. However, a BI project is normally a business-led initiative, and as a result the core team is more used to business-as-usual activities rather than running projects.
BI and Business Performance Management Project Management
The ideal approach to managing BI projects is to blend the best elements of both management approaches as follows:
|Waterfall Approach – overall governance||Agile Approach –solution design|
|Waterfall Approach – overall governance||
|Agile Approach –solution design||
The Practical Solution Framework (PSF) from Cornerstone
Delivering a business performance management or Business Intelligence solution in a large organisation involves many complimentary disciplines, including finance/accounting, technical architecture, software implementation, project management and communications.
Cornerstone has developed the Practical Solution Framework (PSF) for business performance management implementations, designed to provide:
- A structured methodology to map your current processes, identify challenges & key business requirements
- Recommendations to help you structure your delivery program effectively
- Engagement for all stakeholders in the early stages of the project life cycle
- A targeted and rapid deployment roadmap
The outcome of the PSF is to create a comprehensive solution program that shows defined links between the following:
- Your Key Business Requirements
- Your Data & Technology Challenges
- Recommendations of Approach
- Overall Performance Management Strategy
The PSF divides the performance management project into six defined stages, namely:
|Prepare||Establishing the project charter and initial fact-finding||Project Charter|
|Analyse||A deeper dive into key areas, such as current processes and source systems||Current State Analysis Document|
|Design||High-level process and model design, and a roadmap for delivery||High-Level Design Document|
|Build||Build and testing of technical components, detailed ‘to-be’ process mapping||Process & System Specifications|
|Deploy||System and Acceptance testing, change management and training||Operations & Training Manuals|
|Operate||Post-implementation review, partnering for long-term success||Post-Implementation Review, Ongoing ‘Health-Check’ Reports|
The PSF also identifies five Work Streams as follows:
|Work Stream||Description||Ideal Contacts|
|Communications & People Management||Project & Stakeholder Management||Project Sponsor|
|Scoping & Functionality||Process & Model Design||Finance & Business Managers, Business Analysts|
|Hardware & Infrastructure||Technology Gap Analysis||IT Management|
|Source Systems & Data||Systems Architecture Design||Finance Systems Owners|
|User Adoption||Training Needs Analysis, Practical Rollout Planning||Finance & Business Managers|
Where do I start?
If this sounds like a project approach that appeals to you, you may be interested in some of our ‘self-help’ guides. These are particularly aimed at Finance professionals and accountants who are contemplating their first major technology project:
- Project Preparation Checklist – to make sure you haven’t missed anything important
- Risk Mitigation Plans – dealing with the uncertainties in a structured way
- Budgeting & Planning Project Best Practice Guides – practical tips from the experts
- Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting to the Max – the extended version, covering strategy and selection, as well as implementation