This is the second in a series of four blog posts about the best practices in business intelligence and what questions CEOS should ask before investing in BI. To read the first post in the series, click here:
Question 3) Is My Organization Ready for BI?
Considering our definition of BI which began as “People, Process and Technology”, organizational readiness places emphasis on People. Organizational readiness implies cultural adoption of BI for an individual’s daily decision-making process. Promoting user adoption thru the strategic use of BI is considered a critical success factor for BI Programs.
What can be done to understand Organizational Readiness? Organizations that have demonstrated “success” in their own BI programs exhibit certain characteristics or “behaviors” over other organizations which are recognized as “struggling” with their own BI programs. Through the use of survey or facilitated session, information can be gathered to determine an organizational readiness profile, and compare to those characteristics identified by the industry as more conducive to success.
Organizational Profile to Model after Successful Organizations
As depicted in the picture above, once the organizations readiness profile is completed, it is compared to an industry profile exhibiting characteristics having success in BI. This role model approach will fundamentally highlight those characteristics within the organization that should be improved. The gap between profiles which may exist will factor into the strategy used to introduce the BI program.
Another area for awareness is the current alignment of the IT and Business communities. The working relationship is a critical success factor. Organizations are all over the map when it comes to this working relationship. The business community needs to drive BI by demonstrating awareness, evangelizing BI requirements and potential benefits from BI.
As indicated in the picture below, the overall awareness of IT and business groups will factor into the overall strategy of introducing BI to an organization.
Level of BI awareness by IT and Business Group a Factor for BI Strategy
Question 4) Who should I select in my organization to drive our strategic commitment to the BI Program?
This may not seem like a front line question however quite to the contrary. The organizational role served plays an important part toward the success of any BI Program initiative. Traditionally, many BI experts warn against letting members of IT sponsor and drive a BI project.
BI Program Sponsorship Role as Success Factor
As indicated in the above picture, a TDWI Study revealed successful sponsor roles were CxO level or Business Unit leaders 70% of the time when compared to sponsorship lead by an IT Executive role only 16% of the time. Involved business sponsors can evangelize the solution, secure and sustain funding, navigate political issues, effect culture change and help prioritize candidate projects.
Successful behavior warrants a sponsor who is “very committed” to ensure success of each project. A common practice is to assign a Business Driver who understands the vision of the Business Sponsor, and on their behalf will spearhead the strategic BI initiative.
To learn more about TriCore’s BI Services, click here.
To read Part 1 of the series click Part 1
To read Part 3 of the series click Part 3
To read Part 4 of the series click Part 4