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Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

By Mary Anne Hopper, Senior Consultant

There is a long-standing tradition in our area for the annual turkey fry and it is the competition for 'Best Dish.' The first year we made awesome grilled artichokes and lost to boxed lemon squares (no, I’m not bitter). The second year, we deep-fried artichokes, wrapped them in bacon, and put them on a stick and lost to some chocolate cake monstrosity. The third year I walked in the door and was appointed to the judging team. How exciting—I would finally figure out how to win the contest. Well, guess what?   The host said there were no rules and to just pick something, and keep in mind that desserts always win.

Sound familiar? It probably does because this is how a lot of you determine what BI projects you’re going to work on. Here is a sampling of techniques I’ve heard from some of you:

  • We pick what looks most interesting.
  • The queue is prioritized based on the level of the requestor.
  • [Insert name here] from the PMO decides.
  • Prioritization?   Everything is the most important so we work on it all.
  • If it’s not breaking, we don’t touch it.
  • I don’t know how stuff gets done but my request always seems to be at the bottom.

I’m going to suggest to you this isn’t the most effective or collaborative way to manage your portfolio of projects not to mention that the business isn’t getting as much value as they could out of you. So how do you fix it? A good place to start is by developing a standardized and transparent project intake process for requests and prioritization. Build the process with your key business stakeholders and then stick to it—the first exception is the one that begins to derail your process.  

As for the ‘Best Dish’ award – not being a dessert person, the potato casserole won.

Photo provided by Pedula Man via Flickr (Creative Commons License).

MAHopper_BWMary Anne has 15 years of experience as a data management professional in all aspects of successful delivery of data solutions to support business needs.   She has worked in the capacity of both project manager and business analyst to lead business and technical project teams through data warehouse/data mart implementation, data integration, tool selection and implementation, and process automation projects.

Posted October 21, 2010 6:00 AM
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