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Jim Gallo

Hello, again! Hopefully, this blog will be where the rubber meets the road. This is our opportunity to create an interactive dialogue about the subject of Agile BI and to learn from each other's experiences. The focus is on Agile methods as they relate to delivering BI solutions. If you would like to suggest a discussion topic, an article or link, feel free to send me an email at jgallo@iccohio.com.

About the author >

Jim isá National Director, Vice President, Business Analytics at Information Control Corporation (ICC), a firm focused on reducing the cost of developing BI solutions. Jim and the ICC team have enabled companies to increase the velocity of their development by adopting Agile methods for BI, with a particular focus on turning theory into reality.

Jim is a recognized expert and has published a number of articles on the practical realities of business intelligence and data warehousing. He is a regular speaker at conferences and industry-related events. He has led a number of large, complex BI projects for Fortune 1000 companies in addition to delivering value to federal and state governments and international clients. For two years in a row, Jim has been named IBM Champion for Information Integration and Federation. He can be reached at jgallo@iccohio.com.

Editor's Note:áMore articles and resources are available ináJim's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel and blog. Be sure to visit today!

Agile development has been applied to software development projects for quite some time. In a white paper that was first published by Robert Holler in the May 2006 issue of Better Software Magazine, entitled "Five Myths of Agile Development," Mr. Holler addressed the following myths with respect to software development projects.

  1. Agile Development is Undisciplined
  2. Agile Teams Do Not Plan
  3. Agile Development is Not Predictable
  4. Agile Development Does Not Scale
  5. Agile Development is Just Another Fad

In the past couple of years, we've begun to apply agile methods to business intelligence and data warehousing (BI/DW) projects.  Without a doubt, I've heard many of the same things addressed in Holler's white paper said about Agile BI from a number of sources.  Interestingly, when speaking with folks who are both familiar and unfamiliar with Agile BI, yet another set of misconceptions has arisen.  As a contributing architect in the development of Agile BI methods, I've compiled a list of Agile BI myths. As I sit here writing this blog post I'm not sure if I'll end up with ten, twelve or fifteen.  I encourage you to post your "Myths" here on my blog so we can discuss their validity. Who knows what I'll hear next!  At least for now, my list includes:

  1. Agile BI is radical and new
  2. There is no need to produce documentation when using Agile BI methods
  3. Agile BI methods do not support sound BI/DW architecture principles
  4. Agile BI displaces the software development lifecycle (SDLC) in its entirety
  5. Agile software development methods can be applied without modification to BI/DW projects
  6. When working as a part of an agile BI/DW team, anyone can work on anything, without consideration for roles and skills
  7. Agile BI only works for small teams
  8. Improvement in team velocity is all that matters
  9. Agile BI methods only work well with seasoned, highly talented and experienced team members
  10. All BI/DW tasks can start simultaneously because waterfall methods are no longer used
  11. The BI/DW team must be collocated in order for agile methods to be successful
  12. There is little to no correlation between story point estimating and project management estimating and budgeting

Look for future posts as I dispel each of these myths as we head down "The Path to Agility."


Posted September 30, 2010 9:38 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

1 Comment

How about:
Agile BI development cannot be done in large organisations.
Agile BI ignores governance and QA processes.

As an organisation we've been using the best bits of Agile development together with some waterfall (PRINCE2) techniques for years. Today I'm faced with such a time constrained challenge that I'm completely discarding our usual best practice approach in favour of a wholly a Agile project. There are a couple more risks that the client will need to sign off but compared with simply not being able to deliver these are minimal.

I'm looking forwards to the rest of the series as I believe that BI fundamentally requires agility and Agile like development, it is only the legacy practices of IT departments that force BI projects to adopt anything like a waterfall approach.

Tony Harper
BI Capability Lead
Bluefin Solutions
twitter: bluefin_bi

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