Leading for Success with your Business Intelligence Initiative: Part 2

This is part 2 on my thoughts on Leading for Success with your Business Intelligence Initiative. In my previous post, I stated that BI success will be improved if you can tap the creativity and commitment of your entire institution and fully engage the BI team. The remainder of this series will explore some thoughts on strategies that may help you do just that.

The "S" in Success

Structuring and Setting the Stage

A powerful way to get and keep your stakeholders and BI team aligned is to define, and garner complete buy-in to the Nature of the BI initiative. The Nature of the BI initiative is an enrolling vision for the initiative; one that goes beyond defining what currently exists to creating a picture of what it can become and how it will improve the success of the institution. Additionally, you need different granular levels of the vision. You need to have an enterprise-wide vision to get and maintain the executive sponsorship, but you also need to paint a more detailed picture for your BI team and individual projects. Involving as many of your key stakeholders and BI development team members as possible in the visioning will create engagement and energy around the deliverables. Just remember, that everyone involved must have some skin in the game. The three key constituencies for business intelligence that you must address include the executive sponsors of your BI initiative, the principal users of the BI tools, and consumers who will benefit from it.

Defining the Nature of the BI initiative and visions is simply a picture of a desired future state. I recommend staring a discussion using the following questions:

  • What will the institution look like if our BI program and projects are accomplished?
  • What will be happening within our institution?
  • What will we have to do to establish the "Culture of Evidence"
  • What will our institutional colleagues be saying about us?
  • What will be our call to arms and message be?
  • How will we feel?

The most important thing is that it defines the entire ecosystem (culture, goals, people, process, technology, information) that people want to be a part of and contribute to.