I was on a call with a client who was trying to consolidate dozens of transactional systems into a single model to support a more effective reporting paradigm. The envisioned solution focused on self-service, visual analytics, while also supporting more traditional reporting.
This client’s challenges were similar to what many other businesses face today. They wanted:
The client wasn’t questioning whether or not there was value in the project ahead. Their questions were focused on the best approach. Do we pursue a big bang approach, or pursue something more agile in nature?
Upon further discussion and reflection, the objectives of the program seemed to be a perfect case for agile. Let’s talk about why.
While the client knew the value of the project, we discussed how, in reality, data projects can die on the vine when the value isn’t apparent to the business funding the initiative, or the IT executives who need to demonstrate their operational ROI. As such, the ability to demonstrate value early and often becomes critical to building and keeping the momentum necessary to drive projects and programs across the finish line.
Project sponsors need to constantly be selling the value up to their management and across to the ultimate customer. Iterative wins become selling points that allow them to do so.
To truly understand what can be delivered (and by when) means accurately assessing how much work is in front of you, and how quickly your team can deliver with quality.
This example project was as new as the client’s team. For them, the most logical approach was to start doing the work to learn more about the work itself as well as the team. After a few iterations, the answers to the following questions become clearer:
Anyone who relies on data, whether they are business or IT, have their go-to sources that they rely on. To get an individual to embrace a new source for all of their information and reporting needs requires that the new source be intuitive to use, performant, and above all, trustworthy.