Background

Business Intelligence consultancy

Aligning IT development teams with business needs

Challenge

Mastering the languages of business and IT

Obviously, there is a strong IT component with any Business Intelligence project. Clients that are already working with a talented IT team (either an internal or an external one) get in touch with us because they are looking for a partner that has the expertise to translate business needs into a practical set of development-ready specifications, and that helps ensure a solution will be implemented that fits these needs.

At that stage, they have already pinpointed that this expertise is what is missing most within their organization. Spending time and money on meetings between business and IT teams has made it crystal clear for them that, to be successful within budget, it is imperative to have a partner step in that masters the languages of both business and IT.

Approach

Challenging all project stakeholders

Precisely because it is our role to resolve any confusion that may exist between project stakeholders that speak a different language, it is our deliberate approach to challenge both of them.

We do that through a number of hands-on working sessions with our client’s senior management and their business team (to clearly understand the company’s business goals) and through a series of technical discussions with their IT team (to develop a good view of their skills and needs). But the single most important aspect of these workshops is to make sure that the IT team has a correct understanding of what is needed from them, and that our client’s senior management knows what to expect by when.

Who we worked with

Interacting with internal and external teams

Playing a role in the BI project as a trusted partner for both the business and IT stakeholders, we obviously collaborate very closely with each of them.

Depending on the customer that we work with, the cooperation with the IT team may be slightly different. With one of our clients, a producer of mineral water, we are working directly with the internal IT team. And as we have been doing this for a couple of years, the cooperation has become a very tight one. The same holds for yet another customer, a retailer, although the interaction is quite different in nature (because this client is working with a nearshore development team that is taking care of all development-related tasks).

What we did

Managing project implementation

Based on the outcome of all interactions with senior management and the business team, we design the data models that are relevant for our client’s business requirements. And we make sure to provide the development team with transparent information on what is needed to implement these data models.

Having delivered a solid set of specifications and rational cost projections, our next task is to manage project implementation within time and budget constraints defined by our client. That includes periodic briefings of all stakeholders, and the responsibility to intervene when needed.

Impact generated

Bringing clarity to business & IT teams

Apart from the value that the BI implementation brings to our client, we see that the biggest impact of our contribution as a project consultant is the transparency and clarity that we deliver to all project stakeholders.

Firmly keeping both feet on the ground, we know how to translate Business Intelligence concepts into a set of practical specifications that enable the IT team to implement what the business team expects. And we provide management with sound budget projections, avoiding the kind of unpleasant surprises that often come with projects in which stakeholders find out too late they are not really on the same page.

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