A few favorites from TDWI’s recent article on Agile BI.
TDWI (The Data Warehouse Institute) recently released a new article in their very useful “Ten Mistakes to Avoid” series. Author Mark Giesbrecht from the Canadian National Railway outlines ten suggestions for a sustainable agile BI practice. I am particularly fond of the following ideas presented in the article, and thought they would be useful to you as well:
PRODUCT OWNERSHIP: Sponsors often find it more difficult to free the Product Owner from a “day job” to focus on the project, than to get funding for the project! A healthy agile BI team will, as Giesbrecht puts it, “delay project start until the appropriate product owner commitment has been obtained.”
DESIGN: Giesbrecht provides a great analogy for just enough up front design: Watch out for urban sprawl where “project teams gravitate to the suburbs” (i.e. building new warehouse artifacts) over “gentrifying the existing neighborhoods and rehabilitating brown fields” (such as refactoring an existing fact or dimension to meet the needs of the existing and new development).
DEFINITION OF DONE: Be sure to include the support team’s perspective in the project team’s definition of done: Standards for naming conventions, as-built documentation, job flows, traceability, and restartability, to name a few, can greatly lower a solution’s TCO for little additional development cost.
AUTOMATION: Tools and automation can be very helpful to agile BI teams, including those that help with data profiling, data modeling, code version management, and testing automation. However, Giesbrecht makes it clear that “the choice of vendors is often less important than the process used to drive tool adoption.”
I believe these “Ten Mistakes” articles are only available for TDWI Premium Members, which I have been since 1999. If you are interested in these valuable resources and aren’t yet a TDWI member – I encourage you to join and gain the benefits of this very useful and established data-focused industry organization.
I will be teaching Agile Analytics: Road Mapping, Chartering, and Release Planning on Monday, September 22, 2014 at the upcoming TDWI World Conference in San Diego – Hope to see you there!
Also, check out Dr. Ken Collier’s Ten Mistakes in an Agile BI Transformation.