The Triangle of Success: Understanding Process

by | Apr 24, 2014 | General BI

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Figure 1: The triangle of success

Figure 1: The triangle of success

In our previous blog post, we talked about some of the reasons that business intelligence (BI) projects fail, and we introduced you to the Triangle of Success, which is comprised of three areas that you need to consider to make sure that your BI project is not one of the many that doesn’t live up to expectations. To recap, our sides of the triangle (Figure 1) are:

  • Process
  • Technology
  • Project Leadership

In this blog post, we will discuss the “process” side of our triangle, and explore what you need to examine to ensure BI success. We’ll also look at the pitfalls you need to avoid so that your project doesn’t fail.

Step 1: Process

Figure 2: The 3 components of process

Figure 2: The 3 components of process

When you think about the “process” behind your business intelligence deployment, there are three areas to consider: define the need, develop and deploy (Figure 2).

Many BI projects fail before they even get started. That’s because many companies buy a BI solution expecting that it will give them insight, but they don’t entirely know in what areas they need this insight. That’s why it’s first important to define the need – why are you implementing BI and what do you need to get out of your deployment?

For example, the financial department in a hospital may want to be able to dig down deeper into its general ledger to be able to better understand financial data that’s not readily available from its ERP or general accounting applications. Or on the clinical side, the hospital may want to better measure physician performance to understand how doctors are performing individually or among their peers. Whatever your organization’s need (or needs), you need to define it (or them) at the outset and get agreement among each project’s stakeholders as to what your goals are.

Next, it’s important to determine what projects you will develop and how you will develop them. This will be clearer once you have defined your need and know what your goals are. This step involves determining the scope of your project and the resources you are able to devote to developing it.

Finally, you must determine how you will deploy the project. Will you roll it out to users all at once, or will you take a more phased approach? For many organizations, a phased approach often makes sense as it helps you realize more immediate return-on-investment from your BI implementation.

Pitfalls to avoid:

  • Making the scope of your BI project too broad. If this is the case, consider dividing into multiple projects.
  • Not knowing what you want to measure. It’s important to know the end result so you can properly see how to get there.

In our next blog posts, we will explore the second and third sides of our triangle and examine the relationships between the components of each side.

Blog posts in this series:

  1. Why BI Projects Fail – And How You Can Avoid Failure through the Triangle of Success
  2. The Triangle of Success – Understanding Process
  3. The Triangle of Success – Understanding Technology
  4. The Triangle of Success – Understanding Project Leadership
  5. Why Collaboration is Key to Enabling the Triangle of Success

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