An insurance company asked Baseline Consulting to come and assess its enterprise data warehouse and business intelligence (BI) development environment. Managers in the company's lines of business had begun questioning the value of the data warehouse. Development resources were scarce, the BI team was trying to juggle disparate work activities and, as resources were reshuffled, the reputation of the data warehouse was suffering.

It turned out that the most vocal business users were getting the lion's share of attention from the development team. The BI development team could never quite explain the business value of the warehouse. After all, they were spending as much time managing disappointment as they were developing BI. They prioritized their work activities based on fear. The director of BI development tried forming a steering committee to fix the problem. Comprised of managers from the various lines of business, the committee's goal was to prioritize BI projects based on business value. But it didn't work quite as planned.

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