My esteemed colleague, Larry English and I are currently working on a root- cause analysis for one of our client sites. We are seeking to discover the reasons why the vast majority of this client's projects have had exemplary results and why one did not enjoy the same level of success. As we review the events and dynamics surrounding the project, I am struck by the repeated instances of simple things, inconsequential when considered alone, that add up to major contributors to disappointment when considered together.

I have extended the exercise to examine the dozens of business intelligence (BI) projects that I have been exposed to recently, and I am struck by the similarity of results. Again and again, projects and teams that have struggled or met with less success in some aspects of their initiatives than they would have liked share a collection of accumulated basic, seemingly simple things. It seems that the more the science of data warehousing and BI advance, the more organizations and teams lose track of the fundamentals required to ensure and facilitate team and project success.

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