During a recent conference, I had the chance to speak with a potential client about the impending failure of a large-scale, high-dollar business intelligence (BI) project his organization had spent nine months developing. As we talked, it became clear that the looming collapse of the project was not due to architectural issues, nor was it due to a failure to capture proper business requirements. The new BI system had only one problem: the user community hated ­– I mean hated – it.

How can a multimillion-dollar BI project, which so obviously – on paper – meets the needs of potential users, fail? Simple. No one on the technical or business teams addressed the changes that would take place in the organization as a result of the system. The user community was simply given the system and told, "Here it is, go do a better job now." In short, the failure of this organization's project was largely due to a single cause: failure to manage change.

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