There are four phases to any IT project: analysis, design, build and deploy. Each of the four phases has its own challenges, both from a technical and manpower standpoint. When the project is building a business performance management (BPM) system, many of the most contentious issues arise in the analysis phase. If your organization is like most, getting analysis done is like trying to get a five-year-old to eat broccoli. Nevertheless, it has to be done - correctly - or you won't have a solid foundation for your BPM system.

Unfortunately, analysis has become synonymous with requirements gathering. It is that, but it's also so much more. The analysis phase of an IT project is where the underpinning for the entire system is laid. The analysis phase, if done right, will yield a solid system that will serve your organization's needs and grow as the business grows. However, if it's done poorly, or not at all, the system won't meet the needs of the user community, and people just won't use it. Then you'll be right back where you started - with database and spreadsheet chaos instead of solid analytical capabilities.

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