Recently, at one of our enterprise hub-and-spoke architecture client sites, we were discussing the prerequisite of effective communications for success with this architecture. As we discussed their communication plans, it became readily apparent that they were lacking a key element for political survival in any business intelligence (BI) project: a plan to get from their current state to their desired state.

Their lack of communication plans, presentations, etc., that effectively presented how they were going to technically construct and politically sustain a system that can easily take four to six years to accomplish is common among all flavors of BI and data warehousing (DW) teams. While there is usually no lack of illustrations of the ideal goal, there is almost always a dearth of step-by-step diagrams illustrating how things will look from the global, enterprise level as each portion of the system is built. The key element is that until the desired state is achieved, the DW team will be living in a heterogeneous world. While they live there, they must articulate how they will coordinate resources, exchange data, interface meta data, avoid duplicate efforts and seamlessly integrate with the dozens of other BI systems in the typical enterprise.

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