Q:  

I'm now in the process of evaluating two proposals for a data warehousing project. Can you recommend any criteria that I can use to evaluate the two proposals?

A:  

Douglas Hackney's Answer:

  1. If either firm is imposing an approach (top-down, bottom-up, etc.) before studying your unique characteristics, eliminate them.
  2. If either firm is more focused on technology than your users' pain, eliminate them.
  3. If either firm has not demonstrated success in your industry, eliminate them.
  4. If either firm is aligned with vendors, eliminate them (unless you've already decided on that vendor's technology).
  5. If either firm is not focused on building politically sustainable systems, eliminate them.
  6. If either firm is not committed to knowledge transfer, eliminate them.
  7. If either firm does not have a tested, proven data warehouse-specific methodology, eliminate them.
  8. If either firm does not provide structured and unstructured education and mentoring, eliminate them.
  9. If either firm does not specialize in BI/DWing, eliminate them.
  10. If either firm is more interested in billable hours than your long-term success, eliminate them.

Sid Adelman’s Answer: Besides the more obvious criteria, these are a few of the additional things you should consider:

  • Are there any associated or hidden costs or any additional utilities that need to be purchased as part of the whole package?
  • What does it take to implement and support the product? The client references should be able to tell you how many people, what skill level and what degree of their involvement were necessary for a successful implementation - the vendors are often somewhat optimistic in their suggestions for resources.
  • What outside skills, contractors and consultants are necessary? Are these people even available for hire?
  • What buy-in is there from the stakeholders and management? It's important that there is relative unanimity on the decision. An assassin in a high or influential position can cause serious problems.

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