In my last few columns and articles, I've focused on building the business-time intelligent enterprise (BTIE) to harness the power of critical organizational information to grow the business. While the technical aspects of building the BTIE are certainly challenging, as they are with any enterprise-wide project, the most daunting obstacles you're likely to face are not technical at all; they're political. In fact, regardless of how technically sound your system is, if it fails politically, it fails - period.

How do you avoid getting a mission-critical system bogged down in an intractable political quagmire? There are really three steps:

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