Our data warehouse is growing and changing. We are adopting a formal documentation plan by IBM called Application Development Effectiveness. It was written to control mainframe projects. As much as I would like to embrace it, it seems so geared toward mainframe transaction systems. I can’t help thinking there is something out there that would apply to data warehouses. What do other data warehouses use for documentation and project control? What do they use for things that are modeled in front of the customer’s eyes, such as a simple query and report? We have 400 gigs of accounting, purchasing and human resources data on Oracle. We have a query tool for the users, many scripts stored on a statewide accessible server and are just starting to build some Cognos cubes for Web viewing.


Sid Adelman’s Answer: While many of the tasks in a data warehouse are different than traditional operational development, and while there is a strong requirement to have a flexible development environment, the data warehouse needs documented deliverables just as they are needed in operational systems. So, this documentation plan you are adopting may be appropriate. However, the change control procedures are even more critical for data warehouse since scope creep is pervasive in every project. Be sure the change control procedures are tightly integrated into your project plans.

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