Q:  

We want to build a management information center to manage the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) which will include business requirement management, statistical reporting, data standards and EDW management. What functions should be included by the center?

A:  

Clay Rehm's Answer: First, an EDW is very difficult no matter how much money you throw at it. Do you have complete buy-in from every department within your organization that this is going to succeed? Has every member that is involved (or should be involved) ready to do what they need to do to make this a success?

Have you selected a pilot group to go first - even though it is an EDW, you must select a pilot group to build for first, to show how it will work to everyone on a small scale.

Your management information center must deal with project management and change management. Again, does this centralized center have the support it needs to make it work? I would recommend that each person go through project management training and get their PMP certification (www.PMI.org).

How well do you gather requirements? Do you know that they will keep changing over time? How will this be managed, controlled and communicated?

Start small but act globally. You must get everyone's support or you are wasting your time.

It is not the technical issues that will cause your project to fail but the business and people management issues. How many people on the team have a business background? How many are educated (BS or MS degree in IS with a business minor)? How many people on the team have actually run their own business or even a large project? How many people on the team know what the CSFs (critical success factors) are and do they care? How many people on the team are actively looking for a new job right now?

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