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A Business Intelligence Roadmap: Project Planning

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Don't let your project veer out of control. Learn the steps to a well-planned BI project and all the major aspects of project planning for your business.
This chapter is from the book

Chapter Overview

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Things to consider about project planning

  • Managing the BI project and planning for setbacks

  • Items to address when creating a project charter, such as goals and objectives, scope issues, project risks, constraints, assumptions, change control, and issues management

  • Aspects of project planning, with a focus on activities and tasks, estimating techniques, resource assignment, task and resource dependencies, critical path determination, and creation of the final project schedule

  • Brief descriptions of the project planning activities, the deliverables resulting from those activities, and the roles involved

  • The risks of not performing Step 3

Things to Consider

Business Involvement

  • Do we have a strong business sponsor? Do we have a backup business sponsor?

  • Do we have stakeholders with whom we need to communicate regularly?

  • How much time is the business representative committing to this project? Is he or she assigned to this project full-time, or will he or she be available on request only?

Project Scope and Deliverables

  • Did we receive a formal request for a BI project?

  • How detailed are the requirements?

  • What are the requested deliverables?

  • Can we implement the requested scope given the schedule and the available resources?

Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • Have we already performed a cost-benefit analysis?

  • What is the expected return on investment (ROI)?

  • How soon do we expect the ROI to materialize?


  • Did we review our technical and nontechnical infrastructure components?

  • Does our infrastructure have any gaps?

  • Which infrastructure components will we need to work on and deliver as part of the BI project?

    • Which technical infrastructure components?

    • Which nontechnical infrastructure components?

Staffing and Skills

  • Have we already identified the team members?

  • Do all team members have the skills needed to perform the responsibilities of their assigned roles?

  • Should we schedule any training before the project kickoff?

  • Is the project manager assigned to this project full-time? Or does he or she have other administrative responsibilities? If the latter, who will take over those other responsibilities for the duration of this project?

  • BI projects are not like other projects with a finite and static set of requirements from one business person or one department. Instead, the purpose of an integrated BI decision-support environment is to provide cross-organizational business analysis capabilities to all business people and all departments in the organization. That involves a variety of new tasks, shifted roles and responsibilities, and a more hands-on project management approach.

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