Scope Creep

Changing business intelligence requirements is a normal part of doing business in a fast paced environment. It isn’t uncommon for business processes to evolve during the implementation of your business intelligence solution. The question isn’t how to handle the project if the requirements change, it’s how to handle the project when the requirements change.

The best approach in these situations really depends on the extent of the change that needs to be implemented and the completion percentage of your data warehouse. During the beginning stages of your project it will be fairly reasonable to pull in additional fields from your source systems, however, if you are nearing the completion of your business intelligence solution requests for additional data should be postponed until the system is fully functional.

Data quality processes will generally be one of the final stages of your business intelligence solution. During this time period it is common to experience some definition changes as to how your data should be cleaned up and organized. Small enhancements such as changing the hierarchy of cleansed records will be a nuisance but feasible at this stage.

Obviously changing any requirements midway through the project is a very undesirable situation, but unfortunately this scenario is sometimes unavoidable. Managing scope creep will be a very involved process from the beginning stages of your project until completion. You won’t be able to “rule with an iron fist” because some changes will need to be made, but you will be able to actively manage the users’ expectations by keeping them informed on the limitations of changes and by working with your vendors to determine which types of changes are acceptable and which ones are not.

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