A lot of BI projects are still executed without sufficient consideration for the quality, yield and thoroughness in business requirements and are often based on assumptions about e.g. test and acceptance criteria, at best they are unstructured. BI projects are often well enough executed in the context – but they are anchored not adequate in the operation and IT. A classic challenge, which particularly is emphasized by the complexity of BI solutions commercially and technically. BI and data warehouse solutions are the typical area with a high degree of customizing in order to meet complex business requirements, underlining the importance that we articulate the quality delivered.
Try to think about the last BI project you were involved in! Were you decidedly matching the expectations, the quality to be delivered – from both business and IT? The answer will probably be “No” or that you may have done it but only implicitly based on how you have become accustomed to operating.
Thefirst stepis therefore toaddress thecommunication anddaring toarticulate”quality”. With thefear thatnow,it all becomeslarge, heavy andrigid! Itshould beforall, do notbe. Most of ourcustomersappreciatea degree offlexibilityespecially asbusinessrequirementsare often socomplex and difficult todefine100%in the beginningof the project.It isimportant to addressthe mostcritical pointsrather thandrowningprojectadministration.
The next step is to set realistic performance objectives for the project, represented by a customized quality checklist that can follow the project from beginning to end. In my eyes the adaptation is central to making quality assurance relevant and related. The more precisely and thus unique quality objectives can be established in relation to the specific project, the better, because often it is precisely the quality that you choose to neglect, when the waves are high and go-live is potentially at risk. All the better reason to keep an extra focus on quality during the project, because the deadline and the cost focus comes by itself!
Consequently, it is important to have regular follow-up during the project. This may be easier said than done, and therefore we recommend that a dedicated Quality Manager role (which in the end may well coincide with a project manager or architect role) is designated on the project. Too often, we see that when the project is approved the responsibility is primarily getting goals on time and within budget. Therefore, we recommend that an outright responsibility is appointed for the follow-up to the actual delivery is in order.
Innologic has in cooperation with SAP AG developed a quality assurance method specifically for SAP BI projects with the objective to maintain quality at eye level with our customers. Quality assurance systems such as ISO and standard ASAP is typically not BI-specific enough to provide a detailed enough quality level. The “contractual basis” to form the basis for the project have to take into account the specific conditions, which for instance exist in relation to development standard, change management and functionality. Innologic and SAP’s approach focuses on quality where it typically hurts the most. Our overall experience of 250+ SAP BI projects are to include in the selection and prioritization of quality criteria.
Want to hear more about how Innologic ensures quality on our projects, please contact Innologic at +45 31 63 41 00 or firstname.lastname@example.org.