21 Tips for Managing a Multi-Project BW Implementation

  • by Michael Loveless, BI Strategic Architect, Sapiex, Inc.
  • Brian McCartan, Associate Partner, Business Analytics Lead, IBM Global Services
  • October 1, 2004
/Project Management
At some point, your BW project team may be faced with several implementation projects occurring at the same time. Because of the highly shared nature of objects in the BW architecture, this scenario can cause significant problems for the project management team. The authors share their expertise in coping with such situations and offer tips to help you avoid many of the pitfalls common in a multi-project implementation.
Key Concept
The BW project management team is responsible for the many important aspects of a project such as resource requirements, timelines and deliverables, testing, training, change management, go-live, and production support. But when multiple project groups want to develop in the same BW system at the same time with different timelines and deliverables, this project management team can be distracted from its project goals.

In a perfect world, all project teams that wish to enter the corporate BW environment perform all the necessary pre-implementation research and planning. They identify and prepare all members of their extended project team and wait patiently in queue for their turn to implement. This situation would be a true luxury for a central BW project management team.

Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way. Figure 1 shows what an ideal project timeline looks like compared to a typical multi-project timeline for BW implementations. BW project management teams are generally forced to accommodate multiple, urgent implementation demands in SAP environments. Some teams are taking the first step from the monolithic R/3 reporting environment into BW, while others, either due to an outdated or incorrect design or an old BW release, are struggling with poor BW system performance.

Figure 1
Ideal multi-project timeline versus typical multi-project timeline

Michael Loveless

Michael Loveless is an SAP NetWeaver BI strategic architect for Sapiex, Inc., a consulting group that focuses on strategic architecture planning and integration for SAP applications. Previously, he worked for SAP America (1998-2004) as a platinum SAP NetWeaver BI consultant. Michael has worked on many SAP NetWeaver BI projects in roles ranging from an SAP NetWeaver BI application configuration consultant to a global strategic SAP NetWeaver BI SME. Currently, he is working as an SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0 project manager and architect for a global forecasting solution project in the pharmaceutical industry, and as a global BI strategic planner for federal government projects.

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Brian McCartan

Brian McCartan is a Associate Partner in IBM's Business Consulting Services. He is responsible for managing BW and Strategic Enterprise Management efforts within the distribution and life sciences sector. Brian has over twelve years of experience in BI and data warehousing. He has been involved in project advising, project assessment and quality review, project planning and management, and data warehouse design and implementation. His industry experience includes distribution, pharmaceutical, aerospace and defense, and chemicals and petroleum.

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