Lessons Learned: How to Keep Your BW Team Tuned Up In a Down Economy

  • by Brian Hether, Manager of Data Warehousing, The Washington Post
  • October 17, 2009
Find out some tried and tested methods to ensure your BW team builds knowledge and relationships with other departments, even when projects are delayed. These tips will keep your team ready to go when projects begin again.
Key Concept
When companies are experiencing tough economic times, it can be difficult to maintain your team’s motivation. One of the best ways to keep the members of your team happy and productive is to provide them with activities that help them build and enhance their job skills as well as those that help them develop business relationships.

Has the economic downturn resulted in your business reducing capital investments, cutting back on projects, or possibly postponing the latest SAP module installation or upgrade? Has your BW team has become smaller along with departmental or company-level staff reductions? Is your industry or business having difficulty maintaining profit margins going forward? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have a right to be concerned about the mission of your BW team and your own career path. There are several ways you can react once the reality of the business climate sinks in. One way is to look for opportunities elsewhere. Another is to duck for cover and just do your job in a minimalist way that doesn’t bring additional attention to your team, while hoping your fortune will change as the business does.

However, the best approach is to proactively reach out, get smarter, and take charge of yourself and your team. As you will see, there are several very low- (or no-) cost ways to increase your team’s technical capabilities while simultaneously boosting team moral and motivation. I will provide some real examples and discuss the issues associated with the action, including any costs. By using this approach, you may very well change your fortunes by adding value to yourself, your team, and your business.

Brian Hether

Brian Hether is the manager of data warehousing at The Washington Post. He has 17 years of data warehousing experience, most recently with SAP NetWeaver BW, helping take the system live in 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in information systems, and a professional development certification in business administration from Georgetown University.

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