Saturday, October 4, 2008

Transforming your organization from the inside-out

Dear readers,
I know it has been a while since my last posting, but that is a good sign; it means that the Business Intelligence industry is still alive out there, even in these uncertain times.
So, what is the occasion then? Well, if you have not guessed by the title, let me give me you another tip. It is time for change! When things are working well and companies are making money, nobody wants to disturb the status-quo - If ain't broken, why fix it mentality - Now is the perfect occasion to prepare your organization not only for survival, but to come ahead of the competition. The door is Business transformation, the key is business intelligence and the road, well that is what this article is supposed to shed some light into.
First things first, why do I suggest the change has to come from the inside-out, isn’t it easier for an external party to come and put things in order? The answer is no, a third party might be able to asses, recommend and define best practices/guidelines, but real change only comes from within. No external agent can navigate a complex organization, better than the people who are the organization. Partners are of great help, as they bring a perspective that will likely be different from your own, they can help you penetrate organizational barriers, and ask the hard questions, but ultimately it is the local who will need to make sure those recommendations are ultimately implemented.
This being said, where should you start? Well, no change will happen if it is not aligned to the organizational strategy. Do some soul searching within your organization to remember what upper management is trying to do, and brainstorm how your Business Intelligence can support that vision. Take one strategy, and decompose it in its basic elements, then ask yourself a simple question: How can Information support each of these tasks? , who are the personas who will leverage this information within the organization to take action? , what elements of the vision exist today? If I were to continue building the track, what would be the next section?
These questions will help you get the information you need to get better aligned to the business strategy and through this journey, become a strategic partner with the business, as you will start anticipating, and eventually guiding, what are the projects the business needs. Having a business roadmap of solution domains will also provide you the tools to perform an impact assessment to the existing BI infrastructure; and as such, it will help you determine the internal initiatives that are needed to keep-up with the business demands.
If you follow this path, before you know it, you will be driving change from the inside-out becoming a strategic influencer in the organization, who can help your company navigate wild waters and prepare the ship for speed once calm returns. Bon Voyage!

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