In an earlier post I covered How to Get Started with Agile Business Intelligence (BI). For those of you who already completed the first two steps (assessing your current state, selecting an Agile methodology), this post will cover how to officially begin the project on the right foot, and then how to keep everything on track. […]
In an earlier post I covered How to Get Started with Agile Business Intelligence (BI). For those of you who already completed the first two steps (assessing your current state, selecting an Agile methodology), this post will cover how to officially begin the project on the right foot, and then how to keep everything on track. We’ll frame the tips using one of the most popular Agile methodologies, Scrum.
Now that you’ve selected a methodology and have a team in place, it’s time to get started! One easy way to do this is to schedule a kick-off.
Schedule a kick-off meeting with the whole team to review how your team is going to use Agile and Scrum. You will want to discuss the following topics:
Once your team starts sprinting, they should plan to meet to reflect on the work of each sprint and any challenges that they may have encountered. For example, on a BI project, you may learn that there is some foundational analysis that needs to be completed before you provide business value out of the data and you may decide as a team to create spikes of a set duration to perform that analysis one sprint ahead of doing the implementation work. You may find that there is a bottleneck getting ETL code done and you may decide to address that with more cross functional training.
You will certainly find challenges unique to your technical and functional environments and this time of reflection will enable you to inspect what has and has not been working and adapt to improve. BI teams should recognize the similarities between this process and how metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are often used. For example, your management team may track sales by special promotion to see which special promotions work to increase sales. Then they adapt to improve or eliminate the ones that don’t work and continue to use the ones that do.
Regularly reflecting on your work will help you become a better, more Agile and adaptive team. For more on conducting retrospectives, check out our blog posts on why retrospectives are important and three techniques to use for a retrospective.
We are positive that Agile methodologies will help your BI team focus on bringing in the data needed right now, prepare to adapt to new database requirements, and deliver access to the data early and often.
Now we want to hear from you: what ways have you used Agile and Scrum to help start a BI project and keep it on track? What questions do you have about how to implement Scrum on a BI project?
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