This content originally appeared in TDWI. TDWI members can see the original here.
With so many teams “going agile,” it’s important for your BI team to keep a few things in mind that will help your agile transformation go more smoothly. This series, “10 Mistakes to Avoid In an Agile BI Transformation”, will show you how to prevent the most common pitfalls I’ve encountered in my experience as an Agile Coach.
Scrum, one popular agile framework, defines a neat role, the product owner, who represents the customers. The product owner is responsible for identifying and prioritizing the BI features the organization needs most and must be available daily to support the team by answering questions and providing feedback on results. BI teams think this sounds great! However, many BI teams ask a BI analyst to fill this role because it most closely aligns with the work he or she has been doing all along.
There are two common problems with this. First, a BI analyst usually does not have sufficient authority to prioritize the BI team’s work (i.e., authority from the customers to decide whose request is delivered first). Second, when the BI team supports many areas of the organization (as is common with data-focused teams), a single BI analyst may not have the knowledge or bandwidth to properly represent each of those areas in detail.
You can avoid this mistake by focusing on product ownership as a need to be met, not a role to fill with a single individual. Ask your customers to tell you how they will prioritize BI work and how they will communicate the priorities to your team. You may need to help them devise a process for this, but make sure you are facilitating the creation of an approach they will own—not something they have to comply with. From there, strong BI analysts can support the various areas of the organization by providing the delivery team with sufficient information to get started working on the top