1 Steve Sims Business Intelligence Competency Centre October 2010 Establishing a BICC
2 ABOUT STEVE SIMS Steve Sims has 16 years experience in business and information technology consulting, specialising in building and optimising an organisation s Information Management capability. Mr. Sims currently leads the Information Management Strategy and Leadership team within Hitachi Consulting s National Business Intelligence and Performance Management national practice. He brings thought leadership, subject matter expertise, enterprise-level perspective, and strong business/it partnership skills to client engagements including creation of the multi-year Roadmap (current state diagnostic, future state definition and gap-closing execution plan) and Programme Operations Change Leadership. Mr. Sims is a graduate from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems. Information contained in this proposal and associated documents is confidential, proprietary to, and constitutes the trade secrets of, Hitachi Consulting. Without prior written permission from Hitachi Consulting, it may not be disclosed to any other parties or to employees or representatives other than those with a need to know for the purpose of evaluation of this proposal. Copyright Hitachi Consulting, 2010.
3 Contents Introduction...04 Problems associated with poorly implemented or utilised applications...04 How BAO helps organisations overcome these challenges...05 Key derived benefits of Hitachi Consulting s BAO Approach...06 About Hitachi Consulting...07
4 INTRODUCTION While many companies receive benefit from their existing reporting and analysis capabilities, there may still be significant challenges in making a larger and more strategic impact. For example, specific functional departments, regions or business units may establish tactical solutions to address immediate or common information needs. These efforts target specific areas of the business for return. At the enterprise-level, there may be a corporate team responsible to provide data or reports to the user community upon request. Each of these provides unique business benefits. Even so, leadership recognises broader challenges exist in their ability to execute the company s strategy using the current approach to Business Intelligence (BI), information management and delivery. Challenges may include: Relatively high percentage of business time spent on data collection vs. data analysis Silos of information resulting in conflicts in data accuracy The business struggles to gain access to the information it needs Measurement of business performance is difficult to assess BI investments are not delivering expected impact Maintenance and licensing costs are high due to an overly broad tools footprint Existence of shadow BI groups within the business compensating for lack of capabilities High level of business analyst / staff headcount A majority of analysis performed retroactively vs. proactively Data/reporting environment that is difficult to navigate Frequent confusion around business metrics (definitions, alternate sources, conflicting measures, etc.) High spend, but perceived low value from the business These are a few symptoms that might indicate the need to further diagnose and plan for how to build optimal Business Intelligence capabilities i.e. access to timely, consistent, relevant and trusted information for effective decision making. And, in that plan, organisations might want to establish a Business Intelligence Competency Centre (BICC) to address these challenges head on. This document describes a phased approach for establishing a BICC within an organisation large or small. The goal is increased leverage with more investment allocated to strategic objectives and less to tactical efforts and baseline operations. 04 White paper for Hitachi Consulting on Business Intelligence Competency Centre (Establishing a BICC) - Steve Sims
5 BICC DEFINED BICC can be defined as a team of dedicated Business and IT specialists accountable for defining, owning and managing the execution of the company s BI strategy and agenda. While many leaders, stakeholders, contributors, managers, analysts, developers and user community participate in one way or another in BI efforts, a BICC serves as the catalyst and glue that creates, promotes and holds together the overall BI operating model. Figure 1: BICC as an enabling programme The BI programme is not simply the sum total of the various projects and independent efforts, but instead reflects a comprehensive network of people, processes, and technology working as one integrated operating model supporting and enabling those projects and efforts.
6 BENEFITS OF A BICC The fundamental value of employing a BICC within a company is to gain leverage against strategic initiatives and reduce cost of labour intensive and often redundant tactical and baseline support efforts. A company that can mobilise and execute a programme with this goal of leverage in mind will find that the increased capacity to complete strategic projects will directly impact business value gained from its BI investments. Figure 2: BICC Benefits A company whose strategy is to take a holistic approach to their BI programme will have a better opportunity and capability to minimise risks and maximise value. A mature BICC set of capabilities (people, process, technologies) enables quick reaction to changing business needs, including: Better decisions enterprise-wide Fewer information disagreements Less effort to develop and maintain over time Lower long-term costs with better scalability 06 White paper for Hitachi Consulting on Business Intelligence Competency Centre (Establishing a BICC) - Steve Sims
7 GETTING STARTED First, executive sponsorship that recognises the significance that information has in a company s ability to effectively manage the performance of the business is critical to getting started. Many times organisations attempt to elevate Business Intelligence as a key driver to company performance from within a specific department such as Finance or IT. However, these efforts almost always struggle to make the impact desired without clear and meaningful senior executive support (COO, CFO and CIO). A holistic enterprise Business Intelligence perspective provides context to a company s BI strategy and execution plan. Figure 3: Enterprise Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Ideally, a company in its early stages of maturity in Business Intelligence should have a stated business initiative that emphasises enterprise BI. If an organisation does not have this executive support or a business initiative targeted at enterprise BI, executing Phase 1 as mentioned below will accomplish this. If, however, at the conclusion of Phase 1 there is not clear direction that BI will be adequately funded and supported programme going forward, Phase 2 and Phase 3 will not be effective. Additionally, there should be commitment among leadership to having a culture of one team working together towards meeting the common goals of the company. Again, each the core business functions and IT need to be aligned to the same corporate multi-year plan.
8 PHASED APPROACH Establishing a BICC that is both adopted and effective in the organisation will require a set of key activities outlined in three distinct phases: Phase 1 Initiate: Phase 1 is all about getting an overall BI plan in place and ensuring broad executive commitment. The sponsoring executive in the company needs to initiate the appropriate timing and organisational involvement required to spearhead this initiative. Form a Task Team Identify cross-functional/organisational task team to oversee and participate in the definition of a BI Roadmap. This team serves as the centre of gravity during Phase 1 and Phase 2 and will coordinate all efforts prior to Phase 3. Upon start of Phase 3, this Task Team will dissolve itself and transition responsibilities over to the BICC for execution of the programme going forward. Members of the Task Team need to include both business and IT representatives of the major organisational entities within the company. They should have a vested interest in establishing a new approach towards BI both on the business and IT side. Typically, members are a mix of Finance, Sales & Marketing, HR, Operations, and IT leaders at the Senior Manager, Director or Vice President (VP) level. Assign a Leader to the Task Team A Director or VP level leader in the company should be assigned to facilitate the activities of the Task Team. This individual may not necessarily be assigned to a dedicated role going forward in the overall BI programme, but will need to take point on Phase 1 and Phase 2 activities. This leader will be responsible for assembling the Task Team frequently, maintaining dialogue with the executive sponsor, coordinating periodic update meetings among the executive, Task Team, and Roadmap Team. Prepare a BI / DW Roadmap The purpose of the Business Intelligence / Data Warehouse Roadmap (BI / DW Roadmap) is to create a BI strategy for the company that will enable further development and better leverage of information and Business Intelligence infrastructure to improve visibility, accountability and performance. The BI / DW Roadmap provides: A roadmap outlining decisions, tasks, sequences, priorities and guiding principles for accomplishing these objectives A broad perspective of the company s ability to deliver the information required by business decision makers in an effective and efficient manner Quick identification of root-causes for delays, obstacles, waste 08 White paper for Hitachi Consulting on Business Intelligence Competency Centre (Establishing a BICC) - Steve Sims
9 Organisations facing some of the challenges listed earlier in this document typically have internal biases that can be difficult to surface and integrate into an overall plan. Including a third-party consulting firm that specialises in this phase of a BI programme will offer an outside perspective and assist the company with industry best practices to facilitate the development of a common plan among parties using a defined methodology and framework e.g. Hitachi Consulting s BI Roadmap Framework. Figure 4: Hitachi Consulting s BI Roadmap Framework A BI / DW Roadmap consists of three core activities: 1. Analyse provides insight into and baselines current state BI and DW capabilities and the impact this current state has on the business 2. Envision outlines future vision and implementable solutions related to people, process and technology; drives consensus among the Task Team and the key stakeholders involved in its definition; identifies the BICC opportunity and its positioning in the overall future state 3. Plan outlines urgent needs (e.g. consistent management reporting, subject area performance analytics tied to a specific business objective, etc.), and defines gap closing roadmap (baseline, tactical, strategic foundational, strategic BI solutions) including sequencing, pace/timing, priorities, and resource requirements
10 These activities will result in several key deliverables that will be essential to have in place prior to Phase 2. In addition to the overall multi-year BI / DW Roadmap documentation itself, an Executive Summary describing the business case and funding requirements serves as a tool for obtaining broad support across business functions and IT leadership. While the general building blocks for the overall organisational structure and operating model to support Business Intelligence are captured in the BI / DW Roadmap, the Task Team will want to more thoroughly define the specific roles and responsibilities and interaction model among the organisational entities particularly the BICC. Phase 2 Mobilise Phase 2 focuses on the Business Intelligence Competency Centre itself and the touch point teams that together provide and support the company s BI capabilities. Define the BICC Define the BICC core charter, roles and responsibilities during the Mobilise phase so that once staffed and implemented, the company can better recognise the interdependencies among this team, the core business teams and supporting IT teams. The BICC needs to include several core functions that collectively will ensure efficient and effective evolution and execution of the BI / DW strategy and agenda. These functions include: BI Programme Governance Business Analytics Data / Information Management and Delivery Data Governance In smaller to medium sized organisations with less complex business organisational models, a more centralised BICC can be established in the initial stages of maturity. Larger companies with vastly different and independent lines of business (or large global organisations with fairly separate regional operations e.g. US, EMEA and APAC) may wish to include focused teams with each line of business and a team of centralised resources to provide broader interconnectivity and leadership for company-wide BI initiatives. Additionally, the number of resources required for the company to meet demand and fill the defined roles also needs to be determined i.e. map the demand pipeline to the roles and responsibilities necessary to deliver the foundational and solution specific outcomes. Foundational activities would include functions such as: BI Strategy / Planning Programme Management Business Data / Metric Definitions Data Architecture Technical Architecture In either case (large or small organisation), dedication of resources to the BICC is almost always recommended. Splitting time and responsibilities of BICC leaders with other company efforts will prohibit obtaining the desired results. 010 White paper for Hitachi Consulting on Business Intelligence Competency Centre (Establishing a BICC) - Steve Sims
11 Define BI Operating Model Define the operating interaction model and touch points with other groups. Many variations may exist for how the HR reporting relationships are structured although having clear understanding and adoption of how the BICC operates internally and with each and every stakeholder group is critical. The following diagram illustrates a general interaction model among teams that can be used to determine a more specific model the company. Figure 5: BI Operating Model (Illustration) Stand-Up the BICC Following agreement among the Task Team and other key stakeholders of Business Intelligence, initial staffing assignments can begin. Keep in mind creating an effective BICC in the early stages of the programme may take an elevated set of skills and change leadership capability than in the transitional and ongoing evolution of the programme. Companies will want to consider staffing a mix of internal and external resources to cover all bases at the beginning. External resources can bring best practice models that can be used for expediting start-up as well as the ability to fill in organisational white space in the interim until the company can hire or transfer from within. Additionally external resources with specialised expertise can serve as mentors, change leaders and interview staff when open positions need to be filled by means of new hires. Internal resources should offload prior responsibilities that are not aligned to BICC role/ responsibilities. Again, dedicating resources to the BICC means complete focus on the company s BI / DW programme. The final step in standing up the BICC is to have all members level-set on the BI / DW Roadmap created from Phase 1. It will now be the BICC s responsibility to transition from plan to execution. Therefore, understanding the background, context, current state, future vision, and gap closing activities agreed to by the company s executive sponsors, business leaders and IT leaders will ensure expectations can be managed.
12 Phase 3 Execute Initiating the BI programme and Mobilising a BICC to own and lead the programme were the first two phases. Phase 3 describes execution of the BI / DW Roadmap. This phase is structured into three stages: Making the Turn Up and Running Hitting Stride Figure 6: The BICC Journey Phased execution for building and sustaining a highly effective BICC requires patience as companies typically spend 1-3 years working their way towards maintaining self-sufficient and mature BI capabilities. The following critical success factors will guide the BICC as it progresses through these stages: Executive sponsorship, funding and patience Partnership: IT BI and Business IT BI and IT Applications IT BI team and IT Infrastructure Balanced, holistic approach: Business, People, Process and Technical aspects Balanced solution delivery: Right amount of tactical solutions, but avoiding tyranny of the urgent Right amount of the focus on the future vision, but avoiding ivory tower Business and IT courage to make the hard choices: Business initiative priorities BI Application and Transaction Application priorities Data definitions Technologies Organisation 012 White paper for Hitachi Consulting on Business Intelligence Competency Centre (Establishing a BICC) - Steve Sims
13 Making the Turn During this stage, the foundation of how the BICC is going to perform their work is established based on best practices. Guiding principles are outlined and core activities continue on the dimensions of: WHAT the work, the expenditures HOW the data management architecture; the back-end and front-end tools; the business and IT processes, methodologies and governances; the best practices and standards WHO the organisation, the people, the skills These dimensions make up the gears of the BICC delivery engine. Each work tightly coupled with the other throughout the programme. Companies should recognise that not all the activities commence or continue on the same time schedule. The BI / DW Roadmap will have indicated what is more important early vs. to be addressed later. Figure 7: The BICC Gears It is during this stage (Making the Turn) that the company can dismiss the original BI Task Team setup in Phase 1 to initiative the programme. At this point, the BICC is accountable for owning and managing execution. Up and Running Here, the processes, approaches and skills are implemented and through repeated use the team starts to burn them into the culture. An optimal solution delivery framework is implemented and used on each new investment. Existing solution efforts are divided among baseline support (for those items to be maintained only with smaller enhancements going forward) and solution delivery (for those items in new development cycles). Division of labour among new development and baseline support is key to making the shift from begin reactive to information requests to proactively meeting the strategic needs of the business. Team Leadership during this stage promotes strengthening existing skills, learning new one, and consistently applying those in a repeatable manner to create leverage and lower cost of delivery.
14 Hitting Stride Once the BICC has the best practices routinely being used, the ownership of those practices is transitioned to client personnel. Solution delivery, baseline support and team leadership are maturing and continuous improvement efforts are maintained. At this point, the company is leading execution of BICC in a self-sufficient state with mostly new operating model and delivery framework in place, efficient and effective. The broader BI challenges seen by executives early in the programme are fading away and greater business value is attained with less effort and greater alignment to the strategic objectives of the company today and going forward. SUSTAINING MOMENTUM All organisations wish to see their Business Intelligence programme succeed not only out of the gate, but continued on as the business changes and its need to become more market responsive increases. Important focus areas for success and sustaining momentum that should not be lost include: Maintain a Champion If there is a universal truth in the world of BI, it is that a strong sponsor can make, or break, a programme. These programmes build incredible momentum because their sponsor demands accountability, removes roadblocks, solidifies funding and helps sell the strategic value of a BI programme. A great sponsor understands that business intelligence is about an ongoing commitment to the creation of a strategic asset through disciplined application of business knowledge, process and technical infrastructure. It is NOT an information technology play. Unfortunately, the majority of BI programmes see their contribution fall off dramatically when the champion is promoted or moves on to other challenges. In many of these cases, the BI team fails to recognise the value of this relationship and tries to sponsor themselves or gain sponsorship from an IT leader. In each case the company experiences a declining perception of the BI programme s value. Sustain a Great Team Great teams should be comprised of a good mix of experience and enthusiasm. They should be characterised by the following traits: Strong leaders who understand how the business really works Architects who can build technical underpinnings that met the needs of business users Developers who are problem solvers, question askers and critical thinkers Analysts who are constantly looking for ways to drive the business with new insight A view that team success is more important than individual success Companies are encouraged to patiently build the next level of leaders from within their ranks to sustain long runs of success. 014 White paper for Hitachi Consulting on Business Intelligence Competency Centre (Establishing a BICC) - Steve Sims
15 Maintain BI as a Programme A great BI organisation requires an ongoing investment that will continually generate high returns. True, the ROI can be amorphous at times, because it is hard to place a value on the ability to make intelligent, informed decisions. Common sense, however, should dictate the understanding and importance of this investment. The degree of investment should vary based on what the organisation can afford and where they are on the BI maturity lifecycle. Typically, investment spikes early and tails off once the core process, infrastructure and data architecture are in place. The best organisations tend to set aside an annual investment budget for helping the business utilise the information captured by the BI organisation. The investment budget is best served when stewarded by the sponsor and a group of business constituents. Organisations that struggle take a project-by-project view of funding, which violates two key rules of supporting a programme: You can t fund shared infrastructure project by project Strategy, by nature, is created from a holistic point of view
16 ABOUT HITACHI CONSULTING Hitachi Consulting s advantage lies in our ability to bring the best people together with the benefit of the frameworks and intellectual property developed from numerous successful projects. We are uniquely positioned to gain an in-depth understanding of the business issues your organisation faces and to recommend the best solution, to ensure the best outcome, with the least disruption. Hitachi Consulting combines deep, specialist HCM understanding with a pragmatic approach to deliver a step change in our clients performance. We use methods, tools and acceleration techniques based on real-world experience to deliver better outcomes. Our Oracle HCM Consultants combine extensive industry experience with broader business improvement skills to meet the challenges our clients face. ABOUT HITACHI, LTD Hitachi, Ltd, (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 390,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2007 (ended March 31, 2008) consolidated revenues totalled 11,226 billion yen ($112.2 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials, logistics and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company s website at For further information, please contact Consulting.co.uk or visit 016 White paper for Hitachi Consulting on Business Intelligence Competency Centre (Establishing a BICC) - Steve Sims
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