Friday, May 23, 2008

Creating a Positive Future

image If you have spent any time on the Internet researching a topic like Business Intelligence / Knowledge Management, it can be very overwhelming when you consider all the pieces that need to be implemented to have your organization on the leading edge in this field.  This is not just a technology evolution, you also must consider the people and process components to implement a successful Business Intelligence program.  Especially in today's business world, an organization has to find a balance between keeping the current operations running to respond to the latest market opportunity, and building strategic capabilities to support the future and provide competitive advantage.

This is a daunting task, so where to begin?  If you have done any reading on the power of positive thinking you may have run across references to "Creating a Positive Future".  The idea is that if you can en-vision what you would like things look like in the future, then you can work backwards to get there.  Think of it as a top-down rather than a bottom-up approach.

Your first step is to approach this from the experience you want your clients to have.  You must start by talking to your users to understand what business pain points you can solve for them.  Now if you are in a situation where they don't currently have a lot of BI capabilities, you will likely here a lot about what you are not providing now.  That is ok, you need to understand these pain points to ensure you cover them off in your future state.  In an organization more mature in leveraging information, you will hopefully hear about some great new opportunities that BI technology can help with.

Start by working from a what is possible perspective.  Don't burden yourself with the current limitations of people, funding or technology as this will in turn limit your vision.  Build a vision based on your experiences, research on what other companies are doing, but most importantly spend time with your clients to ensure you fully understand what they are looking for.

If you focus on what is possible, instead of what you aren't doing today you can build a positive future for the implementation of BI in your organization.  Watch out for future posts on the next steps to develop your BI roadmap once you have this vision.

P.S.  This is my first post using Windows Live Writer to post to  Works great!  A big thank you to my colleague Frank Vandongen for suggesting it.

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