Once upon an Analytics implementation, in a land known as Smooth Sailing, there lived an Omniture Project Manager.  This Omniture Project Manager had traveled to a distant land to meet a new client with whom she would embark on an Analytics Journey.  On this journey, she took with her some brave and knowledgeable resources from the Omniture Consulting Services team.

The Omniture Project Manager, who bore a striking resemblance to Salma Hayek (please remember, this IS a fairy tale), met some wonderful people when she got to the land of Client Headquarters.  Excited business stakeholders who had meticulously outlined their requirements and expectations of their Analytics solution.  Resources were plentiful on both the business and technical side.

Everyone was eager to get started.   In a collaborative environment where everyone got along and the sound of high fives resonated through the halls, the motto of the day was “Let’s do this thing and let’s do it right!”  Third party vendors who also needed to be involved in the success of this project vowed to dedicate the right resources to meet – no to EXCEED – the expectations of the client.

The primary Executive stakeholder spoke with the Omniture Project Manager at a feast that evening at the Palm – where the steak was cooked to perfection and was half the calories of a normal steak.  (Just go with it, everybody.  Fairy tale).

“I will bestow upon you all the resources that you need to make sure our business objectives are met.  This includes technical resources and business resources.  Should you encounter any resistance, I want you to tell me right away.”

The Project Manager thought for a minute.  “Well.  There was that one guy on the technical team who seemed very resistant to deploying the necessary tags we will need to collect all the data parameters you will need for your analysis.”

The Executive pounded his fist on the table.  “Then he shall be BANISHED.”

And so it was.  The evil technical resource who did not want to join the high fivers and did not want to participate in the necessary tagging of the site was transferred to another project.

A strict project plan was adhered to and all Omniture recommendations were accepted.

The project was a success.  All key deadlines were met.  Every milestone was achieved successfully.  The client saw enormous ROI quickly and painlessly because the business analysts were able to ensure that the analysis they were performing aligned to the Key Business Requirements established by Executive Stakeholders.

Everyone lived happily ever after and the entire client team was promoted and received raises.  The sound of high fives, laughter and happy U2 songs like “Beautiful Day” could be heard throughout the client headquarters.

The end.

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Great story.  Right?  So what is wrong with it?  Why can’t every implementation follow the same storyline as this fairy tale?

1) Clear defining of business objectives should be started even before the Analytics vendor is engaged.

2) Your Project Manager will most likely not look like Salma Hayek.  I can try, but there is only so much I can work with.

3) Third Party Vendors who can influence the success of the implementation must be engaged early on in the process and must have direction from the Executive Sponsor with assurance that they are on board.

4) There are very rarely PLENTIFUL, much less APPROPRIATE resources across the board.  Every organization struggles with this, especially during times like these.

5) Every project needs to be managed in accordance with a budget – both in regards to time and cost.  When the right resources aren’t identified by the client early on – these things can have a very noticeable impact to schedule and cost almost immediately.

6) Not everyone is hard wired to be a high fiver.  Some people are just not hard wired this way.  There will be people who are resistant to change and will question the project every step of the way.  This can be a good thing for a project, but if the Executive Sponsor’s direction is clear and the objectives defined in advance, cooperation with the project should not be something that is “optional.”

Ultimately, life is not a fairy tale and most projects are not either.  We in the Omniture Consulting Services group are very aware of this when we walk in your door and we know that you don’t live in the land of  “Smooth Sailing.”

Where you CAN help influence the fairy tale ending is to be very aware of the points bulleted above and to realize that each of those factors needs to be managed throughout the project.  If you can help us with that, we will make every effort to create your “Happily Ever After.”

4 comments
Kiran Ferrandino
Kiran Ferrandino

Phil, Thanks for stopping by. You know, it's pretty crazy how quickly things on a project can get to an out of control state if they are not managed correctly from the beginning. I am still looking to book a ticket to Smooth Sailing - I will let you know how it goes when I find it. Kiran

Phil Gross
Phil Gross

Thank you for this. It is true. Smooth sailing is an ideal. But we always should hope there is that cinderella story.

Kiran Ferrandino
Kiran Ferrandino

Thanks Chris! Who doesn't love a fairy tale? They rock. Now excuse me while I dust off my glass slippers . . .