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 . . .