When an organisation asks Stellar to provide a Data Analytics solution, it won’t be long before they start to learn about Stellar’s Seven Essentials. That’s the model used by Stellar consultants to ensure each project starts right and stays on course.

In this series of articles, we explore the Seven Essentials, one by one.


Grant Broadbent

By Grant Broadbent, Managing Director

Nothing will kill off a BI project more quickly than poor communication.

The Engagement Model is the mechanism to coordinate the communication amongst, and contributions from, everyone involved in the BI programme.

Using its vast experience accumulated from hundreds of successful BI projects, Stellar has developed a unique Engagement Model that combines the essential components of successful BI programme/project engagement with the flexibility to cater for each organisation’s unique needs.

It’s easy to think of a team involved in a BI programme as just a bunch of IT people designing, building and deploying solutions for the rest of the organisation. As important as the IT team is, their effort is but one part of a proper BI programme.

When properly defined, BI is an enterprise-wide continuous process improvement programme that involves many stakeholder groups at different levels across the enterprise hierarchy. It is essential that all stakeholders are aware of what the programme is striving to achieve, how it’s tracking, what their role is within it and how they are going to contribute to its success. A stakeholder community may consist of many players with diverse roles, for example: senior executives, HR agencies, end user groups, change control experts, suppliers and partners, outlying branch representatives, and so on.

It’s really important to set up forums to facilitate communications and take action. Communication across the board must take place at the appropriate levels, in the appropriate settings, and at the appropriate frequency. For example, the last thing an executive-level sponsor needs to get involved in is a technical discussion about data modelling. Likewise, developers don’t need to attend discussions on business casing and quantifying rates of return on investment.

Other important functions of an Engagement Model are to communicate success, to confirm ownership and sponsorship, and to underscore for all participants, the importance of continued engagement with the programme. Stellar structures its BI programmes to deliver quick wins to end users as the project/programme proceeds, providing the perfect opportunity to communicate success, celebrate payback and maximise engagement.

Owners, sponsors, leaders, contributors and consumers of BI all have unique engagement needs which must be met in the appropriate forum, whether it be a leadership team, a governance forum, BI working group, project team meeting or otherwise. Stellar’s Engagement Model ensures that these needs are met and that the appropriate communication channels are established and maintained for the duration of the programme.

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