Next summer, myself and a group of SEI colleagues from various offices will embark on a journey across Grand Canyon National Park. For many of us, this trip checks off a bucket list item of hiking from one rim of the Grand Canyon to the other in a single day, then turning around and doing it again the next day. For those that are familiar with this hike, it is commonly known as R2R2R (or Rim to Rim to Rim). With a distance of 23.5 miles and a change in elevation of 10,141 feet total, a trip like this requires significant planning and a lot of training. To ensure a successful journey, our team of SEI consultants worked together to develop an approach for this arduous hike. What we realized is that it is similar to the work we do in helping our clients embark on successful journeys in their professional lives.
As a business intelligence consultant at SEI, one of the things we do at our firm is guide our clients as they build out solutions in Business Intelligence, Big Data, and Analytics. Regardless of our client’s current analytics capabilities and maturity, we begin with a consistent approach. An approach can be defined as a way of either tackling a challenge or solving for a problem. It is synonymous with a method, procedure, or technique. The approach we take is ordered in five distinct segments.
- Current State Assessment – Where are we? This first crucial step helps frame the story of where everything is. It is not an exercise to point out what is wrong. It gives the client and the project team a foundation from which they can build upon.
- Future State Assessment – Where do we need to be? The future state provides direction, goals, and details the desired end state of a solution.
- Gap Analysis – What is available and useful to get us there? The gap analysis bridges the differences between the Current and Future state by identifying how a process is currently done versus planned project capabilities.
- Roadmap – How do we execute? The roadmap step creates recommendations and details on how to build a solution.
- Implementation – Go do it!
With each stage of this approach, People, Process and Technology are taken into consideration, because a good process or technology alone will not lead to a successful solution. It’s the combination of all three that helps ensure project success.
Apply it to the Grand Canyon
Through our team preparations, we proved out trusted BI project approach not only provides value to our clients and professional projects, but is equally valuable to our personal endeavors as well. Let our approach work for you too!