The time has finally come. Your company has decided to migrate from a legacy system to Power BI. Before your colleagues could start building Power BI reports, an implementation team should carefully plan all necessary migration steps.
We are starting a series of articles to explain the Power BI implementation and adoption process in detail. Many executives know they need to bring advanced analytics into the forefront of their company’s agenda. However, the daily operations, a lack of resources and detailed knowledge may be the limiting factors.
In this article, we will discuss the initial preparation stage of a Power BI implementation project. As in many other things in business, preparation is key to success. Let’s take a closer look.
The implementation team needs to make sure there is an executive sponsor in place for the project. The sponsor must clearly understand the business and implementation strategy. Ideally, this person should be someone who actively supports Power BI and is looking for a positive outcome for adoption.
A successful executive sponsor should also have a clear vision of what success is and how to measure it. Together with the team, the sponsor should clearly define the scope of a project, and calculate the cost and return on investment.
The implementation project can take several months. During this time, new projects and initiatives will arise within a company. In these cases, the sponsor’s objective is to ensure that the project’s priority, funding and resources are kept intact. This is where the sponsor’s vision and understanding of the business strategy comes into play.
If there is no sponsor or if the sponsor is not motivated to drive the Power BI project, the adoption won’t happen.
The sponsor and team should involve their colleagues from other departments early and often. This is crucial because if there is no buy-in from business users, the project will fail. You can have the best solution in the world, but if nobody uses it, it’s worthless.
Again, the clear understanding of the business objective is essential. If it is only a technical team driving a Power BI project without a close collaboration with business users, the result will likely fail.
Therefore, feedback from the business users is essential. At the end of the day, the success of the project will depend on the Power BI adoption rate within the company.
Scope and success criteria
Before the start of the migration, the project team should know what success exactly looks like. That is why, it is recommended to start with a smaller scope. It is easier to adopt Power BI in one department, polish the process, and then continue the implementation in the rest of the company.
The smaller scope will get the team quick wins. This will show the board the benefits early and keep the motivation.
Another benefit of defining a smaller scope is that the team can work in short, iterative cycles. This will minimize risks and help validate assumptions. A successful implementation is the process of continuous learning and adapting.
The migration is an opportunity to deliver improvement. From the start, the team should prioritize high value items that have tangible results and add business value. For example, if the team can remove manual data preparation during the first phase of work, it will be a big win for the project.
The next several articles will cover the further stages of Power BI migration.
Lastly, the team should be realistic about the implementation plan, available funding, resources, and time constraints. That is why in some cases it may be advantageous to use the help of experienced consulting firms.
If this is your case, feel free to contact Centida. Our consultants can help to deploy a Power BI project in your company. Centida has successfully delivered projects both for large Fortune 500 companies and SMEs across the world.