Identifying the appropriate skills to design and develop a data warehouse solution requires experience. Resources applied to the project often bring a mix of those skills, and it is not uncommon to expect a single resource to play multiple roles on a project. If the roles are generally chronological in sequence such as a Business Analyst and Report Developer, a single resource can be expected to manage the workload tied to both of the roles.
But often a resource is challenged with multiple roles where the tasks, activities and deliverables are simultaneous, such as a Project Manager and Data Modeler, or Business Analyst and Data Architect. The biggest challenge in such situations is that the resource becomes a bottleneck. The pressure to complete multiple deliverables on such a multi-role resource inevitably leads to either incomplete, delayed or poor quality deliverables.
A few tips to help resources playing multiple roles are below:
- Clearly define the deliverables for each role
- Identify critical path deliverables and emphasize timely delivery of the same
- Establish deliverable management standards up-front (naming conventions, standard templates, version control, change control, directory structure)
- Establish multiple interim reviews of "work-in progress" deliverables to quickly detect and restore deliverables going off-track
- Pro-actively manage activities not contributing directly
- to deliverables. E.g.: In a corporate culture where meetings are called frequently, reduce the time spent in meetings and avoid non-essential meetings by using short phone conversations, finding substitutes or delegating meetings to other resources
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This was first published in February 2002