Sid Adelman?s Answer: Major risk factors:
- Unrealistic user expectations
- No management commitment
- Unrealistic schedules
- Budget too small
- Untrained staff
- Staff not available when you need them
- Poor project management
- Not properly architected
- Exceeding platform capabilities
- Inappropriate organization structure
- Scope creep
- Changing requirements
- Changing priorities
- Sponsor leaves the project
- Database too big
- Data cleansing underestimated
- Vendors out of control
- New technology not understood
- Users not available when you need them
- No procedure to settle disputes
Les Barbusinski?s Answer: Most of the fatal risks for a data warehouse project are organizational rather than technical (i.e., building a data warehouse that doesn?t address a relevant business need, for example).That said, Chapter 4 of Data Warehouse Project Management (by Sid Adelman and Larissa Moss) provides a pretty succinct list of the major risks that can confront a DW project.
Chuck Kelley?s Answer: Risks factors include, but not limited to a) not having a corporate sponsor high enough up the corporate ladder, b) project management that has never built a data warehouse and insists that it is done like a transaction system, c) in-fighting within your team, d) designing the database to be transaction- oriented vs. aggregation-oriented, and e) not having your user community involved in the requirements and development process.
Joe Oates? Answer: There are many risk factors for data warehouse implementation. I do not have any case studies to cite but have been involved in more than 30 data warehouse implementation projects and can only cite experience. I will cover the risks that I have seen to be the most important. By the way, they have nothing to do with tools. Here is my list of most important risk factors:
- Lack of strong sponsor or sponsor not at high enough level to get people motivated.
- Lack of proper skills and experience. Most people have to go through at least one failure before they understand how different a data warehouse is from a transaction processing system or small data mart. You can have wonderful logical models, but turning those into an efficient, integrated, enterprise-wide physical design is a most difficult task.
- Not understanding what the organization needs from a data warehouse and how the data warehouse helps achieve the strategic objectives of the organization.
- Lack of a data quality project as an integral part of the data warehouse implementation. If users don?t have confidence in the answers they get from the data warehouse, they won?t use it.
- Inadequate funding.
- Political squabbles among and within organizational units.
- Not having people who really understand the source system provided on a timely basis and for an adequate amount of time.
- Poor project management.
There are many other risks, but these are the ones that I have seen, either singly or in combination, hurt data warehouse projects the most.
Clay Rehm?s Answer: There are more major risk factors than this column has space for! A good place for these is in the book by Sid Adelman and Larissa Moss called Data Warehouse Project Management. Some of the risk factors that come to mind are unsupportive/absent sponsors, a project with a "if we build it they will come" mentality, a technical environment already established waiting for a project.