Having worked on and delivered many BI projects I have realised that one of the factors of a successful project is to have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the project team members. This ensures that everyone knows what they and everyone else is responsible for and are required to do – no more “that’s not my job”.
This article describes a set of key roles for a BI project that is building a data warehouse and providing a set of reports and analytical capabilities to an organisation.
There are three key roles that are fundamental to BI projects namely Data Integration Architect, Information Architect and Analytics Architect and these roles are described in detail by this article. Other more generic project roles such as project manager, business analyst are also included and these are described in relation to the activities they are required to perform on BI projects.
The roles described here can be used across different project delivery methods such as waterfall or agile and indeed similar roles may be described by these methods under different names.
Roles are Not Individuals
A role does not necessarily define an individual project member, for example, on small projects the Analytics Architect and Analytics Developer may be the same person while on larger projects several team members can be assigned the Data Integration Developer role.
The descriptions of the roles below mention to some of the documentation and project deliverables that the role is required to produce and these are further described in the BI Project Deliverables article. The BI RACI Matrix article summarises the deliverables by role.
The diagram below is a summary of the roles described in this article.
For a BI project the project manager role is not much different to any other project. The project manager ensures that the solution is delivered within the required time frame and cost and that it meets with the business requirements. It is an advantage to have an experienced project manager who has a good understanding of the process, challenges, risks and dependencies that are often found in BI projects.
The project manager works with the Solution Architect to create the project plan which defines the work schedule and resource allocation. Once defined, the project manager monitors progress against the plan, manages change as it occurs and reports progress to the project board. The project manager is also responsible for defining the project resources, their roles and responsibilities, documenting the deliverables catalogue and managing the project costs. A RAID log is maintained by the project manager to identify and manage risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies.
- Project Plan
- RAID Log
On larger projects one or more project administrators provide assistance to the project manager and other team members. Typical responsibilities include: produce and maintain project documentation templates, manage the project library, take minutes at meetings and manage time recording.