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by Burleson Consulting

The Data Warehouse Development Life Cycle

Warehouse Project Management  

Basic Project Management

As a general definition, a project is any set of tasks with a specific objective to be completed within certain specifications (including defined start and end dates) that consumes capital resources. Given this simplistic definition of a project, let’s define what project management is and how it applies to a data warehouse project.

For every large data warehouse project, traditional management must be replaced by a new type of management that is temporary and very flexible, with a fast reaction time, and able to respond rapidly to both internal and external changes. With this type of management in place, data warehouse project management encompasses the following activities:

* Defining work requirements

* Defining the quantity of work

* Defining the resources needed

* Monitoring the project by:

   * Tracking progress (dates and milestones)

   * Comparing actual figures to predicted figures

   * Analyzing the impact of changes

   * Making adjustments to the project

While these tasks may seem mundane, effective project management is critical to the success of a data warehouse. Successful project management is defined as meeting the objectives of a project within project and cost constraints, while maintaining a desired level of performance and fully utilizing the proper technology.

To effectively fulfill the project management functions listed previously, data warehouse project managers must be able to:

* Identify function responsibilities and ensure that all activities are accounted for.

* Minimize the need for continuous reporting.

* Identify the time limits for scheduling.

* Identify a methodology for tradeoff analysis (shifting resources).

* Measure the project accomplishments against the plans.

* Identify and resolve problems quickly.

* Improve estimation capabilities for future planning.

* Keep track of meeting project objectives.

Data warehouse project management is different from traditional management in several ways. First, while the evolution of data warehouse queries may be perpetual, the initial creation of the warehouse is a finite activity, and the project manager must be able to deal with this temporary authority because other managers are performing the staffing functions, supplying members of the data warehouse team. To further confound matters, the data warehouse project manager does not have direct control over the financial resources.

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing". To learn more about Oracle, try "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", by Donald K. Burleson.  You can buy it direct from the publisher at 30% off here:


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