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    Information networks and business intelligence: decision locus and political hotbed

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    Like many things in information technology management, business intelligence is typically implemented in the form of a "project" -- that is, a special kind of organizational arrangement set up to do certain specific things over a specific period of time, as opposed to a regular and ongoing part of the organizational structure. If effective, projects often turn into regular structures, but it's also easy to terminate them if they don't seem to be progressing.

    Projects are critically dependent on a special kind of leadership and administration called "project management." Project managers need most of the kinds of administrative skills that other managers need, but also usually some fairly specific kinds of expertise to handle the unusual requirements of projects. Undoubtedly, you have all been part of a project at one point or another, so you have some perspective on what project life is like. And it's highly likely that you already have been or will be designated to be a project manager on some effort or other. It can be a shortcut to the top, but it can also be a professional graveyard if mismanaged. Understanding particular requirements of project management is a key personal skill.

    Jonathan Wu has written a short piece on project management outlining specific skills required to do the job well. In fact, it can serve effectively as a sort of checklist for assessing project management skills. Please read his article:

    Wu, J. (2005) Characteristics of an Outstanding Business Intelligence Project Manager. Information Management Magazine, May. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://www.information-management.com/issues/20050501/1026063-1.html

    I have taken the liberty of putting his list of qualifications in the form of a specific checklist that you can use to assess yourself.

    The exercise calls for you to form an assessment of yourself as a possible project manager and then to, if at all possible, confirm it with another person. Here are the instructions given on the sheet: Please see the attachment.

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    Solution Summary

    The expert examines business intelligence for decision locus and political hotbeds.