Building the Data Warehouse

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What Should the Agenda Be?

The subject for review for the data warehouse environment is any aspect of design, development, project management, or use that might prevent success. In short, any obstacle to success is relevant to the design review process. As a rule, the more controversial the subject, the more important that it be addressed during the review.

The questions that form the basis of the review process are addressed in the latter part of this chapter.

The Results

A data warehouse design review has three results:

■    An appraisal to management of the issues, and recommendations as to further action

■■ A documentation of where the system is in the design, as of the moment of review

■■ An action item list that states specific objectives and activities that are a result of the review process

Administering the Review

The review is led by two people—a facilitator and a recorder. The facilitator is never the manager or the developer of the project being reviewed. If, by some chance, the facilitator is the project leader, the purpose of the review—from many perspectives—will have been defeated.

To conduct a successful review, the facilitator must be someone removed from the project for the following reasons:

As an outsider, the facilitator provides an external perspective—a fresh look— at the system. This fresh look often reveals important insights that someone close to the design and development of the system is not capable of providing.

As an outsider, a facilitator can offer criticism constructively. The criticism that comes from someone close to the development effort is usually taken personally and causes the design review to be reduced to a very base level.

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