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Want EDM Success? How about a recipe for that?


Mike Kavitz had a great post on his blog today Want SOA Success? Try this Recipe. I really liked the article, not least because it was clearly based on hard-won experience on Mike’s part. Reading it I saw how similar an Enterprise Decision Management or EDM success recipe would be.

  1. Research the living daylights out of EDM
    There is a ton of good material out there including:

    1. Books like ours (Smart (enough) Systems), books on business rules (Business Rules Applied, Business Rules Revolution or Principles of the Business Rules Approach), books on analytics and data mining (Competing on Analytics, Data Mining Techniques) and more.
    2. Blogs like this one, Paul Haley‘s, the Fair Isaac one and more. I have a list of my favorites on bloglines
    3. Attend shows like the EDM Summit or the Business Decision Management track at Brainstorm shows.
  2. Find a business problem to solve
    In an EDM context this means finding an operational business decision or a set of operational business decisions that matters – probably one that impacts customers. Do the analysis to see which systems it impacts, how it affects customers and revenue, how customers perceive it etc.
  3. Get an executive sponsor on the business side
    Focusing on the decision – not the technology – should help with this but it is critical. Unless someone on the business side understands and champions the value you won’t get very far.
  4. Multi-year plan with milestones and incremental ROI
    Getting to a steady state where you are optimizing and improving a decision takes time. We lay out a series of steps in the book, starting with simple rules-based automation of the decision and adding analytics, adaptive control and optimization over time. You don’t have to do the steps in this order but you should plan for multiple steps and show the costs and ROI of each. There’s a lot of information on this in the book because it is really important.
  5. Present the plan, break-even and get buy in
    One executive sponsor is not enough – decisions typically cut across business units and so you will get better results if you get broad buy in. Making sure everyone knows when the investment is expected to show a return helps ensure you won’t argue for budget again and again and helps sets reasonable expectations.
  6. Begin
    In the end, you have to start and it will mean changing the way things are done, changing how people think and so on. Organizational change is critical.

Thanks to Mike for the great list.