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More time does not create better decisions

Seth’s post was pretty short on Sunday but it raised 2 questions in my mind in the context of Agile Business Intelligence.

His statement sounds contrary to what is suggested by Mary and Tom Poppendieck in Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit where it is recommended “to delay those decisions as long as possible“.

The second question that came to mind was that with Business Intelligence, there are huge pressures to find “the single version of the truth” which means that money is invested to analyze and normalize the data in a BI project so that it is consistant throughout the organization – and becomes the “perfect” information.

After a while and after reading Seth’s post a few times, his last sentence allowed me to reconcile the various perspectives. Seth says “What happens if, starting today, you make every decision as soon as you have a reasonable amount of data?“.

Which I translated for the context of an Agile Business Intelligence project to: “delay your decision until you have a reasonable amount of data“. Striving for perfection is never a good use of time, resources and energy in my opinion.

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