InterWorks Is the Blueprint: Executive Advocacy & Project Teams


InterWorks Is the Blueprint: Executive Advocacy & Project Teams

This series closely examines the Tableau Blueprint and shares the role of InterWorks in providing architected expertise and support within this framework, as well as helping people apply it to produce agility, proficiency and community in their organizations.

The great thing about the Tableau Blueprint is that the methodology isn’t Tableau-specific. It’s a great framework for successfully envisioning and enabling any significant project within an enterprise. This post will cover some insights we’ve learned over the past 12 years of helping companies deploy Tableau successfully. InterWorks has had our own “blueprint” for helping people successfully deploy Tableau, and it’s clear that the Tableau Blueprint embodies many lessons learned from successful (and unsuccessful) deployments.

Executive Advocacy

Executive advocacy starts with a clear idea of why there is a need, what is going to be done to meet it, by whom and when. Karl Riddett discussed the InterWorks SVR Process in the second post in this series. That methodology will help your team develop a clear strategy that supports your company’s mission and vision. Significant change within an organization occurs because:

  1. The business faces an existential threat (“We must change or else.”).
  2. The business sees a significant opportunity (turning data into a product).
  3. The business sees a significant savings (cost reduction, revenue improvement).

Regardless of the tool—even simple tools like Tableau—one of the most significant challenges that leadership faces is to effectively engender meaningful and positive change in an organization. Then after that, the challenge is to sustain that positive change in a predictable and transparent way.

The biggest obstacles to any large deployments aren’t technologies challenges; they are results of people and their desires and ability to change. Adopting any new process/technology/system requires more than motivation; it requires training, planning and monitored execution. It requires a solid justification that is clearly articulated by leadership in a way that fosters excitement within the company. Why are we doing this? What will be the benefits? Do we have any concrete ways we can demonstrate an example of the change we envision for the rest of the organization?

This is a critical step that executives and leadership within the organization must understand and articulate. Before a leadership team can do so, they must have an understanding of what is possible. Building a sample using some relevant (and real) data and displaying that data in a well-designed prototype dashboard can provide executives and business leaders insight into the art of what’s possible using best practices.

At InterWorks, we have the experience and expertise to help you overcome your data and tech challenges and get you from where you are to where you want to be.

Laying a Strong Foundation

InterWorks can help your team develop a solid foundation by training your executive sponsors in the art of what is possible. This is a natural extension of our Strategic Value Review Karl’s post articulated. We can also help your IT staff set up and define a proper server architecture through our Servercare services, which encompass the installation and design of your new Tableau Server environment, your hardware or cloud configuration, detailed monitoring of your server environment’s growth and user adoption via our Tableau Server health checks. Your technical team can use our experienced consultants to confirm your governance and security strategy, tactics and technical underpinnings are sound based on best practices and the best technologies available today.

Roles and Responsibilities

Every part of your business can be positively impacted by a successful deployment and a well-managed ongoing effort that is measured, monitored and adapted to your changing needs. The Tableau Blueprint describes the many potential job functions and areas in detail. The major role and responsibility areas include:

  1. Executive Leadership/Sponsors
  2. Tableau Project Team
  3. IT/BI Professional Team
  4. Tableau Administrators
  5. Tableau Content Creators
  6. Tableau Content Consumers

Executive Leaders

These leaders must articulate a vision of the future to grow and enhance the use of governed and secure data to drive better outcomes. Executives must gain an understanding of best practices and define expectations for the use of data to enhance the business mission and vision. Our Strategy, Vision & Roadmap (SVR) consulting can help your organization create a solid plan that ensures you define clearly what you want to create and what you expect the outcome to be. We can also help your team define processes, procedures, roles and responsibilities to ensure that your rollout is secure and governed in accordance with your internal and external requirements and legal obligations.

Tableau Project Team

We normally work with talented technical people who learn quickly. Our professional services team and field consultants can supply any level of support that your project team needs including training, setup, best practices and project planning. We have done hundreds of deployments, and we know what to do and why. We can help your team avoid missteps due to unfamiliarity.

Your Tableau project team must become the core of your analytics practice. The core of your project team can also be the source of your ongoing Center of Enablement for data analysis using Tableau. InterWorks team members have started many public user groups, and we can help your business users create an effective team to drive enablement through best practices. Our PRO Services are a great way to get free consulting time for this. Contact your InterWorks account manager to get more details on how you can get free enablement help.

IT/BI Technical Team

Your IT/BI technical team must ensure that the right data is available in order to facilitate high usage and meaningful adoption. We can help your business users learn best practices, and our professional services team can help your technical staff with installation, setup and ongoing health checks of your services environment. One of the biggest challenges faced by your technical team will be keeping up with Tableau’s quarterly release cadence. This isn’t a technical difficulty, but your team will be challenged by the quality-audit requirements that you will impose. We can help define a new quality process to reduce the time for safely migrating to new versions. Call your local InterWorks field consultant for details.

Tableau Administrators

Your technical staff is already busy. Tableau Server admins control user access for individuals, groups, projects and data sources for multiple sites. Tableau Site admins do the same thing for individual sites or groups of sites. Both of these roles are responsible for the day-to-day health and security of your Tableau Server environment. InterWorks has a well-developed set of services for health checks, and we’d love to support your team with their heavy workload. Call your InterWorks account manager to get more details on our Server Health Check services and training options for server administration.

Tableau Creators and Consumers

Ultimately, your broader team will do most of the content creation. Your Center of Enablement leadership needs to come from your best creators. InterWorks has over a decade of experience developing dashboards and training people to create effective content; plus, we have one of the largest number of certified Tableau trainers in the world. Reach out to your InterWorks account manager for our custom on-site and virtual training services. These services are tailored for both your Tableau Creators (best practices) and your information consumers (how to ask for what you need and how to interpret what you are looking at).

Are You Beginning Your Journey the Right Way?

Make sure that your leadership, your teams, your creators and your information consumers understand best practices and articulate a well-governed, monitored, secure and highly-active Tableau data environment that drives value for your vision. If you need assistance or aren’t sure where to start, InterWorks can help.

Contact Us

More About the Author

Dan Murray

Director of Strategic Innovations
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