90 Day Power BI Implementation Plan

Power BI Turns One Year Old Today!
Before I start with my normal ramblings, let’s take a quick moment to say “Happy Birthday” to Power BI… It officially went generally available on July 24th 2015. After one year, I can say from experience the momentum has been huge and this product has not disappointed. Below is a little happy birthday tribute video

Power BI Implementation Plan

Every organization should have an implementation plan when deciding to move from departmental use of Power BI to a full enterprise deployment. I have put together a 90 day implementation outline below that emphasizes quickly getting a pilot set of users on Power BI so that you can obtain real feedback early before you expose everyone in your organization to things that could have been avoided had you learned from a smaller deployment.

I have not included all important details below but this is meant to be an outline that can be tweaked to meet your organization’s needs. Again, I would like to reference the Power BI Governance Whitepaper here as it helps articulate at a detailed level things that are not included below.

In the below plan I have listed the use of an “enterprise data mart” as optional. I am a strong advocate for early adoption of SSAS Tabular models and I believe from day 1 they should be in consideration for “what you know now” to be data that should be really approached from an IT Managed solution rather than a business managed (or self-service) solution. However, there are other approaches and depending on what your underlying data strategy may be, these data marts might not be necessary.

 

First 30 days

  • Identify group of users for Power BI Pilot
  • Hold initial security meeting with security stakeholders to identify any foreseen issues – Previous blog post on content to consider
  • Initial short term policies are defined for High Business Impact (HBI)/Low Business Impact (LBI) data and Power BI usage
  • Training material is verified and initial pilot group is trained on Power BI at end of 30 day period
  • Active Directory Groups structure considered for future Row Level Security (RLS) requirements
  • Optional: Initial Tabular model for enterprise data is defined and shared with Pilot user group as first data mart external to the self service capabilities
  • High Level Design started to support long term BI strategy
    • This would be the underlying data strategy to consider various data storage options such as Hadoop, a large data warehouse, or simply relying on targeted data marts (such as SSAS Tabular models) to be used once self-service models mature into enterprise wide models

30-60 days

  • Power BI Pilot for the targeted users after training has taken place
    • This would be mostly self-service with some ability to use the initial enterprise data mart if one was implemented
  • Security requirements defined for long term Power BI implementation
    • Any gaps are addressed with additional policies or procedures
  • Detail design started to support long term BI strategy
  • Initial feedback from Power BI pilot group is collected and considered for Power BI implementation plan
  • Power BI implementation plan defined to support rest of organization
  • Define success criteria for the overall enterprise roll out.
    • This may be number of active users, number of reports, number of content packs

60-90 days

  • Optional: Refined enterprise data mart completed with Row Level Security considerations
  • Active directory structure to support organizational role out of Power BI completed
  • Training begins for rest of organization on Power BI
  • implementation of long term data strategy underway with phased approach for replacing “self-service” models with enterprise models as needed
  • Optional: High Level requirements for Power BI Embedded defined if external user access (such as customers or partners)

Beyond first 90 days, things to consider

  • majority of “knowledge workers” within the organization are taking advantage of Power BI to help run the business
  • Optional: Power BI Embedded development/pilot underway
  • Power BI continuous learning efforts through user groups / lunch and learns are established and underway
  • Evaluate (and continuously evaluate and update) the success criteria defined to see if they are being met

 

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