Skip to main content

Data & Intelligence

Your Approach to a Center of Excellence

The most effective approach to establishing a center of excellence within an organization is to start on a smaller scale, with very specific and very realistic goals defined. A famous saying can be applied here “it is not a destination, but rather a journey…” This will be true of every successful CoE imitative. Mistakes and miss-steps will occur and you will need to learn from them and use them to make adjustments to your approach. In addition, many (most?) of the early recommendations and best practice guidelines provided by your CoE will most likely be superseded as it matures and learns.

So Don’t Wait

You should not wait too long to get started as no COE will ever have “a complete toolset” or have each and every methodology documented, so don’t let this postpone starting your first “CoE supported”  project, just start!


The First CoE Project

Start by defining and documenting a few “achievable” goals for the initial project sponsors.

Data Intelligence - The Future of Big Data
The Future of Big Data

With some guidance, you can craft a data platform that is right for your organization’s needs and gets the most return from your data capital.

Get the Guide


Some of these might include:


  • The CoE will identify and publish methodologies and best practices as we proceed through the project life cycle
  • The CoE will identify candidates for reusable tools, templates and documents from within the project
  • The CoE will compare all significant project efforts against other projects within the practice (past and current) to ensure consistency across all projects within the practice
  • The CoE will provide subject matter experts in the use of any tools and technologies within in the project
  • The CoE will provide guidance to the project team by performing periodic project reviews


Note to Project Managers

Project managers must understand that COE members will not actually perform any development activities. Even given the most aggressive deliverables, the COE cannot be considered for completing their project work. The benefits the COE provides should stay focused primarily in the areas of project acceleration and risk mitigation and in a broader sense, by providing proven approaches and (possibly) reusable components, the COE will accelerate the delivery schedule, reduce resource requirements and increase the margin of each project within the practice.


What really Matters

As a final recommendation, it should be made clear to everyone in the practice that although it is important to closely monitor the progress of the CoE – publishing successes and learning from mistakes, you should not let the struggles of establishing your COE get in the way of achieving the real goal: improving your organizations practice.


This way to the CoE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Jim Miller

Mr. Miller is an IBM certified and accomplished Senior Project Leader and Application/System Architect-Developer with over 30 years of extensive applications and system design and development experience. His current role is National FPM Practice Leader. His experience includes BI, Web architecture & design, systems analysis, GUI design and testing, Database modeling and systems analysis, design, and development of Client/Server, Web and Mainframe applications and systems utilizing: Applix TM1 (including TM1 rules, TI, TM1Web and Planning Manager), dynaSight - ArcPlan, ASP, DHTML, XML, IIS, MS Visual Basic and VBA, Visual Studio, PERL, Websuite, MS SQL Server, ORACLE, SYBASE SQL Server, etc. His Responsibilities have included all aspects of Windows and SQL solution development and design including: analysis; GUI (and Web site) design; data modeling; table, screen/form and script development; SQL (and remote stored procedures and triggers) development and testing; test preparation and management and training of programming staff. Other experience includes development of ETL infrastructure such as data transfer automation between mainframe (DB2, Lawson, Great Plains, etc.) systems and client/server SQL server and Web based applications and integration of enterprise applications and data sources. In addition, Mr. Miller has acted as Internet Applications Development Manager responsible for the design, development, QA and delivery of multiple Web Sites including online trading applications, warehouse process control and scheduling systems and administrative and control applications. Mr. Miller also was responsible for the design, development and administration of a Web based financial reporting system for a 450 million dollar organization, reporting directly to the CFO and his executive team. Mr. Miller has also been responsible for managing and directing multiple resources in various management roles including project and team leader, lead developer and applications development director. Specialties Include: Cognos/TM1 Design and Development, Cognos Planning, IBM SPSS and Modeler, OLAP, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Forecasting and Planning; International Application Development, Business Intelligence, Project Development. IBM Certified Developer - Cognos TM1 (perfect score 100% on exam) IBM Certified Business Analyst - Cognos TM1

More from this Author

Follow Us