Like most systems projects, a Data Warehousing project involves significant changes in behavior in the business. These changes often involve the information the business leaders use to make key decisions. They often previously relied on different sources of data which they trusted. They are now being asked to use different data. If they data they now see from the projects is in conflict with the previous information they were using, they will likely reject the new data. Change is often difficult.
The problem will be a lack of confidence in the new data and a rejection of the system. I think that many of the issues in these cases is the difficulty we all have with change. Every project must realize that no matter how well the system works, change will be resisted. I think that every project must integrate into the project plan some key elements of change management. By working with the key business people and making them part of the team, we can make the ownership of the project and its success shift form the systems group to the business leaders.
In my experience, the most successful projects had a business leaders taking ownership of the success of the project and really drove the change effort.
I will be writing more about how we can incorporate the change process into projects. I invite your comments or experiences.