Captive Clients: The High Road to Customer Involvement


The more involved customers are in the development, design, and testing of an information system, the better the resulting system. However, the best, most knowledgeable customers are exactly the people the business area cannot afford to spare. Management Information at Purdue has implemented a project staffing plan that provides unusual client involvement by introducing a new role into project team makeup. The new "Business Analyst" role is assigned full-time to a project and filled by people from the business areas. These staff bring an applied business perspective into the project team for analysis, design, and implementation issues. This paper describes the new role and explores how the Business Analysts were integral to implementing new client/server technologies, languages, tools, processes, and techniques used in a data warehouse implementation project.

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