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Scope of Work Agreement

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

The Data Warehouse Development Life Cycle

The Scope Of Work Agreement

Once the basic requirements for a warehouse have been determined, the next step is to codify the project with a scope of work (SOW) agreement. Simply put, a data warehouse SOW is a contract between end-user management and systems development management that states the functions of the data warehouse, costs for the warehouse, and expected benefits from the warehouse.

Unlike an ordinary SOW, there are some specific issues that need to be addressed when creating a data warehouse SOW contract. First, notice that end-user management is involved in a data warehouse SOW, as opposed to the end-user community normally involved in an information system SOW.

End-user management for a data warehouse project usually consists of top-level managers. Unlike line and staff managers who deal with information systems on a regular basis, top-level management may be somewhat detached from the actual use of information systems. Also, top-level management may not be used to using decision support warehouses because much of their decision making has traditionally relied heavily on “human intuition.” The introduction of an information warehouse can be both exciting and frightening for top-level managers, especially when a data warehouse may provide counter-intuitive information or may be regarded as threatening by some managers.

Another consideration in an SOW is the dynamic nature of the data warehouse. It’s practically guaranteed that system requirements are going to change as the data warehouse develops, both as a function of changing needs from the end-user community as well as from additional insight into the uses of the data warehouse. Therefore, it is imperative that the SOW spells out as much detail as is known at this phase of the project (see Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2 The overall development for a data warehouse project.

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing", copyright 1997.

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