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Expertise as Manager

There is a programming adage, applicable here: "programming is easy; data are hard."

Hidden risk—Data warehouse technology, a core IT element of most CBBSs, offers unique challenges not fully addressed by the life cycles. The success of a data warehouse project requires project management attention to unique risks facing these projects, including dependence on externally created data (see above), and the architecture risks associated with VLDBs (Adelman and Moss, 2000).1 Moving from simple programs developed as pilots to production environments capable of receiving, processing, and reporting on millions of data points requires careful attention to scale.

Hidden risk—CBBS rely on IT infrastructure, including local area networks, wide-area networks, telecommunications links, the Internet, network operating systems, computer hardware, and storage devices. Software development methodologies often assume infrastructure is in place. Project teams must consider designing and building infrastructure as a separate but highly related, activity within a CBBS project. Given the amounts of data passing into CBBSs at a regular basis, the infrastructure must be robust.

Hidden opportunity—Rigid application of project life cycles designed to guide software development projects will likely lead to development of software. The best solution, however, may not be to develop software at all, but to purchase existing commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) packages, or to use the software as a service or application service provider (ASP) solution alternative to building or buying.

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