Make a commitment and swim, bike, run with it


Over the past six months, my free time was devoted to training. This impacted my blog posting frequency but the training helped me successfully complete the inaugural Raleigh Ironman 70.3 in June. When thinking back through how this happened, I noticed many parallels to successfully implementing software for organizations.

  1. If you don't commit, it will not happen

    When you begin to ponder whether you should implement a software solution in your organization, you consider resources, costs, benefits, etc. This can be debated forever, but at some point you must make the commitment, buy the software and begin. The same holds true (for me at least) with exercise. If I didn't sign up for this event, the exercise time for my health would have been limited.
  2. Make progress

    There are debates on whether to implement reporting software using a top-down or bottom-up approach. Top-down is when you start with executive support build top-level reports and work down to operational level detail. Bottom-up is building out quick wins at the lowest level, generating buy in from more individuals in your organization and then moving up to encapsulate everyone in the company. Either way, you have to make progress. Each day move forward. Chose and complete a task, for the Ironman training I chose to either swim, bike or run. For a reporting solution, build a new report, include new data, train a new user.
  3. Sharing progress made can increase success

    Each time you reach a goal, you should celebrate. This does not mean a party every day, but share implementation team successes. When completing a set of reports that reduces manual work, document the improved productivity gains. If a return on the investment is realized, let the team know and copy their managers. This helps generate excitement and buy-in to achieve greater success later.

    It seemed like bragging to share the completion of the Ironman 70.3 with others. But I achieved each goal: I finished, I did not injure myself in the process, and I was not absolutely last. Sharing this success with others has actually created some excitement. I have actually noticed several friends realizing that average people can do this race and considering doing something (a 5k, an open water swim, a half marathon, something) themselves!

  4. Continue forward

    You can never stop as the work never ends it only changes. Your organization will continue to mature. Using reports to show current state will no longer be sufficient and users will request forecasts and other reports that require advanced analytic techniques. You must continue to expand the solution to incorporate the evolving and growing needs.

    I haven't stopped, I have already signed up for next year's Raleigh Ironman 70.3. And for SAS, I have signed up to co-author with Stephen Overton to share our SAS OLAP tips and tricks. So check back as I post more about our OLAP writing progress over the coming six months!


About Author

Angela Hall

Senior Technical Architect

Angela offers tips on using the SAS Business Intelligence solutions. She manages a team of SAS Fraud Framework implementers within the SAS Solutions On-Demand organization. Angela also has co-written two books, 'Building BI using SAS, Content Development Examples' & 'The 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes'.

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  1. Congrats on your race! I'm training for the Outer Banks Olympic Tri right now and agree that there are definitely parallels between training for a race and being effective at work. Thanks for sharing!

    • Angela Hall

      Thanks Jim. My first tri was the 2010 Outer Banks Sprint, it's a challenging course but you will have a lot of fun. Congratulations on making the commitment!

  2. I had the fortune that to meet you and you are an excellent person in the profesional and personal, I hope you get more professional and personal achievements. Congrats.

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