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Recently this integrated approach has received significant attention from software vendors and accounting firms alike. Although many of the underlying ideas have been around for a while, the technology has developed to the extent that this approach is now feasible. In particular, the arrival of relational databases with integrated multidimensional capabilities is a major factor. This book pulls together the underlying ideas and the technical capabilities that allow the effective development of this integrated approach to CPM. The authors also provide interactive Appendices—a Microsoft Word-based series of templates and checklists— that organizations can download and use to implement their own CPM vision. These Appendices can be found at www.wiley.com/go/strategygap (password: Strategy).
We are just at the beginning of managerial use of this integrated set of technically supported managerial processes. Recognizing this, the authors provide not only the rationale behind the approach but also extensive guidance for both getting started in designing appropriate systems and carrying out effective implementation. The 1990s showed the benefits of the integration of transaction processing systems. This may well be the decade of effective integration of the key managerial processes.
John F. Rockart Senior Lecturer Emeritus Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
—Neil Armstrong, Astronaut, Upon setting foot on the moon July 21, 1969
We can send people to the moon. Why can’t we implement our strategy?!!
Upon setting foot in the executive meeting room
July 21, 2002
On a warm autumn day in 1962, a young chief executive stood before a large assembly and introduced a long-term, daring mission for his enterprise. It was both terrifying and inspiring. To many, successfully completing the mission seemed an impossible task.
The executive acknowledged that there was much to do and much to learn before his vision could become a reality. In fact, he probably would no longer be at the helm when the mission was finally completed. He told his audience that taking the actions necessary to achieve the objectives of the mission would require courage—maybe even sacrifice. He knew that not everyone in the organization would understand and support the mission, but he also knew there would be plenty of people willing to help his plan take flight.
He informed his listeners that the competition was well ahead in their quest to be the first to complete the mission. His organization could not afford to allow that to happen. To prevent it, the executive made it clear that top-level support would be given, and the appropriate monetary and other types of resources would be provided to support the planned strategies and tactics. There were many hurdles to overcome
and milestones to reach along the road to realizing his vision, but the executive felt confident his people were up to the challenge.
What was that mission? To lead all other nations in the race for space, with the objective of being the first nation to send a man safely to the moon and bring him home again before the end of the decade. Who was that executive? President John F. Kennedy of the United States of America.
Much like Kennedy in the early 1960s, today’s CEOs and executives have missions, objectives, goals, strategies, tactics, and key performance indicators for their organizations. But sadly, many organizations fail to fulfill their mission. They create a strategic plan but fail to implement it successfully—if at all.
While organizations understand where they are today and where they would like to be in the future, the road map on how to get there— the strategic plan—seems to remain just a dream. This chasm between the operational plan for today’s business and the grand vision for what our business needs to become is what this book calls the “strategy gap.”
Businesses have been trying for decades to apply various methodologies and technologies to enhance understanding, decision making, and strategic planning. Why has it not worked? If we can send people safely into outer space and back again, surely there is a way to successfully bridge the gap between the strategic plan and its execution.
If you are an executive who is frustrated with the lack of results generated after the strategic plan has been created, know someone who has no clue that the strategy gap exists in his or her organization but needs to know, or are a young executive interested in making your mark by championing a new idea, much as Kennedy did decades ago, this book is for you.
This book explores how today’s systems impact the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization and will help increase readers’ understanding of emerging business trends that combine methodologies, systems, and technology to improve corporate performance management (CPM).