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4. Interview with Zita Imrene Kartyik, head of business planning, Matav, August 13, 2002.
5. Interview with Martin Harrison, finance directorâ€”retail U.K., ICI Paints, August 7, 2002.
6. Interview with James Sharrett, former financial planning and systems manager, Baker and Taylor, July 25, 2002.
7. Interview with Brad Lucas, vice president of finance, Baker and Taylor, July 17, 2002.
8. Interview with Greg Ponych, principal finance officerâ€”budget, Brisbane City Council, July 22, 2002.
9. Interview with Charles Cameron, finance director, Dutton-Forshaw Group, August 12, 2002.
10. Interview with Bob Vesely, executive vice president and CFO, Advantage Sales & Marketing, July 18, 2002.
ONE PIECE AT A TIME
It is impractical and undesirable for an organization to attempt moving to a full-fledged corporate performance management (CPM) solution overnight. To begin with, these projects span the enterprise. As such, they involve higher costs, require more sophisticated levels of business and technical expertise, and have a greater risk of failure than more narrowly focused projects. The rewards, however, are potentially much greater. In approaching a CPM strategy, senior management must think of the implementation as not just a change in technology but as an opportunity to transform key business processes and improve managerial decision making in support of implementing strategy.
For this objective to be realized, any CPM implementation must be placed in the proper context. If the approach is to simply buy and install new software, then the result will simply be new software. Companies often assume that new technology will translate automatically into doing business â€śbetter, faster, smarter.â€ť But if the underlying business processes are flawed, â€śfasterâ€ť will likely be the only achievement. Doing the wrong thing in 30 percent less time is hardly a benefit. In contrast, CPM implementations focus on effectively transforming strategy into action by combining methodologies and the right measures, presented to users as an ongoing, event-based process, supported by technology systems.
Gartner warns against trying to create an â€śultimateâ€ť CPM strategy. Attempting to do so quickly becomes a theoretical exercise in which the organization tries to define every metric, process, and methodology that the enterprise will ever need. This approach is doomed to fail.1 What organizations should do is carefully think through a road map that will
The Strategy Gap
allow a more strategic approach to deploying CPM. Suggestions for the elements of such a map are provided later in this chapter. Before beginning, however, assemble the team that will be responsible for guiding the CPM initiative.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TEAM
A CPM solution yields true value to an organization only when it is placed in the service of achieving business objectives. Therefore, people within the organization who can identify these objectivesâ€”senior business managersâ€”must be the system drivers. Because the formulation and implementation of strategy is one of the key responsibilities of the chief financial officer (CFO) and chief executive officer (CEO), they also must be part of the team. Active participation of senior management has been a key factor in the success of early adopters of CPM solutions.
Within the CPM implementation team, some clearly identifiable roles exist. These roles include CPM champion, technology advocate, and process management advocate. Other roles and personnel may be identified as being essential members of the team, but the roles mentioned here are key. Selecting the right people to fill these is critical to the CPM solutionâ€™s success.
The CPM champion is typically the organizationâ€™s senior executive or one placed as highly within the organization as possible. The broad nature of change required by CPM, the major investment in financial and human resources that is necessary, and the importance of the project to the long-term success of the organization all call for the active sponsorship, support, and leadership of the senior business executive. Because the impetus for implementing a performance management solution is to gain a competitive business advantage, it should be treated as a business initiative, not an information technology (IT) project. Therefore, a business executive, not an IT manager or information officer, must champion the process.
The champion must be able to express the big picture, communicating the value and importance of the project throughout the entire
organization. Besides acting as an advocate, the champion also will need to be a diplomat. An enterprise-wide solution touches on many areas, making it inevitable that interdepartmental or jurisdictional disputes will arise. The champion must know enough about both the finance and IT functions to mediate disputes when they arise.
The champion also must be prepared to stay committed and active throughout the entire length of the CPM initiative and beyond. Dennis Ganster, CEO of Comshare, believes that CPM is more than a project: Itâ€™s a way of life. â€śCPM systems need to be continually used and updated. It they arenâ€™t, they grow stale or die,â€ť says Ganster. â€śThe CEOâ€™s role in pushing a CPM system forward and making sure people update and use it is vital if the organization is to successfully execute its strategy.â€ť Others in the organization will take their cue from the champion. If the champion appears to lose interest and CPM is not seen as the priority, they will assume that the project has been devalued and act accordingly.