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Corporate performance management systems are complex in that they provide a single view of performance to the whole organization. The technology infrastructure of an organization cannot be changed easily, and any change can have a high cost in terms of financial investment and operating efficiency. For this reason, the CPM project team must include a technology advocate who understands the current and planned IT direction for the organization and who can advise on what may or may not be possible, practical, and desirable.
To provide a single view of the organization, the IT advocate will need to understand how to use the CPM solution to integrate data from the organization’s core internal systems and from a variety of external information sources. The advocate will need to ensure that the CPM solution makes data accessible to organizational members around the enterprise in a format that is usable and adheres to the existing communications protocols. Similarly, if an organization is undergoing change to a new technology infrastructure, the IT advocate must ensure that the CPM solution can adapt to the organization’s existing—or future—IT infrastructure. Imagine finding yourself, for example, with a general ledger system that no longer works because of some technology change. The IT advocate ensures that the system will operate from a technology point of view.
The Strategy Gap
Process Management Advocate
The organization’s processes for planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting are the main point of contact for managers and budget holders when implementing and monitoring strategy. The processes must function effectively. Therefore, a member of the finance department usually is named as the process management advocate. This advocate must be involved in the design of any new or modified processes and in putting processes into action as the CPM system is delivered.
As a relatively new concept, CPM can easily be mistaken for an extension of existing systems. It is different in that it is a strategy, not just a technology solution. Team members who guide the CPM initiative must be aware of that difference and how it impacts the organization. Having the team read this book can enhance the education process. Some successful early adopters have held workshops, led by external CPM consultants, for their executives and managers. The result of these workshops is a common understanding of what can be accomplished and a jump-start on building a CPM road map for the organization.
BUILDING A CPM ROAD MAP
Solutions are best built through small, or “phased,” implementations that initially address key business “pain points.” However, these pain points must be addressed in the context of a long-term CPM road map that identifies how any short-term initiatives fit into the overall strat-egy.2 Doing so will mean that benefits realized early in the project will provide the impetus for successive implementations. From experience gathered working with early adopters, Comshare has developed 10 steps for building a CPM road map.
Define Key Performance Metrics
Gartner states that the formulation of strategy should be the driving force in designing a CPM solution.3 Before committing large expenditures of time and money, organizations should review their goals and objectives at the highest level. Next, they should clearly define their key performance indicators and how they are to be achieved. This is in essence what strategic planning is all about: ensuring that the right performance data are planned and monitored by the right people within the organization at an appropriate level of detail.
Define Methodologies to Support Metrics
Once the key metrics have been identified, the method of delivering them needs to be determined. For many CPM applications, this methodology takes the form of a “scorecard” that ensures all aspects of the organization are covered (see Exhibit 7.1). Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard helps organizations ensure that their strategy covers both short- and long-term performance. It focuses attention on the different aspects that impact viability: financial results, operational efficiency, customers, and learning and growth. Even if the methodology is not adhered to exactly, it does provide a good way to break down corporate objectives into divisional and departmental plans.
Detailed elements of the scorecard can be based around activities, such as is done with activity-based management (ABM), or on the value each asset adds, such as is done using the Economic Value Added (EVA) methodology. Although these are different techniques, they still focus on the achievement of corporate goals whose results can be displayed as a scorecard. The point of this activity is to agree, at a high level, to the way in which performance will be managed throughout the organization.
Define CPM Processes
This step is a high-level review of how the CPM processes should work in planning and monitoring the organization’s goals and objectives. This review should answer questions relative to each of the processes outlined in Chapter 3: