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The strategy gap lavaraging thechnology to execute winning strategies - Goveney M.

Goveney M. The strategy gap lavaraging thechnology to execute winning strategies - Wiley & sons , 2003. - 242 p.
ISBN 0-471-21450-7
Download (direct link): thestrategygapleveraging2003.pdf
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During the detailed software evaluation, the organization will want to confirm or discover whether:
• The product has the functionality and capability to solve both the current and future requirements.
• The staff supporting the project can maintain it.
• The solution’s capabilities have been oversold.
• The product delivers additional capabilities and features that will give the business additional advantages.
• The vendor is viable. Verify its understanding of the business issues to be resolved, its expertise in the area of CPM, the likelihood
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Implementing a Corporate Performance Management Solution
of establishing a relationship that will work for both organizations, and its commitment to CPM.
• The future direction and life of the product will support your organization’s vision for CPM.
• Other organizations are using the product for CPM and what business benefits they have obtained.
Evaluate the data model capability using a realistic full-size application. Ensure the model being demonstrated has an organizational structure, product or customer dimensions, and measures that are similar in number to those being proposed. Building a new system containing a few measures may look fine in the demonstration, but it may not translate into a real-world application involving many measures and multiple users. After all, a spreadsheet would perform very well with a small model, yet most organizations know what happens when these are turned into real-world, multiple-user systems. Ask to see how measures are created and dimensioned by different levels of detail. For example, ask to see how revenues can be tracked by customer and product, while the balance sheet is tracked just by operational unit.
Ensure the system shown is set up so the maximum number of people involved in the process can use it. A multiuser system often looks substantially different from a single-user system. Make sure the system is able to cope with the number of users expected in the next 12 to 18 months as the system evolves. Check the effort required to roll out the system to a new user; web-based systems should make this easy.
Next verify that the product can accommodate all the processes that will be required by the final CPM solution. Chapter 3 described the most basic processes that should be supported. Appendix D contains a functional checklist that can be used to perform this task. If the system lacks any of these capabilities, consider whether the solution is really capable of supporting true corporate performance management and meeting the organization’s CPM needs.
Next review the solution’s ability to generate reports, highlight exceptions, and empower users to create their own reports and analyses. Some vendors do not provide these capabilities themselves but rely on third-party products. This design can cause problems for the organization because data must be duplicated, separate models must be maintained, and an additional technology must be learned. In addition to the extra effort this solution involves, data integrity is compromised because there is no longer a single version of the truth. Also, many third-party viewing tools have no financial understanding, which means variances
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The Strategy Gap
and summations over time will be wrong because the system does not understand the difference between debits and credits, profits and losses, and balance sheet accounts.
Learn whether users must look through detail reports to spot exceptions or whether the system provides automated alerts as the exceptions occur. Alerting capabilities eliminate the possibility of exceptions remaining undetected and save the user time normally spent looking for exceptions that may or may not exist. Also determine whether the production and delivery of reports can be automated. This option can save substantial amounts of time and effort.
Continue by exploring the solution’s end-user analysis capabilities. Can users drill down into a variance and then calculate new analyses? A good way to discover this is to ask the vendor, during a demonstration, to create a variance without any advance warning. For example, ask the vendor to calculate actual/budget variance percentages for all companies. Sort the result to show the top 10 performers by revenue. Then show this for total costs. Find out whether this variance can be color-coded and/or presented as a chart.
Account for the fact that different users need different ways of analyzing data. Some users prefer spreadsheets, while others would like to have data available on their personal digital assistant. How does the application support these users, and how much effort will be required by an administrator?
Next review the solution’s architecture. What technologies does the system use to hold the data model and provide end-user access? Are these mainstream technologies, or will new skills be needed to maintain and support the system? Determine whether the architecture and technologies involved fit in with IT policy. Problems can be avoided if the data model uses the same technology as existing transactional/ERP and CRM applications. This solution greatly simplifies data integration and ongoing support. Also explore whether the system design is sound and will be able to expand with the organization without trouble.
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