More companies than ever are embarking on business performance management (BPM) initiatives. However, some of these companies don’t even realize that is what they are doing. The reason is that many of these projects begin as one-offs to address a particular business need. For example, the finance team may realize the need to move from spreadsheets to a more robust, purpose-built budgeting application. They may not be aware that they are in fact creating the foundation for a performance management system. Some managers in IT may decide to build a dashboard as a way to share key information more broadly. More than likely they will take key ratios from existing reports and use them to populate their dashboard, missing the opportunity to develop a true performance scorecard. Business unit heads may develop key performance indicators to better manage their particular area, but these important measures may not be linked to each other or tied to the overall corporate strategy. Missing from these disparate projects is a cohesive vision for performance management and a roadmap to help execute on that vision.

The best way to begin a performance management project is with an audit/roadmap workshop. The benefits are many and include: minimizing redundant efforts and projects, linking together disjointed pieces to create a result that is greater than the sum of the parts, developing team alignment and setting appropriate expectations, determining technology needs in a more comprehensive manner and evaluating what is already in place so it can be leveraged for BPM - potentially reducing (or eliminating) new software expenditures.

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