In last month's column, we started with a list of my favorite business performance management (BPM) implementation mistakes to avoid. These missteps have real costs relating to time, money, project outcome and career impact. The first three mistakes included: believing vendor hype, trying to custom build too much and going it alone. Now, on to the conclusion.

Mistake 4: Adding a dashboard to a warehouse. Those companies that have already created a data warehouse (DW) are ahead of the game. They have taken a critical step toward BPM success - pulling all key data together into a central repository utilizing a common set of meta data. However, just slapping a sexy dashboard on top will not turn a DW into BPM. Keep in mind that the three basic elements of BPM - content, processes and technology - are all essential. You need to address the processes such as budgeting and consolidation. Give attention to the content, such as key performance indicators (KPIs) and reports, and the data which they contain. Finally, the technology piece includes more than a central information repository; it also requires supporting systems and applications. Use your data warehouse as a starting foundation for BPM. Identify the processes that still need to be automated to supplement/feed the warehouse, such as budgeting and consolidation, and acquire those applications. Work with your business leaders to define the KPIs that need to be displayed on your dashboard. Then, and only then, add the dashboard technology as the finishing piece.

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