Tie execution to strategy. Establish one version of the truth. Deliver real- time, actionable information. Enable better decision making. Improve financial performance. All sound good; all are strategic goals linked with performance management. Are they merely marketing copy, or does all that goodness truly come with business performance management (BPM)? If these benefits are real, how do they translate into everyday changes in your company that you can see and quantify? This month and next, we'll help you determine whether BPM pays for itself, has better ROI than the other 20 projects on your radar and is something you can champion inside your company.

If the answer is no, then you can put BPM on the back burner, and I can stop writing this column. My professional view, however, is that within the next two years, your company – whatever your industry, size and stage of IT development – should be initiating BPM in some form. As evidence to support this belief, I offer the following discussion of specific BPM benefits and real-life examples to show satisfactory – even outstanding – payoffs are attainable.

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