Business performance management (BPM) is currently helping many companies make better investment decisions, focus on what is strategically important and, ultimately, improve their bottom line. There are potential benefits for virtually any type and size of company. Unfortunately, the companies that probably need BPM the most are the ones least likely to be pursuing BPM. They fall into several categories, and I'll take a look at each to try to understand the root of their challenges.

The most obvious company that needs BPM is one that needs to improve its performance. BPM can help companies better understand what is happening in the business in time to take corrective action. It can help them focus their energies on high-return activities. It can enable them to model various cost management scenarios and anticipate the resulting impact. It can save them money through reduced headcount requirements for budgeting and reporting. However, a company that is losing money or missing its targets by a wide margin is the least likely candidate to move forward with BPM. I've heard comments such as, "We're missing our numbers as it is, so we can't make any large expenditure right now." Maybe if they had a performance management initiative in place, they wouldn't be missing their numbers. Without BPM, it will be much harder for them to crawl out of their hole. Sometimes you have to make that tough investment to achieve the desired results.

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