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Craig Schiff

I am very excited about this opportunity to share my perspectives and experience in my BeyeNETWORK Blog. For those of you who may not have read my articles and newsletters over the past few years, I hope you will appreciate a vendor-independent perspective on all things related to Business Performance Management (BPM). I focus on key topics organizations should consider throughout their BPM project lifecycle, from early stage requirements definition and justification, key measure development, vendor selection and finally, successful deployment and rollout. Of course, market trends and vendor updates will also be part of the mix. Please stop by on a regular basis to see what's new, and to make this interactive, please share your opinions. If you have a specific question, contact me directly at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

About the author >

Craig, President and CEO of BPM Partners, is a pioneer in business performance management (BPM). Craig helped create and define the field as it evolved from business intelligence and analytic applications into BPM. He has worked with BPM and related technologies for more than 20 years, first as a founding member at IMRS/Hyperion Software (now Hyperion Solutions) and later cofounded OutlookSoft where he was President and CEO.

Craig is a frequent author on BPM topics and monthly columnist for the BeyeNETWORK. He has led several jointly produced webcasts with Business Finance Magazine including "Beyond the Hype: The Truth about BPM Vendors," the three-part vendor review entitled "BPM Xpo" and "BPM 101: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Business Performance Management." He is a recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. BPM Partners is a vendor-independent professional services firm focused exclusively on BPM, providing expertise that helps companies successfully evaluate and deploy BPM systems. Craig can be reached at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Craig's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

When talking to IT executives about their performance dashboard initiatives, I am often surprised by their perception of the task ahead of them. More often than not they seem to think they have their measures and key indicators under control, and just need to look at one or two technology options to find the right vehicle for displaying those measures. Compare this to the typical finance manager looking for a budgeting solution. They first want to spend a good amount of time up front developing and/or refining their requirements and then move on to look at 4 to 6 vendors. I believe both of these BPM initiatives are very similar in challenge and complexity, yet they are being executed differently.

The IT manager would argue 'we know our measures, we've been measuring the same things for several years' and look to quickly move to the technology selection phase. Couldn't you similarly argue that the finance department has been budgeting forever, why do they need to develop requirements for a budgeting solution? When it comes to selecting a solution, there are at least as many dashboard solutions on the market as there are budgeting ones. Why would the IT manager limit his analysis to very few options, while the finance manager casts a wider net? I think the answer is that the IT manager may be looking at the dashboard as just another reporting tool, not the move to performance management that it really is. A sense of the enormity of the task at hand can be found in this excerpt from Wayne Eckerson's new book on Performance Dashboards. Until IT realizes that their dashboard project should be viewed as part of a larger business performance management initiative in the company, they will underestimate the effort and investment required and under deliver on the potential benefits.

Posted November 28, 2005 1:05 PM
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