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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!

June 2008 Archives

It's no secret that in many companies the relationship between Finance and IT can be somewhat strained. Business performance management (BPM) initiatives tend to bring those underlying tensions to the surface. For BPM to succeed Finance and IT need to work closely together as a team. In some companies there is such strong disagreement around BPM approaches, priorities, and technologies that they fail to reach consensus and the project simply stalls out. Of course if there was a good senior executive sponsor in place they could break through the logjam, but many companies fail to fill that role with the right person. A company we have been working with recently has absolutely no Finance/IT issues to deal with. The reason is that they took a proactive approach to head off problems of that type. They simply have the CIO reporting to the CFO.

The end result is that Finance and the business heads determine their needs and IT fulfills them. Since it is run out of Finance all projects have to fit within the financial goals of the company and demonstrate a reasonable return. Sounds like a wonderful world. The company by the way is not some crazy start-up where they also have Chief Happiness Officers, but a major organization with over $ 50 billion in annual revenues. Is this the future of IT? If this is such a great approach why aren't more companies doing this already? For one thing, it would be very difficult to change to this organizational model after the fact, especially with existing staff in those roles. For another, this approach has some of its own challenges. Does it stifle healthy debate? Do we lose some checks and balances? What caliber of CIO would be attracted to this position being subordinate to another department head? No approach is perfect. Maybe just the possibility of something like this coming to pass might make some CIOs take notice and work a little harder to get along with Finance.

Posted June 24, 2008 8:37 AM
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