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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!

July 2008 Archives

While meeting recently with a Fortune 100 company planning out their Business Performance Management initiative, something came up that I felt could derail the whole thing. Unfortunately, they didn't see it that way. These are very senior, smart people and they did a brilliant job of analyzing their data needs and developing a standardized data structure to handle everything. Where their brilliance failed them was on the people side of the equation. They did share that they were getting a little pushback from some of the divisions about moving to a new, standardized performance system. This was attributed to stubbornness and ignorance. It was their belief that they could overcome this by re-assignment of problematic individuals and hiring new people who wouldn't have been exposed to anything other than the new way of doing things. It was also suggested that people would come around if they thought about how this new system could help improve the company's stock price. From my perspective there was a much simpler, less heavy-handed approach they could take that would have a greater chance of success.

There are several faults in their approach. The re-assignment and new hiring could certainly create morale problems with the remaining staff. The benefit of improving the stock price is probably not felt to any great extent outside of the senior team planning this project and a handful of others. Most importantly, this whole approach could result in under-utilization of the new BPM system, which defeats the purpose and is a common way these projects fail. My approach would have three components 1) Gain Buy-in: this can be accomplished by involving key user representatives from across the company in the planing process and discussions about the new system, they can share in the excitement, feel some ownership, and bring these positive feelings back to the troops; 2) Provide Local Benefits: don't just look at this from a corporate perspective, try to find some minor things you can add to the system that address a local need or pain that has been expressed by field staff, perhaps adding the ability to do some detailed analysis of their own data that they have been unable to easily do on their own; 3) Communicate and Educate: make sure everyone understands why a new system is needed, educate them on the benefits to them that may not be obvious. In the case of this company specifically, their new BPM system will actually reduce the workload in the field by removing the need to provide certain reports that are required today and are difficult to produce. However, no one has really taken the time to communicate this to the field. If this company proceeds with their own approach as outlined above, I think they will have a revolt on their hands. At a minimum they will have a performance management system that very few people rely on to analyze their performance.


Posted July 8, 2008 1:33 PM
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