Talking to customers about their Performance Management and Business Intelligence Strategy I come across two major challenges.
- An effective Performance Management (PM) and Business Intelligence (BI) strategy affects many processes and many people. A PM or BI project therefore, can quickly become very big, very expensive, and time consuming. Many companies do not know where to start, not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Many PM and BI projects are focused only on the technical implementation of a BI system. They focus on best practice implementations without looking at process improvement. The result is that companies have BI and PM tools implemented without the knowledge on the business side about the potential of these applications.
To cost-effectively face these challenges, IncQ consulting has developed a value-driven approach to assess a PM and BI strategy, and find answers to executive questions like:
- Are we investing in the right initiatives?
- Are we realizing the full value potential of these investments?
- What governance, practices and competencies are required to ensure benefits are achieved?
Leverage from our vast expertise to decide where to start, and to make investment decisions based on an understanding of the business case, financial returns and risks.
A value driven approach to your PM and BI Strategy
First of all, it is essential to understand that BI and PM are not tools, but a concept to bring the right information that impacts decisions, to the people of an organization in a way it can easily be consumed. In this way it should enable all analytical (e.g. business analytics; data warehousing) and operational (e.g. financial consolidation; planning, budgeting & forecasting) initiatives to achieve business goals and target the intelligence of your organization.
These kinds of projects need a holistic approach knowing about the business processes and process improvements, the technology to support these processes and the people and their expectations when establishing an information-driven organization. It is often hard to decide where to start the change and how to break down the project into self-contained phases, quickly bringing value to the people and keeping the investment risk low.
IncQ’s value-driven project approach is designed to answer customer critical questions. In this way we can ensure transparency of the achievement of business goals and results at all times before during and after a project.
1.Are we investing in the right initiatives?
Value Discovery Phase
To answer this question it is essential to know how mature your PM and BI processes and systems are today and what maturity level you want to achieve in the future. There are several maturity models in use. Gartner for example, developed one of these models for assessing Corporate Performance Management and BI. A Gartner research result using this model states that most organizations are at Level 1 (unaware) or 2(opportunistic) with there PM and BI organization; approximately 25% are at Level 3 (comprehensive) out of five levels. Considering the importance of information-based, informed decisions and transparency in today’s rapid changing business environment, this is an alarming result.
Nevertheless this should not in of itself, pressure you into blindly pushing for an overall higher level. This puts a lot of stress on your organization and binds resources without necessarily leading you to an information-driven organization. It should actually encourage you to individually decide on the right maturity level for every BI and PM sub-process. You can identify the domains for improvement, and achieve the maturity level appropriate for supporting the organization’s goals.
Ask us about developing a value- based business strategy and business case for you
Let us help you analyze your as-is situation, and assess your PM and BI strategy. We do this by conducting our best practice maturity evaluation to identify your domains of improvement. We then identify business imperatives concerning information-need, and key processes for every identified improvement, whilst ensuring business strategy and IT strategy are aligned. This is a small exercise and needs little effort compared to the effort you put into a PM or BI project focusing on the wrong initiatives.
2.What governance, practices and competencies are required to ensure benefits are achieved?
Value Realization Phase
In order to answer this question and ensure project-results are measurable it is important that you do two things: 1. Identify relevant KPIs; 2. Develop a roadmap.
KPIs allow the expected impact of addressing the business imperatives measurable. This helps you to focus on the business impact during implementation. KPIs can be ROI related (BI spend as % of revenue) or process related (e.g. days to close annual books) or people driven (% active reports made by business not by IT)
A value- informed implementation roadmap helps you to identify the right initiatives to address value creation opportunities and prioritize these initiatives. It should describe in detail how to realize a successful PM and BI strategy, breaking it down into self-contained phases realizing the value bit by bit. In this way you control the costs and don’t overly strain the organisation.
Ask us about developing transformational strategies to mobilize, deliver and measure business results during implementation
3.Are we realizing the full potential of our investments?
To answer this question it is important to conduct a best practice comparison and install a continuous value measurement.
The goal of a best practice comparison is not necessarily to gain competitive advantage but to continuously be able to measure PM and BI progress against your peer group. For example: The average % of your time being spend on quality activities like analysis and not on preparation activities like data collection and validation is 15%. Compared to the average of your peer group (spending 35.9% of their time on quality activities) you know there is still a good space of improvement and you are not realizing the full potential of your investment.
If you install this measurement regularly, meaning at every important project milestone you will be able to measure the value realization with every project phase. You will be able to make statements like the average % of reports created by business and not IT has increased by 20%.
Ask us about a project and implementation assessment for you project
Please talk to us to get more information on our approach and on which technology to choose to support your people and processes.