Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Driven to Perform" - Unifying Performance, Risk, and Compliance via the GPS metaphor

Modern performance management goes beyond past practices in the same way that GPS systems have enhanced the quality of information available to a driver.

A car dashboard tells you about the inner workings of a vehicle. It lets you know how fast you’re going, how much gas is in the tank, and how hard the engine is working. It includes warning lights to mitigate the risk of running out of oil or gas.

Much of the history of performance management was about creating similar dashboards focused on the current state of the company. The typical performance management system provided finance-centric measurements, processes, and systems that told how the business did in the prior quarter and provided guidance about how it is currently running.

A GPS system provides an interactive map of where you want to go and how to get there. It describes the surrounding environment so that you know what roads to take. It provides context for your surroundings and options based on your preferences and needs, such as shortest route or freeways only.

In addition, GPS systems alert us when there are risks in the road ahead, such as an accident blocking a certain highway, traffic congestion, or a bridge closed for construction. Using this information, we can replot our route to make sure we still get to our destination.

Modern performance management does the same thing as a GPS system by helping companies define direction in a precise way, by providing the means to communicate and propagate a detailed understanding of the way forward, by looking ahead to what the likely outcomes are with predictive models, by looking into what is happening in the business network, and by expanding and deepening awareness of the direction of the employees, partners, and key stakeholders.

In terms of the analogy, our destination represents the strategic goals of the business. The roadblocks and weather alerts represent the risks we encounter while pursuing that strategy. Compliance is following the rules of the road, such as traffic signs or speed limits. Heeding these rules helps us get to our destination. If we ignore a red light, we’re more likely to get into an accident; if we disobey the speed limit, we’re more likely to get pulled over by a police officer. Compliance is also a matter of adhering to internal requirements such as keeping tires inflated to the optimal pressure or maintaining proper oil pressure. Needless to say, ignoring compliance has bad consequences: our travel time is slower and the costs are higher.

The task of performance management applications is to provide the traditional dashboard and to supplement that information with a model of where a company is going and how fast it is getting there. Performance management is both a dashboard and a GPS system for the modern enterprise, one that adds the dimensions of time, risk, and compliance while looking at what happened in the past, present, and future.

Excerpted from Driven to Perform: Risk-Aware Performance Management From Strategy Through Execution (Nenshad Bardoliwalla, Stephanie Buscemi, and Denise Broady, New York, NY, Evolved Technologist Press, 2009). Copyright © 2009 by Evolved Media, LLC

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Driven to Perform" Podcast on Are you ready for corporate performance management?

Stephanie Buscemi, co-author of Driven to Perform, did a podcast at SAPPHIRE 2009 discussing the key concepts of the book. This is a great way to get a quick overview!

Are you ready for corporate performance management?

Corporate performance management (CPM) is one of those hazy terms that means different things to different people, but the basic concept almost everyone can agree on is that CPM is the discipline of tracking progress against preset goals to make sure those goals are being met in as efficient a way as possible.

How to actually achieve effective CPM, which involves aspects of business intelligence (BI) and risk management, is where things get tricky. There are any number of performance management methods that companies can follow, but choosing one over another is often an exercise in guesswork.

To help you better understand the concept of CPM and develop specific steps to successfully implement and maintain a performance management framework, we're speaking with Stephanie Buscemi, vice president of marketing for enterprise performance management and governance, risk and compliance at SAP and the coauthor of the new book Driven to Perform.

In this 30-minute podcast, appropriate for both business and IT professionals, listeners will:

  • Learn just what elements make up CPM and how the discipline has evolved over the last several years (1:45).
  • Get an understanding of the current state of CPM adoption and the major stumbling blocks most companies encounter (5:30).
  • Find out how CPM demands a balance among people and process issues and technical demands (10:15).
  • Get advice on the sometimes overwhelming task of starting a CPM initiative and managing the CPM lifecycle (14:20).
  • Get tips for evaluating CPM technologies and how to make buying decisions that match your CPM needs (21:50).
  • Find out what you risk if you fail to develop a comprehensive CPM framework (25:00).

You can also download the podcast directly.

About the speaker: Stephanie Buscemi is vice president of marketing for enterprise performance management and governance, risk and compliance at SAP, where she is responsible for go-to-market plans, cross-product solutions, and product strategy. She has served in leadership roles within performance management and business intelligence over the past 14 years. Stephanie joined SAP from Hyperion/Oracle, where she was most recently senior director of global marketing. Prior to Hyperion/Oracle, Stephanie was at Business Objects, where she led in building the company's U.S. presence. She holds a B.A. from UCLA.

Friday, May 08, 2009

"Driven to Perform" Webcast: Managing Performance and Risk in a Down Economy – A Practical Approach to Optimizing Business Performance for Everyone

Managing Performance and Risk in a Down Economy – A Practical Approach to Optimizing Business Performance for Everyone

What differentiates you from your competitors? How can you improve performance in difficult times by finding and executing the most effective and efficient strategy, and then tuning it to achieve even better results? How can you achieve alignment across your organization and partner network? Don’t miss this important webcast, where you can get answers to all these questions. Come hear directly from the authors of Driven To Perform – Risk Aware Performance Management from Strategy to Execution as they describe how to strategize, plan, execute, monitor, analyze, and optimize performance, all within the context of the myriad risks and compliance requirements that companies face today.

Driven To Perform provides a unified approach to performance, risk, and compliance management that can help all you effectively manage performance across a global business network. Driven to Perform shows how to apply the principles of risk-aware performance management to your area of expertise, whether it is Finance, HR, Sales, Marketing, Service, Supply Chain, Procurement or Product Development. You will receive valuable context for all of these business areas as it relates to managing performance and risk, as well as learn the collaboration points between them enabling you to optimize performance beyond your four walls.

The concepts of Driven To Perform are essential for those who are serious about driving transformation and who are looking to create a high performance and data driven culture beyond just concepts. Driven to Perform will take you from strategy through execution, with a focus on end-to-end business processes. A detailed case study shows how a corporate strategy is executed across an organization, fleshing out the meaning of risk-aware performance management so you see a practical use case for how to apply this to your business.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Announcing the Launch of Our New Book, "Driven to Perform: Risk-Aware Performance Management From Strategy Through Execution" on!

Dear Readers,

Is your business being "Driven to Perform", or is your performance driving you out of business?

It is with great pride and excitement that we announce the immediate availability of our new book, Driven to Perform: Risk-Aware Performance Management From Strategy Through Execution that can help you arrive at the right answer to this most important question! We wrote this book for everyone in an organization who is interested in applying performance management techniques to improve their work, incorporating consideration of risk into their decision-making at every level.

Who is this book for?

From the CFO to the VP of Sales to a service manager to the CIO, the how of performance management is presented in context and in practical terms. Not only are there separate chapters for Finance, Human Resources, IT, Sales, Marketing, Service, Supply Chain, Procurement, and Product Development, but the touch points for collaboration between these departments and the larger business network are also described.

Driven to Perform can help you answer questions such as:
  • How profitable is this customer, really?
  • Which product should we launch, given the risks?
  • How can we systematically improve customer service and learn from the rich feedback Service can provide us?
  • How can we manage the risks in our supply chain and comply with increasing global trade regulations?
  • How can BI help each department do a better job?
  • How can we save money by streamlining procurement?
  • How can we optimize our sales territories?
  • Which KPIs should we focus on?
  • How can we improve communication between Marketing and our supply chain so that our promotions succeed?

What is the mission of this book?

Driven to Perform was written to bring together a variety of business-process improvement currents that have been flowing along separately, which now need to be explained in unison. Organizations are struggling with the increasingly global nature of business networks, with heavy regulatory and compliance requirements, and with stakeholder demands for accountability. There is an ever-expanding fountain of information, but a lack of disciplined methodologies for using it optimally. This book demonstrates how performance management can optimize every department in your organization, whether it's a community health clinic or a multinational corporation. We show how to "close the loop" between strategy, initiatives, execution, measurement and improvement. We illuminate performance management-the task of getting more and better information and using it to improve results and manage risk and compliance-as the path for success in the 21st century.

Why is this book different?

Unlike many books on performance management, Driven to Perform incorporates risk as a crucial part of all steps of performance management, and delves into great detail about specific areas of business practice and shows how performance management can be implemented in those areas. Driven to Perform was written to explain the role that software systems can play in supporting Performance Management processes. It is not an instruction manual for operating software, however. This book emphasizes holistic, strategic thinking, then shows how tactical solutions work to support strategy.

If there is one salient feature that makes Driven to Perform stand out, it is the consistent reference to context. Information is useless without context. Processes and policies will fail if they are implemented in isolation. This book consistently shows examples that are credible, because it relates them to overarching goals. Performance management is not a one-time exercise that will solve a company's problems forever. It is a practice that all stakeholders need to live and breathe, every day, and to modify as the context changes. This book provides the framework for creating a data-driven performance management culture that is contextual and relevant, even as conditions change.

Who is publishing this book?

The great team over at Evolved Technologist Press is publishing Driven to Perform. Evolved Technologist is a subsidiary of Evolved Media, a marketing, communications, and publishing firm that has created more than 19 books and scores of white papers, technical documentation sets, user guides, marketing materials, proceedings, and wikis since 2002.

How do I get started?

Driven to Perform is available NOW on in soft cover. You may also visit the book site at to learn more.

Best Regards,

Nenshad Bardoliwalla, Stephanie Buscemi and Denise Broady.