Corporate performance is everyone’s business

Each morning, organisations face any number of challenges: to drive innovation, to launch new products, to improve product quality, to create more value for their customers, to develop new markets, to strategically manage human capital, and ultimately, to increase shareholder value.

The entire base in an organisation must make the decisions that respond to these strategic challenges.

Ultimately, it is strategy and execution that are the ultimate drivers of business performance success, and, while technology does not actually deliver business strategy, it enables alignment and solid execution. Indeed, as business leaders pursue best-in-class performance strategies with renewed vigour, they are looking to IT solutions to help them establish processes for managing repeatable and predictable performance.

Like successful strategies, good plans are driven by good data. Consistent, reliable information across the enterprise is essential — not only for linking performance planning, monitoring, and reporting activities in the management cycle, but for accurately aligning execution with strategy.

Solid data is absolutely fundamental to feed the performance management process, but it is not the end game. It’s how people use information to plan, monitor, and understand the business that enables performance management.

Addressing these needs is a natural evolution of business intelligence to the point where corporate performance is everyone’s business. It has to give every employee ready access to reliable, consistent information; let people access how their part of the business is measuring up against set targets; and it must provide the means to make adjustments and feed lessons learned back into the strategic planning process.

Smart organisations win through an integrated strategy for performance management across the enterprise. They drive enterprise performance through planning; they monitor performance through using a scorecard; and understand that performance through reporting and analysis.

The crucial factor for the year ahead? Ensuring your information is completely cross-functional.

Indeed, while words can inspire, metrics communicate strategy and provide the clarity people need to really drive performance. Managing performance has become part of the DNA of doing business.

Swayne Hill is managing director, Cognos Australia

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