Watch Your Step

Many companies have achieved great results by rolling out performance management software. But to emulate those successes, today’s implementers need to take proactive steps to learn from early adopters’ experience.

by Craig Schiff

Business Performance Management (BPM) has been around long enough that it is often viewed as a proven discipline. Companies of all sizes, and in many industries, have indeed gained a competitive advantage by using BPM technologies to improve decisions enterprisewide. Many additional companies, seeing those results, are now moving forward with BPM engagements. Some are risk-averse and waited to see demonstrable success before jumping in. Others were preoccupied with updating underlying transactional systems before getting started with BPM. Either way, these mainstream adopters expect to achieve results similar to the companies that went before them. Some are basing BPM decisions on erroneous assumptions — and they may be heading toward an expensive performance management failure.

The success of BPM’s forerunners gives today’s adopters a false sense of security. Many feel the companies already running performance management software have worked out the kinks with these technologies. Some are following BPM pioneers like lemmings, thinking implementation is now easy and risk-free. What they don’t realize is that early adopters did their homework, engaged experts, and learned a lot along the way. They succeeded because of the close attention they paid to potential pitfalls in the vendor selection and implementation processes.

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