3 Benefits of Using EPM in Your Organization

EPM was designed to fill the strategy to execution gap. It’s the new approach to management that makes strategy everyone’s job, that gives them the tools and processes to execute based on focus, alignment, and accountability. Let’s discuss three of the five benefits of EPM that I share in my book Enterprise Performance Management Done Right: An Operating System for Your Organization (Wiley CIO):

  1. Management Efficiency

    Enterprise Performance Management. Difference between "Run the Business" and "Manage the Businesss"

    Differences between “Run the Business” and “Manage the Business”

EPM enables standard management processes that every company must do well: Budgeting, planning and forecasting Financial consolidation and statutory reporting Management reporting and business intelligence Profitability analysis, and Other financial and operational modeling, planning, analysis, and reporting EPM leverages the investment you have already made in Enterprise Resource Management, Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management, Sales Force Automation, and other transactional systems.

  1. Executing Strategy

EPM can help close the loop between what you want to happen in the business (and how), and what actually happened (and why): Records and documents business model assumptions, constraints, and drivers Connects those models into your annual operating plans, budgets, and forecasts Monitors and alerts exceptional variances from actual to plan Helps you understand the root causes of variance and plug that corporate knowledge Ties it all together with a common business language and common master data to improve visibility, focus, and alignment Giving more stakeholder alignment .

  1. Improving Performance

EPM can have a material impact on the top and bottom line, on the balance sheet, and on overall return on capital: It can improve visibility into the key drivers of value in the business. It can show the cause and effect relationship of operational metrics on financial performance. It helps you focus on the right things in the business. It can bring agility to business models and organizational structures. Giving better business decisions that are based on more timely information

You can learn more about EPM and how it can help your organization build a common business process to execute it’s strategy in my book Enterprise Performance Management Done Right: An Operating System for Your Organization (Wiley CIO)


Top 7 Signs Your Organization Needs Enterprise Performance Management

In working with my clients across a wide spectrum of business sizes, industries, and geographies, when it comes to EPM, there are some “buckets” of pain I have found common to them all. Here Enterprise Performance Managementare 7 reasons your organization needs EPM:

  1. More time is spent on assembling the numbers than on analyzing them— all this manual effort makes us inefficient and not very scalable.
  2. People show up to meetings with “their” numbers, and we don’t know how they got those numbers—there is not a lot of confidence.
  3. Some people aren’t getting the reports or analyses we’re sending out— it either gets lost in their email or the right people aren’t on the distribution list (or they’re ignoring it).
  4. There is little alignment across functions (Sales, Marketing, Development, HR).
  5. People aren’t following the prescribed processes, especially for submitting their plans and forecasts—they make different assumptions and interpret what we want differently.
  6. The right people don’t have access
  7. Sometimes the data is just plain wrong— it doesn’t include the latest numbers or it’s an old version, or it’s missing parts.

You can learn more about EPM and how it can help your organization build a common business process to execute its strategy in my book Enterprise Performance Management Done Right: An Operating System for Your Organization (Wiley CIO)

Modern Management System

A modern management system that promotes fact-based decision making, accountability, transparency, and turns your data into a competitive advantage is supported by the four cornerstones of Enterprise Performance Management – brought together by a robust governance framework, process and set of tools.  This is EPM:


Why are my numbers different than yours?

I had a great chat with @toby_hatch of Oracle on why organizations spend more time arguing about where they got their numbers than what actions to take based on their results.

Here’s Toby’s blog entry.And here’s the interview.


EPM and BI resources on twitter

Happy 2014!

I wanted to take a minute and share some good EPM and BI resources on twitter that I follow.  Enjoy!

@marcusborba @timoelliott @Ken_Hansen @wjdataguy @ProjectXLtd @BIWisdom @jasprice @jhurwitz

@howarddresner @MadaboutBI #BIWisdom @nenshad @lewandog @shawnrog @FrankBuytendijk

And there are lots more.  Check out @rondimon and see who I follow.  Please feel free to suggest other folks I should follow.


Oracle OpenWorld Radio Interview: EPM Done Right

Here’s an interview about my book by the Oracle Application Users Group, OAUG from Oracle OpenWorld 2013.  Hosted by Lee Kantor and  Stone Payton of BusinessRadioX:

Click here to listen.

This was a lot of fun to do and we hit on the business value of EPM and some hot topics like Data Relationship Management and Governance, how to get started in EPM, and how to ‘bring it all together.’  As we discuss, EPM is not just for CFO and CIO anymore, this interview appeals to any business manager and leader who is responsible for helping execute on company strategic objectives.

OAUG Interview


I was very happy to be selected as a delegate to the TEDxToronto 2013 Conference being held in September in my original home town.debate

The theme of the conference this year is “The Choices We Make.”  And while the conference presenters may focus on individual choice and social choice, I’ll be participating with my “organizational choice” hat on.  I’m very interested in how companies choose among an infinite number of options and scenarios on how to deploy resources, where to focus assets, and what day-to-day actions to take in order to further their strategic objectives and performance outcomes.

I like to think that nirvana is where a company has implemented a process of rigorous debate, supported by a culture of Read more of this post

SG&A Performance Management

Selling, General & Administrative (SG&A) expense is top of mind for many organizations right now.

Simple SG&A Value Map example

Simple SG&A Value Map example

Everyone in the enterprise has an impact on SG&A expenses.  From your salary, to the office supplies you use, to the travel you take on behalf of the company.  It’s everyone’s job to help maintain and control these expenses.

SG&A spend should be optimized at the “right” level to help deliver on the promises of the organization.  If they are at too low a level, sales revenue will suffer.  At too high a level, Read more of this post

Data Consumption is undergoing a major shift

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.

As EPM practitioners, our job is to help deliver better insights to the business, and the starting place is delivering useful information: on time, at the right level of detail, to the people who can use it to make a decision that helps improve short and long-term results.

With the plethora of data we’re getting, and with the speed at which change happens and transactions occur, it’s getting harder to find out exactly where you stand. How, when, where, and why we consume data is undergoing a major shift: Read more of this post

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

moneyHere are some of the ingredients to consider when developing your ROI for EPM:

  • Cost to build or acquire the system (hardware, software, network costs)
  • Don’t forget the ancillary costs to the above (e.g., a system may require an add-on license for a relational database management system [RDBMS] or middleware)
  • Cost of capital
  • Cost to operate, maintain, and upgrade
  • Training costs (administrators and users) Read more of this post
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