Companies can’t afford to set loose goals around corporate performance management. Start by picturing the ideal end state.
We may have already reached that point in the new year where, if you haven’t actively started trying to lose weight or get in shape, it’s not going to happen in 2017. Goal-setting is easier than goal-getting, of course, but Alan Hart is betting on the power of positive visualization to make at least one potential resolution come true.
In a recent post on Business2Community, the technology industry consultant reflects on the many finance teams that want to change the way they work, or who work in companies determined to develop a more forward-looking strategy, but somehow fail to make the leap. That leap, as Hart defines it, is to move to more advanced applications than what tend to be found among CFOs and their staff today. He describes a future where an alternate reality looks a lot more attractive:
With each accounting period close, you became more familiar with your new CPM (corporate performance management) solution and found ways to improve the reporting presentation and the interpretation of the data the system provides. The second annual budget you prepare with your new software will be much smoother. You’ll discover more ways to collect budget data from operational units. You’ll learn to better use the system’s built-in logic to create forecasts driven by data and applied logic to perfectly match your business model, and you’ll appreciate the software’s built-in accounting rules, which immediately result in more meaningful reports.
“The best CPM projects are profitable and allow the company to compute a positive ROI.”
Who wouldn’t want that? The big stumbling block may be that CPM is just one priority among many in the enterprise, and organizing the various stakeholders who need to get it in place seems like an overwhelming effort. If that’s the case, it’s worth looking at ‘Project Planning For A New Corporate Performance Management System’ on TechTarget, where another consultant outlines some of the key steps to keep in mind. This includes:
- Decide where CPM should be implemented
- Decide where and how work that involves CPM gets done
- Identify project leadership
- Choose the right CPM solution
- Ensure interoperability/integration with existing systems
You could argue about which of those steps should come before the others, but one in particular might help galvanize such projects in general, which the author summed up as follows:
“It is particularly important to understand why you are undertaking the project. On a simple level, your budgeting techniques may be poor and you want to get budgeting under control. Or you may need to report consolidated financial results,” the article syas. “The best CPM projects are profitable and allow the company to compute a positive ROI. For example, you might want to cut costs by 10% without impacting revenue or quality. Give serious thought to how a corporate performance management system can improve your bottom line.”
Everyone knows the new year’s resolutions likely to be achieved are specific, measurable, action-oriented, results-driven and time-based, or SMART. This is the year a lot of companies are going to get particularly SMART about CPM.