Are You Managing Your Performance?

It is no secret that we are presently experiencing an economic downturn. Running a successful and profitable organization is no easy feat to begin with, let alone in these current market conditions. The corporate leaders of today are battling a plethora of obstacles ranging from fluctuating capital markets, pressures from investors, proposed new regulations and not to mention good old fashioned competition from their competitors. Penny pinching and resourceful budgeting have become standard practice across the board for most industries. As sales are down and earnings diminishing, many may believe that cutting back on spending is the logical approach, but as a recent article "Captain Jack and the BPM Market: Performance Management in Turbulent Times" by John Colbert in Business Performance Magazine outlines, there is one key factor that is well worth the investment.

As Mr. Colbert states, "Business Performance Management (BPM) is one of the few IT investments receiving heighted focus during this economic downturn. You might think that companies would be well advised to cut back their spending on software. Yet when it comes to managing performance and profits, it actually might make sense to invest in systems that can help you to improve the bottom line, better analyze and forecast your business, and improve decision making." This is becoming even more evident as companies who have BPM systems already implemented are currently projecting and planning towards the future based on the critical data they've collected organization-wide, while companies who have not adopted a BPM system are left reviewing dated Excel spreadsheets and dormant reports that as Mr. Colbert puts it, "may help them to understand where they’ve come from but don't do much to show where they should be going."

From October 2008 to February 2009 BPM Partners conducted the 2009 BPM Pulse survey, interviewing over 850 senior executives to gauge the current professional perspective on the topic of Business Performance Management. They found that over half (52%) of the executives surveyed said they will be increasing their focus on performance management investments. As improving performance management surfaced as a priority for many of the firms surveyed, other data further illustrates the repercussions for companies who have not yet adopted a BPM system to identify performance improvements. As Mr. Colbert explains, "According to research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board entitled 'Executive Guidance for 2009', companies that make it into the top quartile during a downturn sustain their market premium for an average of three years. With stakes this high, any failure to assertively identify performance improvement opportunities during the slowdown can spell trouble for less well-positioned companies. The principle of survival of the fittest is already being applied to the financial services, automotive manufacturing, and print media markets. Firms that wish to sustain a healthy future need to act now or risk becoming a casualty of market evolution." As many organizations are now trying to do more with less, having a forward-thinking plan for the future is critical. An effective BPM system that identifies where costs come from, where opportunities lie and where improvements can be made allows organizations to trim their less profitable and less strategic operations ultimately positioning them best to sustain and progress successfully into the future.

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