Business performance management (BPM) is more than just a piece of software; it represents a whole new approach to management. The business performance management system you implement will ultimately make major changes in your enterprise and will give you deeper insights into how successful each and every process within your organization may be. Great care must be taken when selecting a business performance management system, as well as selecting the company that installs it.
Before even looking at a business performance management system, it’s important to analyze what you want to get out of it. There are several different components to BPM, and different vendors may have strengths in different areas. You may decide you want to use the business performance management system as a tool for continuous improvement, or perhaps as a tool for forecasting and gaining insight into operational processes. Map out these needs ahead of time before you start the acquisition phase. Be very specific in your list of requirements and expectations, and take time to list specific needs, challenges, and problems that you want to solve with the system.
BPM is not an over-the-counter tool and acquiring it will take some thought. The cost is usually significant. Good acquisition protocol demands an RFP to be issued, allowing you to review the capabilities of different vendors and how their solutions will fit withing your enterprise.
Once you have a short list of potential vendors, feedback will become an important part of the selection process. BPM is an inter-departmental process and selection of the business performance management system will require multiple department heads to buy into the concept. Therefore, it is recommended that evaluation be done by a panel consisting of representatives from every area within the company that will be affected by the business performance management system.
Every vendor, of course, has marketing brochures and sales pitches that put their product in the best light. But during the selection process, remember that BPM is a highly individualized system. Since you have already identified what specific needs the business performance management system must answer, share this information with each vendor and find out specifically how they can address each of those needs.
The features you require from your business performance management system will vary depending on your own internal needs, but a few basics that are almost universally desirable include an easy interface, which allows managers to access and analyze data on an as-needed, ad hoc basis. Regular reports should also be generated, which can be drilled-down easily; and managers should be able to perform what-if analyses without the need for assistance from the IT department.
Scalability is also an important factor, as your business performance management system may need to serve multiple divisions spread across a wide area. As the business performance management system gains utility, it will become more popular, and more users will seek to have access to it.
Want more on Business Performance Management? Find the best BPM software in the industry with Business-Software.com’s Top 10 Business Process Management Software report. For additional reading material, check out the Business Intelligence resource page.