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Improving Performance Management, Strategic Alignment and Operational Execution

I was reading this Financial Insights piece today - U.S. Bank Survey: Performance Management (subscription required) - and it struck me that there is a key role for Enterprise Decision Management to play in organizations as they try and do more with their performance management. According to Jeanne Capachin, research vice president, Global Banking,

"There is no common road map U.S. banks are following to improve performance management capabilities, but all see investment in performance management as a key initiative and a foundation from which they can grow and manage their businesses more effectively"

Like most reports on performance management approaches and technologies, this report focuses on how better access to information and analysis by all levels of management can improve decision-making. This is, of course, true. However it is only half the problem as management are not the only people who make decisions - the front line staff, the website, the ATMs, even the software that prints the monthly statements also make decisions, decisions about how to interact with customers. These people, and these systems, are not going to be able to usefully access "traditional" performance management tools no matter how well designed.

What they need are prescriptive guidelines as to what action or actions to take at each point. These actions need to be informed by the customer value analysis done by management and the strategic targets set by management but they require an Enterprise Decision Management approach. You must focus on the automation and improvement of these high-volume, operational decisions not just on measuring and understanding their cumulative impact. Ideally the management team can use analytical tools and approaches to compare different approaches, make the necessary trade-offs and then have their chosen approach rapidly and accurately implemented by the front-line. With front-line systems and staff focused on straight through processing and completing transactions satisfactorily first time, the strategic decisions of management must be turned into automated decisions. However, the time to market for new strategies must also be kept to a minimum. This means making it possible to automate front-line decisions in a way that allows management to control and change them. This is the essence of EDM - operational automation and strategic alignment.

So if performance management matters to you, so should EDM.

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