What are the best ways to improve your company’s performance management? Here are seven practical suggestions for achieving a higher level of BPM maturity.
Business performance management (BPM) helps companies measure and monitor key performance indicators and analytics to keep their critical priorities on track and ensure they are meeting their strategic goals.
We’ve already talked about a business performance management (BPM) maturity model that companies can use to assess their level of BPM maturity and understand their trajectory for evolution and improvement.
But once you assess your company’s current level on the BMP maturity model, what’s the best way to learn from the success factors of thriving companies so you can achieve your goals?
Here are seven ways to improve your performance management maturity:
1. Get Pervasive Buy-In
To enable a successful BPM implementation, it is vital that companies create pervasive buy-in.
Any management initiative is going to fail (or will deliver limited benefits) if you don't get ownership and buy-in throughout your company. The top team in your organization will probably spearhead the effort and will communicate the need and reasons for measuring and managing performance throughout the organization.
When management engages with the grassroots level in the design and communication of the BPM approach, everyone can trust the data, they will understand how the data will be used, and they will know the overall rationale for the BPM approach.
2. Motivation for BPM
What are your primary reasons for implementing BMP?
The most mature and successful implementations are those in which BPM is introduced voluntarily by the company to improve decision-making and generate new insights that will drive performance improvements.
If your company is introducing BPM because of external needs to report – which is often the case in government organizations or highly regulated industries where central government or regulatory bodies force reporting – there is likely to be resistance from team members.
Sometimes the reason for implementing BPM involuntarily is internal. Senior management teams or internal quality departments could force performance reporting and measurement.
Voluntary motivations will beat involuntary motivations every time when it comes to improving your performance management maturity.
3. Integrate Operational and Strategic Approaches
Traditionally, companies use key performance indicators (KPIs) on two levels:
- Strategically – to monitor the execution of the strategic goals and objectives. For example, these might be high-level KPIs based on the strategic objectives of an organization such as customer satisfaction scores or financial performance.
- Operationally – to monitor and improve operational performance. These KPIs will monitor and measure operational effectiveness metrics like quality measures, waste levels, capacity utilization, or process optimization metrics.
Many companies struggle to integrate these strategic and operational metrics, which can create a disconnect in priorities.
To improve your performance management, integrate a strategic and operational approach to BPM. Align strategic and operational KPIs with strategy maps or mission and vision statements.
4. Integrate Performance Measurement and Analytics
Businesses that are on a higher level on the performance management security scale have a high level of integration between traditional KPI measurement and analytics.
KPI measurement is more static, with its focus on high-level metrics to monitor performance against high-level goals. Analytics are more dynamic, using wider and larger data sets to challenge the business, asking "What, why, and how" questions.
By combining these approaches to BPM, you can generate richer and more comprehensive business insights.
5. Use a Forward-Thinking Approach
Traditionally, companies used performance data to report historic information, such as the performance of the previous quarter or the success of the most recent marketing campaign.
To improve your performance management, use a more sophisticated approach that tracks performance in real-time and allows your company to take a peek into the future with predictive analytics and statistical modeling. This more advanced approach will allow you to predict trends, behaviors, sales, and more.
Any performance measurement and management activity should be concerned with your next quarter and the things your company needs to do to improve performance.
6. Ensure Data Quality
If you want good insights that lead to improved decisions for your company, you need data you can trust. The old adage “garbage in, garbage out” is particularly apt in this situation.
Ensure data reliability before putting sophisticated reporting or shiny dashboard solutions in place.
7. Use Upgraded BPM Technology
Outdated methods like spreadsheets, Word documents, and Powerpoints slides have limitations for collecting, analyzing, and reporting performance information.
Today's sophisticated IT solutions provide integrated BPM platforms that enable companies to enact the best practices above. Using an integrated performance management and analytics suite generates the most benefits because a suite can perform predictive and Big Data analytics and enable companies to visualize performance in interactive graphs and reports delivered to mobile devices over the internet.
To find out more about how to measure, report, and manage progress so you can improve performance, check out the articles on my website or my YouTube channel.