Having thought about all the above, you are still left with too many choices for performance management software. So how do you know which of the different vendors to go with? How do you cut down the list from 50 to 3 that you might want to put on a shortlist? What is the process of making the right decision about selecting the appropriate solution? Here we present a framework that assists you in the decision process.
Strategic Performance Management Software Selection Framework
Selecting the right strategic performance management software solution is a major decision for most organisations. The prices for software solutions vary enormously from a few thousand Dollars to far over a million Dollars. A realistic starting price lies at about $30,000, with typical spends in the region of $200,000 for reasonable sized organisations. Making the wrong decision, buying the wrong software, can not only result in a significant waste of time, energy and money, but can also undermine the entire strategic performance management effort and the credibility of the performance management system you are trying to put in place.
Where to start?
The starting point for any performance management software selection process has to be the recognition that each organisation has a unique set of requirements for their strategic performance management approach. It is therefore not possible to provide a list of requirements that is appropriate for every organisation. Organisations differ in terms of size, IT infrastructure, communication style, required level of security, cash position, strategic design, IT literacy, in-house capabilities, etc. All these aspects affect the selection criteria of an appropriate software solution. For the purpose of developing a selection framework this means that I can present the criteria you need to consider, but then you have to decide what you need and weigh each of the criteria to reflect your unique set of requirements.
Following the same logic, each of the different software solutions that are available have different strengths and weaknesses. Particular packages will be relevant for certain organisations, while they may be completely inappropriate for others.
Clearly know what you want from your performance management software tool
It is therefore best to start with identifying what you really want and need from your performance management software and then see whether that is available from packaged application vendors. The easiest way to do this is to create a two-directional matrix in which you put weightings against each criteria, this matrix can then be used to compare available software product against the organisational requirements. In the other articles we define and explain each of the ten selection criteria you should think about before choosing a strategic performance management software application.