.. This could easily be the text of a banner the management of many companies nowadays would hang on the entrance to their IT departments. The business strategy is in place, and now it has to be implemented. A vital element of the implementation of the business strategy is follow-up – are we on the right path? – do we need to make any tweaks? – how much do we need to tweak – and when?
All of these are questions that get their answers through the KPI reporting available in the company’s dashboards.
Implementation times are way too long
Long IT implementation times sometimes mean that the KPIs that are supposed to aid and support the adopted business strategy are not available in the reporting solutions until the strategy is many months old. And then it is probably too late as many of the strategic changes will already be under way or will perhaps even be completed before IT gets back to you.
Quality in the reporting most often requires activities such as requirement specifications, “Impact Assessment”, development, testing, documentation and training. A somewhat comprehensive and inexpediently long implementation process that runs counter to a here-and-now need in the Company.
New KPI tomorrow
A very valid demand from the management can therefore be a more agile development model that can ensure the implementation of new critical KPIs in a matter of hours rather than weeks or months.
However, if such a setup is indeed adopted, it will not take long until the management feels the need to put to use the old banner, yet again: “We can’t stand this any more!” This time it will be faulty KPIs, unstable reporting solutions, long response times and data security breaches that will be the problem.
But who is right?
- The management, which cannot accept having to run in the dark for long periods of time when it is actually of critical importance to get facts about the company’s performance and results?
- The IT, which has designed its processes in such a way as to ensure high quality and stability of its BI solutions?
“Both parties” would probably be the right answer. The solution lies in implementing a governance model and a corresponding architecture in the company’s reporting system. The focus should not only be on providing a high quality of reporting today, but also on being prepared for the KPI changes we all know will come tomorrow, when the business strategy changes.
It can be done
At the Innovation Forum held on 9 April 2015 at Tivoli’s congress centre, Arla demonstrated how they have managed to establish a KPI model in SAP BI that accommodates the management’s needs with regard to KPI reporting:
- Continuous and relevant decision-making information (High agility in KPI management)
- Globally valid and relevant KPIs (governance model owned by, e.g. the BI Competence Centre, BICC)
- Great flexibility & very short response times
- Control of data security and stability
Arla have presumably thrown their “We can’t stand this any more!” banner away in the trash. Write us if you would like to do the same or if you want to borrow inspiration