Business performance management requires business process change

A survey we conducted in November 2004 of end-user organizations undertaking business performance management initiatives found that almost half were required to make changes to existing business processes in order to support implementing their business performance management solutions.

Specifically, when asked the question, “Were you required to change any business processes in order to support/implement your organization’s business performance management solution?” survey participants responded as follows:

48% said “yes”

12% said “no”

40% said “too early to tell”

The most important point to take away from these findings is that organizations planning a business performance management effort should plan on having to change some of their business processes. This suggests that, if possible, organizations should attempt to identify which processes will require change prior to implementing the solution (i.e., during planning stages).

Obviously, it will not be possible to identify all processes that require modification — or the degree to which they will need to be modified — in advance, because new issues will almost certainly arise during implementation. This will prove especially true for organizations taking an incremental approach to business performance management. (Our findings show that almost half of organizations currently implementing business performance management solutions have chosen the incremental implementation approach.)

Organizations should at least attempt to come up with a good list of candidates. Because this may prove difficult, it is recommended that organizations see that their business performance management and business process management teams collaborate to identify redundant and/or obsolescent processes.

The second important finding is that, simply put, many organizations’ business performance management initiatives are only in the very early or formative stages — basically “too early for them to tell” whether or not they will have to change any business processes. Regardless, my gut feeling is that at least half of these organizations will come to realize that, as their business performance management initiatives progress, they will be required to make modifications to business processes.

As a result, I’m going to go out on a limb and estimate that, in a year or so, when we conduct another survey, we’ll find that 65% or more of organizations implementing business performance management initiatives will be required to change or modify existing business processes in order to support those initiatives.

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