Monday Oct 28, 2013

Taking Your Business Scorecard Golfing

Our workplace world is definitely changing. Not only are we taking work home, but we are working during odd hours in some very strange places.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacques Vigeant, Product Strategy Manager for Oracle Business Intelligence and Enterprise Performance Management, on a Podcast, and he enlightened me about how our mobile devices and business scorecards are enabling us to be more accountable and keep a watchful eye on business – even while on the golf course.

Business scorecards have been around for many years - so I asked Jacques if he felt they had changed significantly due to technology. His answer was, “Yes, and no.”  Jacques agreed that scorecard enthusiasts are still passionate about executing the company strategy and monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), but scorecards and Business Intelligence (BI) as a whole have changed.  He explained that five to six years ago, people did BI work at the office and, for the most part, disconnected from their computer and workplace when they went home – with the exception of checking email and making a phone call or two. But now, that is no longer the case. People are virtually always connected with work and, more importantly, expect their BI and scorecards to be ‘always on,’ regardless of whether they are at their desk or somewhere else.

Basically, the BI paradigm has changed from a 'pull' model, where employees are at their desks querying or pulling information from the system, to a 'push' model where employees expect their BI and scorecard systems to reach out (or push information) to them when there is something of note to learn or something on which they need to take action.

I found this very interesting. However mobile devices do have their limitations with respect to screen sizes – does it really make sense to look at your strategy/scorecard on tiny devices? What kind of scorecard activities can you really expect to be able to do? Jacques’ answer was very logical. “When you think of a scorecard, it is really comprised of an organization of KPIs that are aligned with the strategic objectives of your company. KPIs are the heart of how you will execute your strategy. So, if you decompose that a little more, each KPI is well defined with the thresholds that you should keep an eye on and who is responsible for them. When we talk about scorecarding on a phone, we aren’t talking about surfing the strategy and exploring the strategy map like we do on the desktop. In a scorecarding context, we use the phone more as an alerting mechanism or simple monitoring device for your KPIs.”

Jacques gave a great example of an inventory manager who took part of an afternoon off to go golfing before winter finally hit, and while on the front nine holes, his phone vibrated. His scorecard was alerting him that the inventory levels for one of the products was below some threshold that he had set.  From his phone, he had set up three options within Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management (OSSM) for this type of situation:

  1. Contact the warehouse manager directly by phone and work it out (standard phone function)
  2. Tap/hold the KPI and add an annotation to the KPI in OSSM using the dictation capabilities of the phone and deal with it more fully when he gets back to the office
  3. Tap/hold the KPI and invoke a business process from OSSM to transfer product from another warehouse with higher stock levels to the one that needs it 



Being on a phone should still give you options to quickly deal with situations as needed, but mobile phones are not designed for nor should try to replicate the full desktop experience.

We covered other interesting subjects in the interview, including how Oracle is keeping pace with mobile innovation and new devices such as Google Glasses, Galaxy Gear, Pebble Watches and more, and how Oracle is handling mobile security– which is great news for our mobile workforce.

To listen to the entire Podcast, click here.
To learn more about Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management, click here.



Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Practical Uses of Business Scorecards, from Company-Wide to Process Specific

Scorecards for business have been around for many years, but implementing them successfully and extracting big benefits from them is still elusive for many organizations. Recently, Greg Rippstein, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, gave me some insight on practical approaches to business scorecards during a podcast interview.

With all the scorecard consultants and scorecard vendors that exist today, why are so many companies still having such mixed results with their implementations?  Greg shared his opinion on this question saying,  “When it comes to Scorecarding, I think companies tend to focus on the theoretical and not the practical. They read books like “The Balanced Scorecard” by Kaplan and Norton and then try to implement the exact framework.”  Greg explained that one single approach simply will not work for ALL organizations everywhere – especially given the diverse nature of them all. He felt that organizations need to focus on pain points and organize their scorecards around KPIs that measure the pain so they can set achievable targets to reduce the pain. He further explained that it’s not that the Balanced Scorecard approach is a bad approach, it’s just an approach that most companies need to evolve into or strive towards rather than begin with.

His advice was to start off small and grow your knowledge.  Create “practical scorecards” that help a department or process in your company improve and show success. “Success breeds success, so when you show the organization that one area is experiencing success, the other areas will pay attention,” Greg said. Others will seek out the knowledge that was gained and then use that to duplicate their own success.

Some of the “practical scorecards” that Greg has seen implemented include:

+ Company-wide scorecards – These are scorecards that incorporate all the major functions of a company and are driven by the corporate strategy
+ Industry scorecards – These usually focus on KPIs that are industry specific (like Healthcare, Consumer Goods, or Retail) and typically incorporate industry benchmarks like hospital bed turnover or store sales per square foot (for a retailer).
+ Functional Scorecards – These are scorecards that focus on a specific business function or department within a company such as purchasing or shipping.
+ Process Scorecards – These are focused on critical processes within a company, like production in a manufacturing facility or, more broadly, a company’s supply chain.

Greg gave the podcast audience a good example of a process scorecard – in this case, a supply chain scorecard.  A  supply chain process might include a company ordering parts from a supplier, the supplier shipping the parts, the customer receiving the parts, consuming and selling the parts, and in some cases returning the parts.  This process is also sometimes referred to as “Source, Make, Deliver and Return.”  An industry standard representation of a supply chain model called SCOR (supply chain operations reference model) has been established by the Supply Chain Council. The SCOR model includes a series of KPIs that make up a supply chain scorecard. The KPIs are grouped into five major groups: Reliability, Responsiveness, Flexibility, Costs and Management. Reliability, for example, contains the KPI “Perfect Order Fulfillment,” which measures the percentage of time that a customer’s order can be delivered with no changes, no backlog, and no returns, while Responsiveness uses “Order Fulfillment Cycle Time” to measure how quickly the supply chain can deliver the goods. 

A company would set up a supply chain scorecard with these KPIs and set targets against each. The targets might be internally set or based on industry benchmarks. The entire scorecard allows the company to monitor and improve key aspects of their supply chain.

Finally, Greg talked about the need for good software to make it all work. Greg told our audience that Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management is an application that gives Oracle customers a wide range of options and flexibility to implement any type of scorecard.

To listen to the entire podcast, click here.

To learn more about Oracle Scorecard and Strategy Management, click here.


About

This blog will highlight key EPM market trends, recent events and other news of interest to our field, customers and partners.

Search

Categories
Archives
« October 2013 »
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
29
30
31
  
       
Today