ABBA: Take a Chance on Me … Choose Performance Management in an Ailing Economy

January 8, 2009
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Did you see the movie “Mama Mia” with all the ABBA tunes? My favorite song was “Take a Chance on Me.” I think my wife did when I proposed marriage to her. I’m a little like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

But when it comes to the portfolio of business intelligence and performance management solutions, there is really no gamble. The methods are proven as effective when properly implemented. With today


Did you see the movie “Mama Mia” with all the ABBA tunes? My favorite song was “Take a Chance on Me.” I think my wife did when I proposed marriage to her. I’m a little like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

But when it comes to the portfolio of business intelligence and performance management solutions, there is really no gamble. The methods are proven as effective when properly implemented. With today’s global economic downturn, they are more relevant than ever.

Don’t ask what the return on investment (ROI) on any of them is until you are prepared to answer what the consequence of not taking action is. (Read my “Nag to Wag” blog for more. ) In Howard Dresner’s recent blog post, Howard observes key points related to how organizations should approach the current economic downturn:

“In the corporate world, we’re seeing many respond with a ‘kneejerk’ reaction to this malaise (of the economy): budget cuts, reductions in force (RIFs, layoffs), reduced financial guidance, asset sales, bankruptcies, etc. These organizations have adopted a sort of ‘bunker mentality’ to face the threat. As a result, they overreact, shedding more ‘ballast’ than they need to stay afloat. By exaggerating the challenge and overcompensating, they weaken their enterprise for the future. … While this may please Wall Street (in the near term), this sort of tactical approach doesn’t bode well for their future. In contrast, the wise organization carefully analyzes the current threat, developing multiple scenarios for the future and creates suitable short and long term plans. This forward-thinking approach allows management to proceed strategically, with an eye to the future, but still grounded in the present.”

Howard is so on target. It baffles me why some organizations hesitate to apply business intelligence (BI) tools and the performance management methodologies that convert BI’s potential into realized results. The use of strategy maps, causally linked scorecards, activity-based costing principles, optimized marketing campaigns and the rest of the performance management portfolio just makes good sense. It is not a faith-based decision but rather reasoned logic compared to what managerial and decision support practices most organizations use today such as spreadsheets, intuition, flawed standard cost accounting and politics.

“Take a chance?” Nah. Create your roadmap to start implementing them now. (Read my “Where Do You Begin Implementing Performance Management?” for more information.)

Gary Cokins