The continuously increasing demands from stakeholders pressure organizations, managers and individuals to define and achieve performance, in order to adapt faster to the increased competition and changing environment.
High performing organisations develop and communicate a clear set of strategic goals, objectives and measures of success (de Waal, 2008). Aligning and creating a link between individual, operational and organisational goals and plans is often a hard process to implement. Therefore the strategy intended does not have an impact for the very people it was designed for, in order for them to implement it.
One of the five characteristics of high performance organisations are high quality management, which means that managers need to have an effective, strong and confident management style and are trusted by the other employees (de Waal, 2008). In order to support their management styles, executives use technology based support solutions.
Technology as a key support area
Information technology is a very important dimension within high performing organisations, as it is a key support area for innovation, business process and operational management. Many organizations traditionally spend a lot of time and resources on implementing new IT systems so that many processes in the organisation are supported.
The purpose of using technology support for performance management at individual level is to identify and minimize the performance gaps between strategy implementation, to improve and sustain employee performance, and evaluate the results against the requirements. Most software solutions designed to respond to individual performance management cover mostly employees performance appraisal, review and evaluation.
A recent report conducted by Ventana Research, found that organizations have developed a n increased interest in performance management (PM) and business intelligence (BI), 41% of respondents recognizing it as a future priority. Managers especially prioritize PM and BI highly, due to their interest in managing employees’ performance (Ventana Research, 2010).
The use of BI and PM aims for solving specific needs, as reflected in the figure below:
Source: Ventana Research (2010)
However, the research paints a picture of a market in an early stage of development. It shows that most organizations face considerable obstacles. They have only basic BI capabilities such as:
- querying sources for specific data (74%)
- generating reports from data (74%)
- accessing data from a spreadsheet for further analysis (70%).
According to the research, two-thirds (66%) of organisations are planning to evaluate and implement new technologies. The most important 10 steps that recommended by the research are:
1. Assess the organization’s maturity in BI and performance management.
2. Consider the effectiveness of the current tools and applications.
3. Reduce the number of BI tools and the use of spreadsheets.
4. Compare the BI capabilities already in place with the ones desired.
5. Determine whether products currently in use can handle performance management well.
6. Identify the types of data needed to access and analyze.
7. Consider adopting or expanding metrics for performance management.
8. Address organizational barriers to improving BI and performance management.
9. Look into alternative means of software deployment
10. Examine software that can be deployed across roles in the enterprise (Ventana Research, 2010).
- de Waal, A. (2008), The role of Information Technology in the High Performance Organization, Center for Organizational Performance.
- Ventana Research (2010), 10 Steps to 21st Century BI & Performance Management, available at: http://intelligent-enterprise.informationweek.com/channels/performance_management/corporate/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=OSCHQC5GOMUN1QE1GHPSKHWATMY32JVN?articleID=225200684&pgno=2 (accessed 13 September 2010)
- smartKPIs.com (2010), Enhancing business performance wth intelligent data visualization – Ideas from sport, smartKPIs.com Blog, available at http://www.smartkpis.com/blog/2010/06/28/enhancing-business-performance-with-intelligent-data-visualization-ideas-from-sport/
, (accessed 20 January 2011)
- smartKPIs.com (2010), A periodic table of data visualization methods, smartKPIs.com Blog, available athttp://www.smartkpis.com/blog/2010/12/29/a-periodic-table-of-data-visualization-methods/, (accessed 20 January 2011)
- smartKPIs.com (2010), Intelligent data Visualization – FIFA 2010 BAlon d’Or, smartKPIs.com Blog available at http://www.smartkpis.com/blog/2011/01/10/intelligent-data-visualization-%E2%80%93-fifa-2010-balon-d%E2%80%99or/, (accessed 20 January 2011)