Creating and executing an EPM strategy is no small task.  In our business, we speak with a variety of Technology and Finance leaders about the challenges they face when it comes to optimizing their financial reporting and performance management systems.

Specifically, we work with enterprise performance management (EPM) leaders and their counterparts who have successfully confronted their legacy and change-averse processes and chartered their organization through a technology and cultural transformation.

There are many people, processes, and systems to consider while developing your EPM strategy. In this blog, series we hope to share some insights to ensure every piece of your strategy is complete.

Put purpose at the center

Many companies consider purpose merely an addition to their strategy, but the most successful companies put it at their core. You can take a retrospective approach which requires you to look back on the past or you can be prospective and visualize the possibilities of where you want to be in the future. Where can we go? Which trends will impact our financials or impede growth? What new challenges and opportunities lie ahead?

The journey begins by looking within. Find what challenges your employees face with their current processes and analytics platforms. Start by conducting internal surveys between managers and employees of all levels. Encourage open dialog and sharing of information. Leaders will more effectively accomplish sustainable business outcomes if they put purpose at the center of their EPM strategy.

Identify gaps between your current and future processes

The first step in moving your business forward is understanding your starting position. Peel back the layers and identify which areas of your organization needs improvement.  

For example, let’s say you are looking for better ways to manage your financial data, you could be in the market for a financial planning or forecasting solution. You will need a thorough evaluation of data availability and your current infrastructure in order to map pain points to solutions.

By spending time evaluating and monitoring current processes you can begin to map out the internal and external resources needed to improve these functions.

Deepen ties with stakeholders

Engaging with key stakeholders may seem like a bunch of buzzwords, but it's one of the most critical factors. Nominate project managers and organized leaders who can communicate effectively with team members and take initiative. Often times, EPM implementation tasks will be done outside of day-to-day activities so you need personnel who will go the extra mile.  

Most employees don't understand how they are connected to the strategy. Make it clear to everyone in the organization that their role is important and make sure everyone understands what they should be doing. Motivate employees daily on how their work impacts the overall strategy. Allow them to operate freely, ask questions, submit ideas and work across organizational silos to tackle cross-functional challenges.

Finding the right EPM tools  

There is no one-size-fits all approach to improving EPM performance. If your organization is currently on-premise, does it have cloud initiatives, or do you seek an out-of-the box solution? Prioritize your requirements.

The cost of EPM software, ease of integration and access control of each solution will vary greatly. We work with multiple EPM technologies – Oracle, OneStream, Anaplan, and others -so we suggest weighing the pros and cons and being completely transparent about any limitations.

No one’s EPM journey is the same, but there are resources available to help you ensure that every piece of your EPM strategy is complete.

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