Strategy and operations is becoming a competitive edge for leading growth stage companies. No longer is this a department solely focused on financial reporting or checking the box for adding process and structure at scale. The leading strategy and operations teams are driving growth and uncovering opportunities across every layer of your business.
With the evolution of strategy and operations, also comes the need for the reimagination of the solutions and tools traditionally used by strategy and ops leaders. One key platform that is going through a revitalization is business performance management software.
For those that aren't familiar with a business performance management platform, a quick description would be an information system that supports the planning and assessment needs of executive management and is critical for how data across different areas is unified or brought together.
As businesses have continued to evolve, the need for traditional business operations management software has as well. Yet, for many strategy and ops leaders, this is an area where their needs are outpacing the legacy platforms they turned to.
With complex, dated models and interfaces, the business performance management software being used to help businesses scale, isn’t able to keep up. Business performance management software has slowly fallen by the wayside, and companies are turning to more dynamic solutions to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of today's landscape.
This was a challenge our founding team experienced firsthand at past growth stage companies, and ultimately what helped lead to the creation of, Elate, the modern day business performance management software. Elate is the leading Strategic Planning software built to help high growth companies communicate their vision, create alignment, and track performance all in one place.
From working with hundreds of leading strategy and ops leaders, we wanted to share how companies today are thinking about the operating framework they are implementing to scale their businesses.
Before starting your evaluation process for the right business performance management software, let's first start with the overall operating cadence and structure you are looking to implement. Often referred to as a corporate performance management framework, this can take the shape of a number of different goal-setting frameworks. Just some of the concepts include Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), Management by Objectives (MBOs), 4DX, or even SMART Goals.
Regardless of your framework, it's important to note that each structure should be tailored and even slightly modified for your business. Countless companies try to implement an operating framework only to have it fail from the start or struggle to gain adoption. Your business is unique, and your operating structure should take that into account.
It's also important to recognize that different frameworks will work better depending on the stage of the company. Selecting a goal-setting framework for a company growing 300% year-over-year vs 10% year-over-year is critical to the process.
Once you've answered the question of what is corporate performance management framework, and what's the best framework for my business, then we can move to understanding what types of solutions exist.
From evaluations of corporate performance management Gartner and others have evaluated to reading corporate performance management articles, it's important to recognize that unless you're looking at examples related to your business, you're going to struggle to identify the best solution to scale with your company.
In looking at corporate performance management examples that are relevant to your business, let's start by understanding the challenges you are looking to solve. A couple common examples we see include the following:
- New Product Release: In taking on the challenge of building a new product, it isn't just on the engineering team. Product, Marketing, Sales, and a number of other areas of the business are tied to the overall success your company is driving towards. To improve the performance of a business process, you should ask yourself which of the following are the most relevant outcomes in releasing a new product: Net New Revenue, Customer NPS, Customer Retention, New Leads, or Upsells.
The likelihood is that the outcome being sought with a new product release requires time on the front end justifying the expected outcome, understanding the time and resources needed to bring the product to reality, as well as how we measure success. This is a great example of how a business performance management solution, like Elate, can bring all of this information together.
- Evaluating Hiring Plans: Whether you are looking for a BPM software for small business or for an enterprise company, being able to evaluate and discuss a hiring plan is critical. Further, how do you go about looking at multiple hiring plans and assessing which is right for your business? Hiring plans are tied to objectives or goals being set by the company, a solution like Elate can show what are the different trajectories for your business based on the different model you want to evaluate.
The research behind corporate performance management software Gartner and other companies have done can be a good place to start. However, understanding whether the examples of your business align with the intent of the solution you choose to leverage is essential in the ongoing tracking and evaluation of your team's performance across the business.
Too often companies fall into the trap of thinking that by using a business performance management software to monitor performance, they will immediately see an uptick in productivity and eliminate any issues in their business. We've even seen some companies view business improvement software as a way to keep tabs on employees.
While a solution like Elate is designed to surface opportunities for growth, what it isn't designed to do is serve as a timecard replacement for employees. Elate is built to help drive accountability for goals and outcomes, automate follow-up, and communicate your company’s vision to the whole organization.
This means aligning your teams around a rallying cry or a long term vision.
Corporate performance measurement of the past or OKR tools of today serve little value if it’s just another tool you ask employees to use without context to the bigger picture.
The purpose of a strategic planning or business improvement software is to help employees surface challenges, allow leadership to remove barriers, and even double-down on what's working. Don't fall into the trap of thinking performance management is just asking employees to fill out a weekly timecard.
As companies continue to evolve so will the corporate performance management systems that allow opportunities to be surfaced. However, it's important that we start to let go of the corporate performance management definition of the past, and start to think of this process as an ever-changing, evolving structure designed to allow our business to make the best decisions in real time.
The traditional corporate performance management tools that take months to implement, require a team of analysts, and are static, glorified versions of excel are long gone.
Elate was built to help high growth companies as they scale. Roll out your strategic plan with Elate and align your team like never before. Transparently execute on what is most important and easily track progress towards your goals.
If you'd like to learn more about how we are working with other strategy and ops leaders to help redefine how they view business performance management, reach out to our team today. We'd love to share what we've built for you and your team!