Designing a d-EPM solution
d-EPM brings together three elements that underpin a more dynamic, agile and actionable performance management process:
- Data: Broad and varied datasets (internal and external) that provide insight into markets, customers, operations and finances on a continuous basis
- Technology: Digital technologies that allow for the rapid collection, structuring, sharing and analysis and visualization of data to inform strategies, plans and budgets
- Talent: Equipping business leadership teams and their functional support staffs with the skills and confidence to rapidly interpret and action the insights delivered through d-EPM
Work to be done
Getting the technology right
Sophisticated technology is at the core of the d-EPM approach. Ideally, technology should help the finance organization to 1) reduce and/or eliminate manual intervention, freeing up professional time for analysis and decision-making; 2) accelerate the speed at which data can be captured, processed, analyzed and disseminated; and 3) reduce reliance on spreadsheets to offer improved integrity, more sophisticated analytics, richer visualization, and better collaboration.
Fortunately, the technology (such as cloud) supporting d-EPM has become less expensive and less disruptive to implement. At the next level, companies are incorporating data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence into the planning process.
Next steps toward d-EPM
Although the right technology is an indispensable part of d-EPM, the move towards d-EPM really begins with a series of organizational initiatives including:
- Making finance a collaborator, rather than an intermediary, in the planning process, teaming up with business leadership and acknowledging that the process should be business-driven rather than finance driven;
- Making a commitment to data-driven decision-making; and
- Building flexibility and agility into the process, allowing the real-time flow of information to indicate changes in forecasts and in resource allocation rather than adhering to a static monthly or quarterly calendar