Business performance management (BPM) (or corporate performance management, enterprise performance management, operational performance management, business performance optimization) consists of a set of processes that help organizations optimize their business performance. It provides a framework for organizing, automating and analyzing business methodologies, metrics, processes and systems that drive business performance.
Colin White  describes a link between business intelligence and business performance management. “The biggest growth area in operational BI analysis is in the area of business performance management (BPM). Operational BPM applications not only analyze the performance …, but also compare the measured performance against business goals and alert business users when actual performance is out of line with business goals.”
BPM helps businesses make efficient use of their financial, human, material and other resources. The key differentiator between BI and BPM is that BPM contains the concept of a control or feedback loop that helps guide the business towards its goals. BI may provide the analytics to help the business set those goals and to monitor progress towards them.
In the past[update], owners have sought to drive strategy down and across their organizations, they have struggled to transform strategies into actionable metrics and they have grappled with meaningful analysis to expose the cause-and-effect relationships that, if understood, could give profitable insight to their operational decision-makers.
Corporate performance management (CPM) software and methods allow a systematic, integrated approach that links enterprise strategy to core processes and activities. “Running by the numbers” now means something: planning, budgeting, analysis and reporting can give the measurements that empower management decisions.
Reference to non-business performance management occurs in Sun Tzu‘s The Art of War. Sun Tzu claims that to succeed in war, one should have full knowledge of one’s own strengths and weaknesses and full knowledge of one’s enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. Lack of either one might result in defeat. A certain school of thought[which?] draws parallels between the challenges in business and those of war, specifically:
- collecting data – both internal and external
- discerning patterns and meaning in the data (analyzing)
- responding to the resultant information
Prior to the start of the Information Age in the late 20th century, businesses sometimes took the trouble to laboriously collect data from non-automated sources. As they lacked computing resources to properly analyze the data, they often made commercial decisions primarily on the basis of intuition.
As businesses started automating more and more systems, more and more data became available. However, collection remained a challenge due to a lack of infrastructure for data exchange or due to incompatibilities between systems. Reports on the data gathered sometimes took months to generate. Such reports allowed informed long-term strategic decision-making. However, short-term tactical decision-making often continued to rely on intuition.
Increasing standards, automation, and technologies have led to vast amounts of data becoming available. Data warehouse technologies have set up repositories to store this data. Improved ETL and Enterprise Application Integration tools have increased the speedy collecting of data. OLAP reporting technologies have allowed faster generation of new reports which analyze the data. Business intelligence has now become the art of sieving through large amounts of data, extracting useful information and turning that information into actionable knowledge.
In 1989 Howard Dresner, a research analyst at Gartner, popularized “business intelligence” as an umbrella term to describe a set of concepts and methods to improve business decision-making by using fact-based support systems. Performance Management builds on a foundation of BI, but marries it to the planning and control cycle of the enterprise – with enterprise planning, consolidation and modeling capabilities.
“Business performance management”, “corporate performance management” and “enterprise performance management” are all synonyms. BPM as an acronym can be confused with “business process management“.
Use of the term “BPM” can cause confusion with “business process management“. Use of terms such as “corporate performance management” or “enterprise performance management” can avoid that confusion.
 Definition and scope
Business performance management consists of a set of management and analytic processes, supported by technology, that enable businesses to define strategic goals and then measure and manage performance against those goals. Core BPM processes include financial and operational planning, consolidation and reporting, business modeling, analysis, and monitoring of key performance indicators linked to strategy.
BPM involves consolidation of data from various sources, querying, and analysis of the data, and putting the results into practice.
BPM enhances processes by creating better feedback loops. Continuous and real-time reviews can help to identify and eliminate problems before they grow. BPM’s forecasting abilities help companies take corrective action in time to meet earnings projections. Forecasting is characterized by a high degree of predictability which is put into good use to answer what-if scenarios.
BPM provides key performance indicators (KPIs) that help companies monitor efficiency of projects and employees against operational targets.
Various methodologies for implementing BPM exist. The discipline gives companies a top-down framework by which to align planning and execution, strategy and tactics, and business unit and enterprise objectives. Reactions may include the Six Sigma strategy, balanced scorecard, activity-based costing (ABC), Total Quality Management, economic value-add, and integrated strategic measurement.
The balanced scorecard is the most widely adopted performance management methodology. Methodologies on their own cannot deliver a full solution to an enterprise’s CPM needs. Many pure methodology implementations fail to deliver the anticipated benefits due to lack of integration with the fundamental CPM processes.
 Metrics / key performance indicators
For business data analysis to become a useful tool, an enterprise must understand its goals and objectives – essentially, it must know the desired direction of progress. To help with this analysis, someone[who?] prescribes key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the present state of the business and to prescribe a course of action.
Metrics and KPIs are critical in prioritization what has to be measured. The methodology used helps in determining the metrics to be used by the organization. Managerial folk-wisdom says that one cannot manage what cannot be measured. Identifying the key metrics and determining how they are to be measured helps the organizations to monitor performance across the board without getting deluged by a surfeit of data; a scenario plaguing most companies.
More and more[weasel words] organizations have started to make data available more rapidly. In the past[update], some data only became available after a month or two, which did not help managers react swiftly enough. Recently[update], banks have tried to make data available at shorter intervals and have reduced delays. For example, for businesses which have higher operational/credit risk loading (for example, credit cards and “wealth management”), a large multi-national bank makes KPI-related data available weekly, and sometimes offers a daily analysis of numbers. It also provides real-time dashboards. Data can become available within 24 hours, given automation and the use of IT systems.
Most of the time, BPM simply means use of several financial/non-financial metrics/key performance indicators to assess the present state of a business and to prescribe a course of action.
Some of the areas from which top management analysis could gain knowledge by using BPM may include:
- customer-related numbers:
- new customers acquired
- status of existing customers
- attrition of customers (including breakup by reason for attrition)
- turnover generated by segments of the customers – possibly using demographic filters
- outstanding balances held by segments of customers and terms of payment – possibly using demographic filters
- collection of bad debts within customer relationships
- demographic analysis of individuals (potential customers) applying to become customers, and the levels of approval, rejections and pending numbers
- delinquency analysis of customers behind on payments
- profitability of customers by demographic segments and segmentation of customers by profitability
- campaign management
- realtime dashboard on key operational metrics
- clickstream analysis on a website
- key product portfolio trackers
- marketing channel analysis
- sales data analysis by product segments
- callcenter metrics
The above list more or less describes what a bank might monitor, but could also refer to a telephone company or similar service-sector company.
Items of generic importance might include:
- consistent and correct KPI-related data providing insights into operational aspects of a company
- timely availability of KPI-related data
- KPIs designed to directly reflect the efficiency and effectiveness of a business
- information presented in a format which aids decision-making for management and decision-makers
- ability to discern patterns or trends from organized information
 Application software types
People working in business intelligence have developed tools that ease the work, especially when the intelligence task involves gathering and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data.
Tool categories commonly used for business performance management include:
- OLAP — online analytical processing, sometimes simply called “analytics” (based on dimensional analysis and the so-called “hypercube” or “cube”)
- scorecarding, dashboarding and data visualization
- data warehouses
- document warehouses
- text mining
- DM — data mining
- BPO — business performance optimisation
- EIS — executive information systems
- DSS — decision support systems
- MIS — management information systems
- SEMS — strategic enterprise management software
- business dashboards
 Design and implementation
Issues when implementing a BPM program might include:
- goal-alignment queries: one must first determine the short- and medium-term purpose of the program. What strategic goal(s) of the organization will be addressed by the program? What organizational mission/vision does it relate to? A hypothesis needs to be crafted that details how this initiative will eventually improve results / performance (i.e. a strategy map).
- baseline queries: current information-gathering competency needs assessing. Do we have the capability to monitor important sources of information? What data is being collected and how is it being stored? What are the statistical parameters of this data, e.g., how much random variation does it contain? Is this being measured?
- cost and risk queries: someone should estimate the financial consequences of a new BI initiative. It is necessary to assess the cost of the present operations and the increase in costs associated with the BPM initiative. What is the risk that the initiative will fail? This risk assessment should be converted into a financial metric and included in the planning.
- customer and stakeholder queries: determine who will benefit from the initiative and who will pay. Who has a stake in the current procedure? What kinds of customers / stakeholders will benefit directly from this initiative? Who will benefit indirectly? What quantitative / qualitative benefits follow? Is the specified initiative the best way to increase satisfaction for all kinds of customers, or is there a better way? How will customer benefits be monitored? What about employees, shareholders, and distribution channel members?
- metrics-related queries: information requirements need operationalization into clearly defined metrics. One must decide what metrics to use for each piece of information being gathered. Are these the best metrics? How do we know that? How many metrics need to be tracked? If this is a large number (it usually is), what kind of system can track them? Are the metrics standardized, so they can be benchmarked against performance in other organizations? What are the industry standard metrics available?
- measurement methodology-related queries: one should establish a methodology or a procedure to determine the best (or acceptable) way of measuring the required metrics. What methods will be used, and how frequently will data be collected? Are there any industry standards for this? Is this the best way to do the measurements? How do we know that?
- results-related queries: someone should monitor the BPM program to ensure that it meets objectives. Adjustments in the programme may be necessary. The program should be tested for accuracy, reliability, and validity. How can it be demonstrated that the BI initiative, and not something else, contributed to a change in results? How much of the change was probably random?
 See also
- Business process management
- Integrated business planning
- List of management topics
- List of information technology management topics
- ^ BPM Mag, What is BPM?
- ^ The Next Generation of Business Intelligence: Operational BI
- ^ Wade, David and Ronald Recardo, Corporate Performance Management. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001 ISBN 0-87719-386-X
 Further reading
- Mosimann, Roland P., Patrick Mosimann and Meg Dussault, The Performance Manager. 2007 ISBN 978-0-9730124-1-5
- Dresner, Howard, The Performance Management Revolution: Business Results Through Insight and Action. 2007 ISBN 978-0470124833
- Cokins, Gary, Performance Management: Finding the Missing Pieces (to Close the Intelligence Gap). 2004 ISBN 978-0-471-57690-7
- Paladino, Bob, Five Key Principles of Corporate Performance Management. 2007 ISBN 978-0470009918
- Wade, David and Ronald Recardo, Corporate Performance Management. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001 ISBN 0-87719-386-X
 External links
- BusinessWeek Magazine: Giving the Boss the Big Picture: A dashboard pulls up everything the CEO needs to run the show (February 2006)