Strategy Management Software
by Ventana Research | 1/25/2008 | Article ID: M08-03 | Article Type: VentanaMonitor | 2007 Ventana Research
Performance management software vendor Y-Change announced this month the release of version 5.2 of its Enterprise Strategy Management (ESM) application. This version builds on the original first released in 1999 by significantly improving editing, reporting, trending and rollup of metrics. Y-Change intends ESM to help companies manage activities and information across multiple strategies, initiatives and objectives. Organizations thaimprove performance companywide should consider this new version for strategy and activity management.
Senior managers, executives and directors often find that converting strategy into action is a far more difficult challenge than was defining a performance goal, company-wide program or publishing a strategic plan. Following a new product initiative or commencement of a Six Sigma program, for example, leadership proclaims the grand strategic vision and plan and passes it to the managers and front-line workers charged with implementing it, only to havea gap appear between strategy and actual execution. As a result, the momentum that drove the vision and plan begins to fade, reflected in the new product sales falling short of revenue goals or the Six Sigma program failing to move the business to higher levels of performance. Often what’s missing is proper performance management, that is, the monitoring and measurement of the success (or failure) of the initiative by all levels of the organization. Missing, too, may be the relation of those initiatives to top-level corporate goals, objectives and projects.
Y-Change’s enterprise-level strategy management application is meant to address such gaps by helping users administer activities, meetings and documents and align their efforts toward common goals. The software can help them manage time better and connect activities performed by individual workers to the corporate strategic initiative. It can bused by global enterprises and midsize organizations alike. Y-Change designed the application so business users can configure and administer it with little assistance from IT staff; it is available on demand or on premises through conventional licensing.
The latest release, ESM 5.2, offers improved reporting in environments with multiple strategic initiatives, for example, efforts to shorten research and development time to market or improve customer commitment dates. Users can specify and save different perspectives and filters that help them view selected information and find performance and execution gaps like missed sales goals and target release dates that require resolution. The new version also offers improved performance trend analysis and automated rollup of scorecard metrics for strategies and projects, changes that enable better management of key objectives and actions in real time. Y-Change also has improved its automatic import and filtering of Microsoft Project files to summarize reporting of milestones and other performance measures.
Organizations increasingly see the need for strategy management tools that support performance management. At the same time, the number of vendors is diminishing. Oracle’s purchase of Hyperion, SAP’s purchase of Pilot Software and pending purchase of Business Objects, and IBM’s purchase of Cognos (also pending) mean users have fewer choices among vendors. Our analysis of this Y-Change product and input from users such as Cisco Systems and Caterpillar Financial Services indicates that it can fill a need not addressed by providers of business intelligence or enterprise performance management tools, enabling the management of initiatives and activities and of the documents needed for them. ActiveStrategy, Actuate and QPR Software also play in this strategy and initiatives management market.
Ventana Research advises companies to evaluate and upgrade their strategy management and performance management technologies to improve cross-functional alignment and decision-making. They should look for software that can translate corporate strategy into objectives and initiatives, align these initiatives to programs, projects and people, and link these actions and tasks to real-time metrics and scorecards. Y-Change Enterprise Strategy Management 5.2 does all this, because it improves enterprise-wide communication of strategy, conveys knowledge of performance across functions and layers of management and shortens the cycle of managing change. Organizations that want to improve performance should consider Y-Change to manage both strategy and program activity.
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