Strategy Management is an important subset of Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). Strategy Management software, as the name implies, helps companies define, execute and monitor strategies.
As a consultant, analyst and blogger, I have two overlapping interests in this subset of EPM:
–How can client companies improve their ability to deploy strategies successfully by working with Strategy Management software firms?
–How can Strategy Management software vendors differentiate their unique capabilities that help clients be successful in this complex area?
The numbers seems to be alarming
In a 2006 survey by Kaplan and Norton, 46% of respondents said they had no formal strategy execution system. And, 73% of these companies reported average to below average performance of their strategies.*
Here is a quote from a 2011 survey, conducted by Accenture and Success Factors: “Companies today are not effectively executing against strategy and the business leaders know it, with 80 percent recognizing that they are not doing their best to communicate strategy through the organization, let alone execute against it.”
So, who are these strategy management software vendors?
–There are the large vendors with core EPM/Business Intelligence offerings: IBM/Cognos, Infor/Extensity, Oracle/Hyperion, SAP/Business Objects, SAS.
–Numerous niche vendors: ActiveStrategy, Adaptive Planning, Exie A S, ClearPoint Strategy, Cogniti, Corporater, Gryphon Systems, Performance Solution Technologies, Prodacapo, QPR, Rocket Corvu, StrategyBlocks Limited, etc.
How do these software firms help clients be more successful?
–By offering stronger functionality to define, execute and monitor strategies.
–By including models for popular strategy methodologies – like Kaplan/Norton, Porter, SWOT analysis. Moreover, some offer their own methodologies for effective strategy creation and deployment.
–By embedding easy to use workflow engines.
–By having strategic management consultants on staff, who both understand the software in detail, but more importantly, how it helps clients implement strategy successfully.
–Perhaps they team regularly with strategy consultant companies: Palladium Group (Kaplan/Norton), Monitor (Michael Porter), highly regarded management consulting firms (McKinsey & Co, Bain, BCG, etc.) or less expensive (and perhaps as effective) regional strategy boutiques.
My Research Approach with Strategy Software Firms
Through briefings, review of the literature and attending conferences, I attempt to discover, for each vendor:
• The core functionality of the product offerings
•How consultants leverage strategy software in their work with customers
•The vendor’s approach to strategic partnerships
•Customer success stories
In addition, I like to interview two or three customers to get a sense of the customers’ experience with the software product, consulting, support, etc.
We believe that strategy management software firms can help clients by:
–Implementing their software to help clients develop, deploy and monitor strategic initiatives successfully
–Offering structured methodologies for strategy management
–Providing professional services (internal or external) to help clients build a strong strategy management team
*Kaplan and Norton, The Execution Premium, Harvard Business Press, 2008
For more, please visit my website at http://www.wildermanassociates.com