Managers need reports. Lots of it!
Enterprise solutions have dedicated module(s) which satisfy this need for reports. These implementations require a SIGNIFICANT cost to satisfy individual reporting needs. It will consume significant processing power to generate, and managers who want these reports will spend significant time going through the information (at least at the start).
BUT do we really need these reports?
Monitoring and Control, a key management function, requires you (the manager) to measure and act on key parameters of the business. You will need to know whether these parameters are within range, improving or deteriorating.
Reports should have this information!
BUT do they?
Unless sufficient and focused effort is spent in defining,
- What parameters to measure?
- Why should they be measured?
- How can they be measured?
- How often should they be measured?
most reports will have lot of data, but not what you can use for monitoring and controlling the business function.
WHY NOT the initial effort?
When report definitions are done, each manager tries to grab a piece of the information pie and mark their territory in the solution.
In the resulting struggle, they might not have sufficient time for a structured approach to define the above.
What a manager needs for his/her business unit may not be what the organization as a whole requires.
This is where the business owner/sponsor should take control of report definition and even go to the extent of defining the ‘One Metric That Matters’ and derive the reporting requirements around it.
It will consume more management effort and time initially, but will help to reduce report implementation costs, which will make the CFO happier, and reduce processing power, which will make the system admin happier.
Most importantly, these efforts will make sure managers get reports with the information needed for monitoring and controlling the business function.
The acid test is when the CEO asks for information about a key metric…. None of the managers should go around asking IT; “Where is my report?”
Senior Vice President – Software Development
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