Articles

Here is a selection of peer-reviewed academic research articles for those with a more academic interest in enterprise performance.  Download them for free or follow the links to obtain copies.

 

What Really is a KPI?
What Really is a KPI? Love them or loathe them, KPIs are everywhere. We hear about KPIs in businesses, schools and hospitals. Indeed, many of us have KPI targets in our jobs, others have to report on KPIs, but what really is a KPI?
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A Sample KPI Template for Any Business
A Sample KPI Template for Any Business Designing your own key performance indicators can be fraught with ambiguity and inconsistency. To help smooth the way, I've developed a sample KPI template that you can use when designing your own KPIs.
The 3 Cardinal Sins of KPIs and Performance Metrics
The 3 Cardinal Sins of KPIs and Performance Metrics This article outlines the three cardinal sins of developing KPIs or performance metrics for an organisation.
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 Understanding Key Performance Indicator Dashboards
Understanding Key Performance Indicator Dashboards Organising your key performance indicators, developing the right set of KPIs for your business and extracting meaningful insights from the data is all well and good, but it won’t count for anything unless your organization reports and communicates the KPIs to others effectively. Because, in the end, KPIs are only really effective if the right people get the information they need – in a way they can understand – so that they can make better decisions. KPI dashboards are a great way of communicating insights from key performance indicators to the people that need them.
The 25 KPIs Every Manager must Know
The 25 KPIs Every Manager must Know Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be the essential metrics that allow you to track performance and navigate your way to success and growth.
Caution: When KPIs Turn To Poison
Caution: When KPIs Turn To Poison Just imagine you put some KPIs in place and instead of measuring and improving performance, they lead to the opposite: A mindless chasing of numbers, resulting in reduced performance.
Things To Do Before Your Next Performance Review
Things To Do Before Your Next Performance Review This article looks at seven things you should do before your next performance review.
KPI: Escape the Counting Trap
KPI: Escape the Counting Trap This article, published in the magazine 'Excellence in Leadership' explores the five most common mistakes made by organisations when implementing a performance management initiative. These traps are the strategy trap, the measurement trap, the performance management trap, the alignment trap and the automation trap.
Managing and Measuring Local Government Performance: 10 Steps Towards Best Practice
Managing and Measuring Local Government Performance: 10 Steps Towards Best Practice This article, published in the Australian Local Government magazine ‘Local Agenda’ explores 10 best practice steps towards better managing and measuring performance in Local Government
The Future Scorecard: Combining external and internal scenarios to create strategic foresight
The Future Scorecard: Combining external and internal scenarios to create strategic foresight Scenarios are traditionally used to describe possible alternative future developments in the external environment, which then inform current strategy assessment and future strategy development. However, with a shift in focus away from the market-based paradigm and towards a resource-based view of strategy, scenarios can also be used to describe alternative internal development paths for an organization. These two types of scenarios can then be systematically developed and combined to form a significant element of a strategic early warning system – the future scorecard.
Intangible Assets Measurement
Intangible Assets Measurement It's impossible to navigate an organisation to success without the necessary performance information on the key drivers of success. In today's world these critical performance drives tend to be intangible. This article, published in 'Financial Management' magazine, discusses how intangibles can be measured in a meaningful way.
Measuring and Managing Intangible Value Drivers
Measuring and Managing Intangible Value Drivers Successful managers need to know the levers they must pull to ensure superior performance of their organization in the future. Today, more often than not, these levers are their organization’s intangible value drivers. Measuring and managing these elusive drivers of performance is critical for all organizations. This article outlines how managers can develop meaningful indicators that will yield real management insights.
What is a Balanced Scorecard? A Quick Overview
What is a Balanced Scorecard? A Quick Overview Voted one of the most influential business ideas ever presented in the Harvard Business Review the Balanced Scorecard enjoys global popularity. There are some management tools that seem to have enduring appeal and the Balanced Scorecard, or BSC for short, is one of those. Over the past 20 years it has seen adoption rates soar. At the same time I have to say that as a tool the BSC is still widely misunderstood and misused by managers.
How is Big Data Used in Practice? 10 Use Cases Everyone Must Read
How is Big Data Used in Practice? 10 Use Cases Everyone Must Read This article explores the top 10 use cases of big data today. It contains many real-life examples of how big data is helping to transform our world and improve the organisations that use it.
What Really Is Big Data?
What Really Is Big Data?
Big Data: The 25 Eye-Opening Facts Everyone Should Know
Big Data: The 25 Eye-Opening Facts Everyone Should Know We surely see a lot of hype surrounding big data but I believe the following 25 facts speak for themselves and help to paint a realistic picture of the phenomenon we now call ‘Big Data’ - a phenomenon that is changing the world as we know it.
Big Data: The 4 Layers Everyone Must Know
Big Data: The 4 Layers Everyone Must Know Big Data still causes a lot of confusion in people's heads: What really is it? What is new and what is old wine in new bottles? In order to bring a little more clarity to the concept I thought it might help to describe the 4 key layers of a big data system - i.e. the different stages the data itself has to pass through on its journey from raw statistic or snippet of unstructured data (for example, social media post) to actionable insight.
Big Data: What Is Spark - An Easy Explanation For Absolutely Anyone
Big Data: What Is Spark - An Easy Explanation For Absolutely Anyone Spark is one of the new buzzwords in the big data space. This article explains, in less than to minutes, and in very simply language, what the big data framework Spark is.
Big Data: What is Hadoop - An Easy Explanation For Absolutely Anyone
Big Data: What is Hadoop - An Easy Explanation For Absolutely Anyone Hadoop is one of the most popular big data frameworks and a word that you will hear a lot when you explore the topic of Big Data. Here I provide a very simple outline of what you need to know about Hadoop.
Big Data: What is R? R Explained in less than Two Minutes, to Absolutely Anyone
Big Data: What is R? R Explained in less than Two Minutes, to Absolutely Anyone When you learn about big data, sooner or later you will come across R - a popular programming language. Here I explain in very simple terms what R is.
Big Data: What is Python – An Easy Explanation For Absolutely Anyone
Big Data: What is Python – An Easy Explanation For Absolutely Anyone Python is another of the new buzzwords in the big data space. This article explains, in less than to minutes, and in very simply language, what the big data language Python is.
Big Data: The Key Skills Businesses Need
Big Data: The Key Skills Businesses Need The number of jobs related to Big Data is growing by the day, as more and more companies become aware of the benefits data collection and analysis could have on their profitability.
Evidence-based Management
Evidence-based Management Today's challenging economic times demand that organisations make the right management decisions if they are to survive. This article, published in CIMA's Financial Management Magazine, explains the five steps that organisations should take if they want to become more evidence-based in their strategic decision-making.
What is Business Intelligence (BI)?
What is Business Intelligence (BI)? Business intelligence can be defined as a collection of approaches for gathering, storing, analysing and providing access to data that helps users to gain insights and make better fact-based business decisions. It should be defined wider than just referring to BI software applications and analytics to incorporate a more strategic approach to better decision-making.
What is a Balanced Scorecard? A Quick Overview
What is a Balanced Scorecard? A Quick Overview Voted one of the most influential business ideas ever presented in the Harvard Business Review the Balanced Scorecard enjoys global popularity. There are some management tools that seem to have enduring appeal and the Balanced Scorecard, or BSC for short, is one of those. Over the past 20 years it has seen adoption rates soar. At the same time I have to say that as a tool the BSC is still widely misunderstood and misused by managers.
The Balanced Scorecard - A Complete Introduction
The Balanced Scorecard - A Complete Introduction The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic performance management framework that has been designed to help an organisation monitor its performance and manage the execution of its strategy.
Automating the Balanced Scorecard - Selection Criteria to Idenfify Appropriate Software Applications
Automating the Balanced Scorecard - Selection Criteria to Idenfify Appropriate Software Applications Research suggests that about half of large US firms have already adopted the BSC and many more are considering implementation. An organization-wide implementation of a BSC requires IT support and numerous software vendors have taken he opportunity to build software solutions to support a BSC implementation. The problem executives face today is that there are over two-dozen application-providers to choose from, each of them claiming that their solution offers unique and important features. Selecting the wrong solution can undermine the entire BSC development effort and the credibility of the performance management system. This article addresses the issue of BSC software by (1) explaining why organizations might need software to support their implementation and (2) by developing a framework to assist organizations in this important decision making process.
How a Knowledge-based Approach might Illuminate the Notion of Human Capital and its Measurement
How a Knowledge-based Approach might Illuminate the Notion of Human Capital and its Measurement Human capital measurement and accounting has been under discussion for years without any satisfactory methodology emerging. The economic significance of today’s knowledge-intensive organizations makes better HC measurement more pressing. We draw on insights from the knowledge-based theory of the firm and conclude we can only make sense of its human capital by looking in detail at its practices. Human capital is the value added at the level of the work practice—as traced by activity-base accounting. Overall the firm’s human capital totals into its goodwill. The human capital can be estimated and then managed by allocating the goodwill to the activities taking place, a complex distribution process but one precisely complementary to that of activity-base accounting.
The Balanced Scorecard and Intangible assets: Similar Ideas, Unaligned Concepts
The Balanced Scorecard and Intangible assets: Similar Ideas, Unaligned Concepts This article discusses how well the concept of intangible assest is aligned with the balanced scorecard. Kaplan and Norton argue that the intangibles belong in the 'learning and growth' perspective of the balanced scorecard and classify them into human capital, information capital, and organizational capital. This article outlines how this attempt to categorise intangibles produced an inconcistent, incomplete, and potentially very confusing classification of intantible assets.
Balanced Scorecard: The Four Perspectives
Balanced Scorecard: The Four Perspectives A look at the four perspectives used to view an organisation in the original balanced scorecard model.
7 Causes of Poor Employee Performance - And How to Address Them
7 Causes of Poor Employee Performance - And How to Address Them This article looks at the main causes of poor employee performance and how these can be addressed.
Why Performance Appraisals Are HR's Most Hated Process
Why Performance Appraisals Are HR's Most Hated Process Have you ever received a notice that your annual performance review was coming up and thought, “Oh, yes! I just love those!”
Things To Do Before Your Next Performance Review
Things To Do Before Your Next Performance Review This articles looks at the seven things you should do before your next performance review.
Five Top Tips for Corporate Performance Management (CPM)
Five Top Tips for Corporate Performance Management (CPM) This article on Corporate Performance Management (CPM) published in the US 'Business Management' magazine outlines the top five dos and don'ts: (1) Map your strategy, (2) collect meaningful information, (3) ensure strategic alignment, (4) focus on learning, and (5) automate appropriately. This is the lead article which will be followed by a series of articles on the five top tips.
Performance Management in Call Centers: Lessons, Pitfalls and Achievements in Fujitsu Services
Performance Management in Call Centers: Lessons, Pitfalls and Achievements in Fujitsu Services This paper provides an overview of Fujitsu's sense and response approach towards performance management. It is demonstrated using a case example of call center performance as part of Fujitsu Services. Call centers (or contact centers) are often used as case examples of how not to measure and manage performance. An operational bias towards efficiency measures often fails to provide the customer focus needed and even has dysfunctional consequenses. This case study demonstrates how Fujitsu moved away from the efficiency trap, and completely redesigned their performance management system to focus on their customer needs and the intangibles drivers of value creation. It will highlight the lessons learned, the pitfalls as well as the achievements.
How smart are you?
How smart are you? Today’s most successful companies are 'Intelligent Companies' that use the best available data to inform their decision making. This article explores how intelligent companies bring together tools such as Corporate Performance Management, Business Intelligence, Analytics, Key Performance Indicators, etc. to generate real competitive advantages. This article first appeared in the April 2010 issue of Qualityworld, the official monthly magazine of the Chartered Quality Institute. (www.thecqi.org/qualityworld)
Performance Anxiety
Performance Anxiety This article appeared in the 'Public Finance' magazine. It discusses performance management in public sector and government organisations and spells out the ABCs of good – and bad – practice. It also provides the first findings of a global study on public sector performance management.
Lean & Six Sigma in Defence and Public Sector
Lean & Six Sigma in Defence and Public Sector This article by Bernard Marr, published in The Times, covers the need for efficiency and process improvement tools and the benefits they can bring. In addition, the article warns about the danger that these approaches are not used strategically and therefore the efficiency gains are often much smaller than they could be.
More With Less
More With Less Many companies and government organisations are being asked to become more effient and deliver 'More with Less'. This article, which first appeared in the April 2011 issue of Qualityworld (www.thecqi.org/qualityworld), looks at bringing together tools of performance management and lean to drive efficiency gains.
Key Performance Indicators: The 75+ Measures Every Manager Needs to Know
Bernard Marr
Performance indicators are essential tools which will tell you if your business is on target or veering off course. Using the right indicators will help you deliver the right results. Key Performance Indicators cuts straight to the 75 + KPIs that ...
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