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I recently worked with a new member of the Sustainability Executive Advisory Council (SEAC) on how to integrate their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) into their management dashboards and reporting scorecards.  My project lead was getting a little anxious with my vision of how they could put their needs into practice.  Obviously the vision wasn’t getting through.

“In the end we just want to show a big corporate communications dashboard of where we are today,” they replied.  Okay, easy enough I answered.  Let’s talk about how you will get the information, organize it and put it on that “big corp / comm dashboard.”  One final question I had: how was the executive team going to engage with the KPI performance and tracking.

Klunk went the other end of the phone line.  Then silence.  There was no answer.

For many project managers, engaging executive stakeholders to approve projects is much akin to oral surgery – a necessary evil that once completed it is done with the exception of some periodic checkups and audits to ensure no one has any infections (or project slides).  Engaging executive stakeholders actively to *use* a sytem on a daily basis, that’s a whole different story.

Executives are “above” getting their hands into systems data.  That’s what they hire assistants and directors to do, to interpret and present the information, so that then they can make decisions.

At SAPPHIRE last week, as part of the EPM10 launch, the BusinessObjects team also had some slick iPad2 demos (and a few of the EPM VPs had their own personal tablets which they were able to share) enabling executive level engagement with solutions like BPC and Strategy Management (SSM).  In particular, the StreamWork functionality as a tablet platform (StreamWork is a Google App as well and available on Android from the Google marketplace) illustrated the ability to have Facebook-like discussions and have those integrated with EPM10. (The integration from StreamWork to Strategy Management is available now on EPM 7.5 and will soon be available on EPM10).  So now executives can engage with both dashboard / KPI views as well as engage in private conversations with executive level teams.

Strategy Management as a part of EPM10 has had some adoption issues I believe because its enablement on tablet domains lagged the application roadmap.  Now that this problem is fixed I plan to recommend using the tablet as a means of executive stakeholder adoption – and use – as part of future and current EPM project rollouts at the business planning and strategy levels.

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