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CASE STUDY - Corporate Performance Management Implementation Challenges and Lessons Learned

Commentary by Abhijit Niyogi and Rohit Shrivastav, Tata Consultancy Services
Client Business Scenario

The client is a large publishing corporation with business interests in education, business information, and the financial services market. The organization is structured into multiple business entities serving different niche areas or geographical regions across the globe.

The corporation’s existing business information system is characterized by heavy use of Excel, a stand-alone budgeting and reporting solution, no structured workflow for routing budgets for review and approval, and a proliferation of reports and offline worksheets without any standardization across business entities.

CPM Program

Primary business objectives of the corporate performance management (CPM) program are to:

  • Provide the right information to the right users at the right time to support better decision making
  • Establish a platform to support management of metrics/scorecarding and analytical reporting
  • Provide access to detail-level transactional data as well as integration with other internal and external data sources to increase the value of the information
  • Increase transparency
  • Standardize reporting and planning structures where possible
  • Utilize driver-based planning and budgeting models

The CPM program was based on Cognos Solution on top of a core CPM data warehouse. All key financial data, including actual, budget, and estimate, resides in the DW. The DW is designed to integrate other internal and external source system data—such as human resources, revenue, etc.—in the future.

Cognos Planning Solution extracts data from the DW and other source systems to facilitate driver-based detail budgeting and the monthly estimation process, along with medium-range planning. The Cognos planning system acts as a source for budget and estimate data to the DW and existing ERP system.

Cognos 8 Business Intelligence works on top of DW for facilitating Web-based standardized reports, business entities, and provides ad hoc and self-reporting capabilities to business users.

Lessons Learned

Business sponsorship

  • Define clear vision and establish senior management sponsorship
  • Create and strongly communicate project road map in the organization


  • Include both business and technology people in working project team, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Empower team to make business and technical decisions


  • Establish business ownership of requirements and sign off
  • Manage user expectations and ensure user engagement throughout project cycle
  • Prepare organization to adapt to business process changes and standardization
  • Create data source ownership and understand business rules and cleansing logic for all data sources
  • Plan for holistic design and staggered rollout
  • Plan for iterative approach for design and development


  • Thoroughly test and establish an appropriate and scalable technology infrastructure
  • Design and test individual components of technology solution to ensure scalability and performance

Design and Build

  • Ensure that design assumptions are clearly communicated and reviewed by business owners
  • Establish and follow best practices for businesses processes and technology solution


  • Maintain a common pool of knowledge resources and establish a process for knowledge sharing among onsite and offshore team
  • Ensure continuity by establishing a core dedicated team for the project


  • Established a reliable foundation of core data, reporting, and planning capabilities, including process improvements, testing technology solution, and creating an environment within the organization to leverage, use, and contribute to CPM solution
  • Established a transparent and integrated driver-based budgeting and estimation system
  • Standardized and automated budget workflow and approval process
  • Designed and built a standard set of core financial reports that can be used across business entities
  • Designed and deployed self-reporting capability that is based on preverified centralized data source
  • Established data set that can be leveraged for developing dashboards and designing KPIs

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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