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9th Edition

Business Performance Management 

23-24 May 2019
Novotel Berlin Am Tiergarten, Germany

How did ECCO turn a dream into reality?

The question suggests that we have arrived at our final destination. That is certainly not the case! We still have challenges and many improvements to make.
We come from a decentralized organization, with many manual processes, different ERP set ups and heterogenous business definitions. Today, everyone from the local sales manager up to the CEO looks the same data, in a user friendly and automated way and is a huge step forward. How did we achieve that?

1)A strong vision about what BI will do and will NOT do, formalized around simple key principles.
2)Setup a BI organization with individuals who have the right blend of technical skills and business acumen.
3)A strong governance process which creates transparency within the organization and facilitates end-user adoption.
4)An “unconventional” approach in many aspects(business requirements gathering, prioritization, role of BI within the organization, dashboard developments etc.)

Above is what I expect to develop during the BPM Conference, challenging the obvious but also be challenged by the audience based on their real-life experience!

What is the link between performance management and business Intelligence?

I see a huge dependency and to some extent I believe one should never be dissociated from the other.

Performance management is all about supporting a company in the accomplishment of its strategic objectives. Part of this journey is about providing a fact-based approach monitoring the development of key performance indicators(KPIs). What better candidate than BI to support this process? The main reason why some BPM processes fail is often because they stay at a too high level in the organization, not reaching out operations and thereby not bridging the gap between strategy and execution. With the power of well thought out BI solutions you can easily summarize millions of facts in one clear and synthetic dashboard! You keep the helicopter view, but you can drill down into the details!

On the opposite side, BI without a strong performance management process clearly misses the “why”. I often say that story telling is crucial on a BI project, but the pre-requisite is to understand “which story to tell” and performance management has a key role to play here.

Could you please elaborate on the importance of making Business Intelligence an integrated part of the finance organisation and develop the right skills-set?

In fact, there is no generic answer to where the BI function should “sit” in an organisation. What really matters is the role and importance the organization is giving to the BI department. To fully play its role, BI should be in the heart of the decision-making process.
Putting BI under “IT” may feel intuitive but often makes very little sense when IT is a technology driven support function. The organization will assimilate BI to the “technological” side of it, however in doing so, this will necessarily limit the interactions with the business.
Equally, putting BI under “Finance” where Finance is limited to an “accounting/controlling” role also makes very little sense because people leading BI will lack the necessary business insights to make the solutions adopted across the organization.
I believe the FP&A/BI combination makes a lot of sense, so does having a dedicated CIO/CDO role in the organization hosting BI and with a heavy business/strategic focus.

Regarding the skill set needed, one common trait, is a strong business acumen and understanding the WHY of things. This is true for the front-end part of BI (reporting/dash boarding) but it is also very true, and frequently underestimated, for the back-end side of BI (Data Architecture/Modeling).

How to efficiently gather business requirements?

There is a very common dilemma where BI people complain that business people don’t clarify their needs precisely enough and vice versa business people complaining that BI people develop solutions which don’t fulfil their requirements. So where is the truth? I have a very personal approach to this topic. Personally, I ask my BI team to think ahead, be creative, anticipate the needs, suggest and develop. The best dashboards I have seen are not the output of a consensus coming from various stakeholders but the output from one creative mind which felt what business users needed and knew what technology could offer. This doesn’t mean ignoring what internal customers need…quite the opposite…It means “feeling” what they need instead of asking an exhaustive list of questions and waiting for clear feedback. Because yes, sometimes your internal customer doesn’t know what he wants! To achieve that, recruiting the right profiles in your BI organization is crucial.

This said, there a best practice tools and processes which exist and should be used to capture formalize business requirements. Keeping track of what was agreed and who agreed to what is key for a BI project to have start but even more importantly an end!

Business needs vs tool selection, which one comes first?

Neither one…they both come together! Obviously choosing a tool without understanding the business needs clearly is a mistake. Surprisingly it is very common to see companies that have invested in the most advanced (and expensive!) technology but making very low usage of it. However, thinking that the business needs should be defined exhaustively and then a tool chosen accordingly is also a mistake as people tend to think “in a box” only scoping what they “think” is possible. In fact, understanding how a tool works and what technology can offer also stimulates a lot of new business needs/ideas.
Making the parallel with ERP implementation, the most successful ERP projects are those where the business process have aligned around the tool rather than the opposite. This can be counterintuitive but is now commonly admitted. Fully understanding the tool’s potential irrespective of current business needs can unleash completely new opportunities.

What would you like to achieve by attending the 9th Edition Business Performance Management?

I expect “real life” and “true” experience shared from peers working in different companies. Having attended last year’s conference, I realized we all share the same challenges. I am not waiting for any corporate “wishful thinking”. For this I can find books to help me. I am waiting for real life scenarios where leaders went from A to B and explain which methodology and principles they used, which challenges they needed to overcome and what are their key takeaways in the process!

An interview with:

Fabien Bourdon
Head of Group FP&A and BI
ECCO (KRM), Switzerland

By attending our annual marcus interactive conference on Business Performance Management you can take a deep dive into the future of the finance function. You can join practical discussions around how to make finance leaner with digitization, how to be more proactive, collaborative and do market-oriented controlling, and how to improve overall performance and business engagement. Only by setting a clear vision and strategy, will you be able to progress from numbers-driven to business-driven. Join your peers for honest and comprehensive discussions and learn from practical case studies!

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE! 

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About the conference

The importance of making Business Intelligence an integrated part of the finance organisation and develop the right skills-set?

We would be delighted to provide you with more information on the conference agenda.  Please fill in your details below and we will be in touch.

Fabien Bourdon is currently Head of Group FP&A and Business Intelligence for the European branch of the ECCO Group (KRM). With one foot in Finance & Strategy and the other foot in BI, his role is to provide actionable insights in a lean and efficient way.
Throughout his career, Fabien held several key positions, including Director of performance management where he was leading the rollout of a balanced scorecard process in a complex industrial environment.
His passion for technology and Information systems also led him to create his own business (EZKUBE) which provided a cloud-based solution, automating routine tasks and providing effective dashboarding solutions for C-level executives.
Passionate and creative leader with a strong business acumen, Fabien can engage at a highly strategic level while at the same time understand precisely operational constraints. His core competencies: Performance management, corporate strategy, business transformation, financial planning, business intelligence and data analytics.

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE! 

For all enquiries regarding speaking, sponsoring and attending this conference contact:

Yiota Andreou
Telephone: +357 22849 404
Fax: +357 22 849 394