Financial Planning Accelerator

146 days after Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the PerformancePoint Planning module, Microsoft has made the PPS Planning source code and project files available on a no-cost, individual license basis for customers and partners. It has been rebranded as Financial Planning Accelerator (FPA) and is unsupported. Interestingly, on the same web page that contains the June 18, 2009 announcement, Microsoft spotlights planning alternatives such as Clarity Systems, Calumo, and Longview Planning. I have not had a chance to work with any of these alternatives, but hope to work with one or more in the future. I’ve closed the chapter of my life working with PPS Planning and have no intention of working with it even though it’s free.

Official announcement
Financial Planning Accelerator
Microsoft is pleased to make available the Financial Planning Accelerator (FPA). The FPA is source code and project files derived from the PerformancePoint Server 2007 Planning module. Based on requests from customers and partners, we are making this code available on a no-cost, individual license.

This is unsupported source code that customers and partners can use to support or change PerformancePoint Server Planning functionality. Derived object code files can be distributed to end users with Microsoft SharePoint Server Enterprise Client Access Licenses. To obtain access to the FPA a license agreement between Microsoft and the customer or partner is required. After that agreement is in place, download instructions will be made available.

Please e-mail fpasupp@microsoft.com to request the agreement.

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Between Assignments

I am currently between assignments right now.  I just rolled off the client that I had been consulting at for nearly the past four years.  We accomplished a great deal in the areas of Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management.  We implemented PerformancePoint Planning into production prior to the software being released to the public.  If you have any BI / CPM needs in the St. Louis, Missouri area, shoot me an email at dstre at hotmail dot com, and we can discuss how I, along with my employer, might be able to assist you.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

Book Review: Drive Business Performance

Drive Business Performance

Drive Business Performance

A few months ago I read a great Performance Management (PM) book entitled Drive Business Performance: Enabling a Culture of Intelligent Execution by Bruno Aziza and Joey Fitts.  This 278 page book not only outlines the key components of a successful PM solution, but provides details how a PM solution can impact the culture of your organization.  The authors have created a PM maturity model that contains six stages.  They refer to it as the Six Stages of Performance Management Value.

1.  Increase Visibility
2.  Move Beyond Gut Feel
3.  Plan for Success
4.  Execute on Strategy
5.  Power to Compete
6.  Culture of Performance

In the last stage, the Culture of Performance, an organization has created a Performance Management culture where employees are empowered to make good decisions and effectively execute the right things.  It goes into a belief where managing performance must become a part of an organization’s DNA.  The authors provide examples along the way of various companies that are at each stage.  In addition, they provide a framework for measuring your own organization to see where you fit into the model and provide solutions for how to improve.

In addition, the authors effectively disect the three core capabilities to manage performance.
Monitor:  What happened?  What is happening?
Analyze:  Why?
Plan:     What will happen?  What do I want to happen?
The book breaks down each capability and describes how a Performance Management solution can be most effective.

After reading this book, I was able to create a two hour “Introduction to Performance Management” class by simply following the structure of the book.  I recommend Drive Business Performance to executives, directors, and managers that are wanting to improve their organizations.  This is also a great read for consultants wanting to get a better understanding of Performance Management.

On a personal note, I was very interested in the book because one of the companies they examined is a client of mine.  I enjoyed learning Fitts and Aziza’s opinions on my client’s PM solution that I’ve been so heavily involved in.

One thing to note, the authors are tightly aligned with Microsoft’s PM solution, PerformancePoint Server 2007.  However, not once in the book do they mention the software.  I think its a good thing they did not promote a particular technology.  They did write a follow-up book with some other authors, entitled Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007.  This book continues on their concepts and describes how PerformancePoint can be a technology used to achieve their Culture of Performance.  But you definitely do not need to be aligned with Microsoft Technologies to enjoy Drive Business Performance.

Grab a copy and read it for yourself.   There are also audio versions available as well.

Also, click here to read a review from Business Finance Magazine. 

– ez