Speaking the language of business intelligence with an Australian accent

Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Review: Drive Business Performance

Full disclosure: The authors provided me with a free copy of this book.

DriveBusinessPerformance

With a foreword by none other than Drs Kaplan and Norton you can be sure that software is not central to this book's message. Drive Business Performance is part of Wiley's Microsoft Executive Leadership Series, however the only time "Microsoft" is mentioned is when referencing quotes from Steve Ballmer or Chris Liddell. The intended audience is a business one not technical, although technical people would do well to get their hands on a copy nonetheless.

Fitts and Aziza provide a comprehensive look at what Performance Management (PM) is and just how successful organisations can be when they succeed in creating a "Culture of Intelligent Execution". Central to the book's philosophy are what the authors have dubbed the "Six Stages of Performance Management Value". Targeted lists of questions at the end of each section enable readers to assess their organisation's current PM capabilities.

For mine the book's greatest strength are the anecdotes and quotes peppered throughout to underscore each topic. It is obvious the authors went to a great deal of effort to interview high-ranking members of companies who spearheaded some very successful PM implementations. The information gathered in these interviews coupled with well-chosen quotes from the likes of Winston Churchill, Henry Ford and many others serve as evidence to support Fitts and Aziza's Six Stages and the culture of performance management in general.

PM is not just something that can be thrown together in a few weeks by a couple of interns, it is an organisation-wide paradigm shift that takes time, effort and dedication to bear fruit. As recounted many times within the book, the rewards to organisations who implement an effective PM initiative can be very substantial.

This is a great book to hand to anyone who is considering implementing any form of PM. It details plenty of good "See! They did it, why can't we?" case studies as well as providing practical guidance describing how to do it within your own organisation. Highly recommended reading.

1 comment:

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