Gary Simon is Group Publisher of FSN Publishing Limited and Managing Editor of FSN Newswire. He is a graduate of London University, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Fellow of the British Computer Society with more than 27 years’ experience of implementing management and financial reporting systems.
He is the author of four books, many product reviews and whitepapers and as a leading authority on the financial systems market is a popular and independent speaker on market developments. Formerly a partner in Deloitte for more than 16 years, he has led some of the most complex information management assignments for global enterprises in the private and public sector.
The selection of a new performance management system can be a stressful and risk-laden project. It’s one thing when business requirements are well codified and understood, for example, a general ledger, but quite another matter when working with, say, a budgeting, planning and forecasting application that is very specific to the organization. So how can an organization de-risk the development of a performance management system and improve the project’s prospects for success?
The old way of doing things
Most business users are familiar with the concept of a user specification for the design of a new application. It seeks to bridge the gap in understanding between end users and IT specialists by describing systems requirements, processes and functionality in familiar and accessible terms. But it is a relatively blunt instrument and is not universally successful or appropriate to all systems developments. No matter how much care is taken over the preparation of a functional specification it still has a number of drawbacks, as follows...