≡ Menu

Understanding EPM Success

A Meme or Thought Process

In expending capital for the purpose of performance management, create an electronic  representation of enterprise activity that may be useful for decisive action. Such mimetic expenditures are rarely purely the expression of genius; The knowledge or skill gained through involvement, participation or exposure to enterprise performance management is a lever for generating a sufficiency of return upon the expended capital. Simply, use a proven thought process to produce success in action.

A Methodology

The thought process of EPM is not exclusively of finance, operations or information technology. Each generates some degree of valence that should be factored into corporate EPM strategy.

Adopting A Framework For EPM Success

A value of partnering with an Oracle is the accretion of leading practices for the creation of enterprise value, in excess of costs of implementation. After the jump, a summary of The Path To EPM Success, An Oracle White Paper designed to stimulate thought process towards creating long-term success in EPM centers.


• Objectives: Define objectives that align with individual business units, development teams, the overall enterprise.
• Strategy: Present a coherent strategy for the design of EPM within the organization.
• Services: Define the services and deliverables the center will provide, recognizing that the list will change over time as the center matures and funding either goes up or down.
• Communication plan: Develop a communication plan that informs the rest of the organization of the center’s services, as well as the successes it achieves over time.
• Staff: Develop a staff capable of delivering services to its internal customers. The plan may include hiring and training internal staff and/or procuring outside consulting services.
• Metrics: Identify metrics to monitor the ongoing performance of the center.

Roles and Responsibilities

• Establish a clear charter.
• Establish requirements for EPM projects and initiatives that meet the needs of users and the organization.
• Train users on EPM tools, including how to access and leverage the data provided by the EPM system.
• Provide analytical expertise by performing complex, ad hoc analysis for business units.
• Ensure uniformity of analytical approaches used to address common business issues across the enterprise.
• Coordinate the definition of master data and metadata in the enterprise, including the definition of common business terms.
• Establish standards for EPM tools used throughout the enterprise.
• Develop prototypes of EPM applications as proofs of concepts.

Scope Of Governance

  1. Corporate applications (strict, centralized control)
  2. Cross-LOB applications (based on reuse and common methodology, for shared performance objectives across lines of business)
  3. Departmental applications (consulting provided with reuse and common methodology, yet designed to the specific requirements of the sponsor)
  4. Special-purpose applications (targeted to super-users and special projects in an entrepreneurial, ungoverned manner with an intent to to learn which technologies and best practices can be adopted and deployed on a broader scale)

EPM Specific Tasks


Many of the center’s tasks will help guide users toward self-service performance management. It might offer training on tools for querying, reporting, and analysis, as well as how to interpret data and how to reuse reports and systems. For example:
• Report writing assistance
• On-the-job training for business unit “power users”
• Promoting the reuse of applications, rules, and reports


The EPM Center of Excellence can design dashboards and scorecards and offer assistance for writing rules and reports. The center might also develop analytic frameworks and perform ad hoc analysis for users until they learn to do these tasks themselves. Example tasks:
• Dashboard and scorecard creation
• Rule writing
• Performing ad hoc analysis

EPM custodian:

As the company’s EPM custodian, the center oversees EPM vision, design, and application development, as well as promotes a common business language and master data list. Example tasks:
• EPM vision management
• EPM design ownership
• Data and metadata mapping
• Master data management support
• Financial data quality management
• Analytic frameworks, including profitability analysis, customer churn analysis, cross-sell and up-sell analysis, and visualization technique
• Promoting a common business language, including definition of terms; for example, customer, full-time equivalent (FTE)

Technology management:

The IT experts in the EPM Center of Excellence oversee the various tools and technologies and optimize the use of the technology:
• Planning application development, updates and changes, including:
• Corporate security (for example, LDAP) integration
• Performance tuning and optimization

EPM Location and Ownership

Management teams generally start an EPM center headed by Operations, IT or Finance. Given the global governance of Finance, it is often the best choice to initiate an EPM center. Regardless of location, if the executive in charge drives for supporting all business domains, an EPM center  will succeed, especially if it is given ownership of all EPM initiatives in the company. After successful build-out, moving the EPM center into a shared corporate services organization with its own executive and a mandate to support standards and practices for all functional areas makes sense. EPM success depends upon the quality of its people–business people, analytic people and IT people.

EPM Funding Models

Long term success is dictated by funding the EPM center, demonstrating value, adding value, eliminating barriers to implementation, and allocating costs effectively.

Seven Mistakes To Avoid

See p. 18


An EPM system is most effective when it is applied to the entire organization. But a completely centralized approach to EPM is unrealistic in most large companies.  For companies that have  many different EPM initiatives underway, an EPM Center of Excellence can help standardize technologies and processes to maximize the potential of every EPM project. This white paper introduces the concept of an EPM Center of Excellence and recommends best practices for creating a center that will succeed in the long term. Although we use the term EPM Center of Excellence in this paper, the same principles apply to the related technology of business intelligence (BI). Some organizations create an EPM Center of Excellence, while others focus on a BI
Center of Excellence. Either way, the objective is the same: to empower organizations to become smarter and more agile and to increase organizational alignment.

The authors extend special thanks to Dr. Raef Lawson, director of research for the Institute of Management Accountants and co-author of Scorecard Best Practices: Design, Implementation and Evaluation and Howard Dresner, author of Performance Management Revolution for their contributions to this paper.

Toby Hatch, et al. “The Path To EPM Success” An Oracle White Paper: Web. June 2008.
Copyright © 2008, Oracle. All rights reserved.
Oracle is a registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.