Best Practices in Planning and Performance Management, Third Edition: Radically Rethinking Management for a Volatile World
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More About This Title Best Practices in Planning and Performance Management, Third Edition: Radically Rethinking Management for a Volatile World


A practical framework for effectively managing performance in today's complex, competitive and risky global markets

The Third Edition provides a complete framework for building best practice management processes for today's complex and uncertain world. Fully updated to reflect the events of the global economic crisis, this book provides further practical examples of companies that are successfully using the practices identified.

  • Updated for the implications of the global economic crisis on management practices
  • Completely rewritten section on "What it Takes To Be An Effective Manager In An Uncertain World
  • Added examples and mini case studies throughout the book from companies such as Qualcomm, IBM, Dominos, Target, Toshiba and Facebook
  • Establishes new benchmarks for performance management process and practice
  • Fully updated to include recent events, new learnings, technologies and emerging best practices

This book includes serious rethinking of the way companies plan and manage performance-from the role of accounting to the skills needed to be an effective manager-including new technologies, techniques and real time management processes.


DAVID A. J. AXSON is President of the Sonax Group, a business advisory firm. He is a former head of corporate planning at Bank of America and was a cofounder of The Hackett Group, where he was the architect of the firm's market-leading benchmarks bank. He is a sought-after speaker and writer on best practices in planning and performance management reporting, and is widely regarded as a thought leader in the industry.


Preface to the First Edition xi

Preface to the Third Edition xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1


1 Traditional Management Processes Are Obsolete 5

Better-Informed Customers 6

Changing Market and Business Models 7

Structural Change in the Economics of Business 10

Globalization 13

Regulatory Revolution 13

Growth through Acquisition as the Normal Course of Business 15

Redefining Asset Values 16

Changing Delivery Channels 17

Compressed Cycle Times 17

Vast New Information Sources 18

Technology and Systems 19

Need for a Burning Platform 22

2 What Is Performance Management? 24

Defining Performance Management 24

Best Practices Defined 27

Types of Best Practice 31

Applying Best Practices 32

Best Practice Adoption Is Now a Necessity 34

3 Sizing the Opportunities 38

Beyond Benchmarking 38

Defining the Right Metrics 39

Conclusion 57


4 Using Best Practices to Drive Change 61

A Brief History 61

From Battlefield to Boardroom 63

Components of a Best Practice Framework 65

Best Practice Recipe 65

Selecting the Right Best Practices 65

Golden Rule of Best Practice Application 68

Time to Sacrifice a Few Sacred Cows 69

No Silver Bullets 73

5 Strategic Planning: Ideas That Drive Results 74

Defining Strategy 76

Typical Process 77

Strategic Planning Best Practices 79

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate 92

Strategic Planning Is a Collaborative Process 93

CEO as Chief Strategist 93

Hard Side of Strategy 94

Acid Test 106

Lessons for a Volatile World 106

Best Practice Summary 106

6 Tactical and Financial Planning: Translating Strategy into Action 109

Defining Tactical and Financial Planning 109

Typical Process 110

Tactical Planning Best Practices 111

Financial Planning Best Practices 126

Lessons for a Volatile World 137

Best Practice Summary 138

7 Management Reporting: From Information to Insight 140

Typical Process 143

Management Reporting Best Practices 145

Putting It All Together 166

Lessons for a Volatile World 168

Best Practice Summary 168

8 Forecasting: Pass the Crystal Ball 171

Typical Process 172

Forecasting Best Practices 173

Understand Variability 192

Lessons for a Volatile World 193

Best Practice Summary 194

9 Risk Management: Place Your Bets 196

No Excuses 197

Global Interdependence 198

Developing an Effective Business Risk Management Capability 204

Risk Mitigation Techniques 217

Lessons for a Volatile World 219

10 Technology: Panacea or Pain? 221

Evolution of Information Technology in Business 222

Why the Time for Convergence Is Right 224

Applying Technology to Performance Management— Dawn of the Digital Manager 224

Best Practices for Leveraging Technology 229

Lessons for a Volatile World 240

Best Practice Summary 241


11 Implementing Best Practices 245

Getting Started 245

Moving to Implementation 247

Understand the Overall Strategic Goals and Objectives 248

Define the Critical Success Factors and Drivers 249

Define the Appropriate Performance Measures 251

Link Measures to the Overall Strategy 253

Define the Reporting Dimensions 253

Detail and Source the Performance Measures 253

Design the User Experience 255

Design and Build the Reporting Process 256

Integrate the Reporting and Planning Processes—Align Incentives 256

Develop the Required Skills 257

12 Implementation Secrets 259

Learn from the Mistakes of Others 259

Effect Change and Then Sustain It 261

It’s about Commitment and Execution 273

13 Managing in an Uncertain World 274

Leadership Qualities 275

Don’t Underestimate the Impact of Leaders 281

14 Looking to the Future 283

Fast, Flawless Execution Will Be the Distinguishing Characteristic of World-Class Companies 283

Global Accounting and Reporting Standards Will Become a Reality 285

The Focus Will Shift from Buying Technology to Using It 286

The Annual Budget Will Die—and Few Tears Will Be Shed 287

Finance Executives Will Require New Skills or New Jobs 288

Final Thoughts 288

About the Author 291

Index 293