Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art

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1 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art Dr Bassil Yaghi and Professor Andy Neely Cranfield School of Management Centre for Business Performance Zhijun Wang Guanghua School of Management, Peking University Nigel Youell Oracle

2 2 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art About the Authors Dr. Bassil Yaghi is a lecturer at Cranfield School of Management. Bassil Yaghi is researching, teaching, and consulting in strategic management with an emphasis on strategy development and balanced scorecards. His research and academic and executive teaching is grounded in his extensive practical experience in the industry as practitioner and consultant. Professor Andy Neely is Director of Research at Cranfield School of Management, Deputy Director of AIM Research, the U.K. s research initiative on management, and Chair of the Performance Measurement Association. He has authored more than 1 books and articles on performance measurement and management and is widely recognised as one of the world s leading authorities on the subject. Mr. Zhijun Wang is a research assistant in Guanghua-Oracle BPM Research Institute, Peking University, China. He is studying in Department of Management Science and Information Systems, Guanghua School of Management. He is also one of the founders of the LWL IT Service & Consulting Team which provides online survey service. Nigel Youell is Director, Global Integrated Marketing for Performance Management at Oracle Corporation. He has over 2 years of experience in IT covering a wide range of senior management roles. Organisations that Nigel has worked for include Hyperion Corp, Comshare Corp, The Strathclyde Institute, Morgan Crucible plc and Marconi plc. Nigel has spoken internationally and authored a number of articles on Performance Management. We would also like to acknowledge the support and contributions made to this work by Mrs. Jing Yang, Mr. Lin Li, Mr. Hongtao Li and Mr. Xiangdong Liu of the Business Performance Management Institute of Peking University.

3 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art 3 Executive Summary In China s Gross Domestic Product overtook the UK s making China the world s fourth largest economy. With a growth rate of 1.7 percent in 6 and 11.4 percent in 7, China is arguably set to become the world s dominant economy. Yet rapid economic growths bring organisational challenges. Large, complex organisations need formal enterprise performance management systems if they are to operate efficiently and effectively. The truth is we know remarkably little about how organisations design, deploy and use enterprise performance management systems even in developed economies. When it comes to the use of enterprise performance management in China we know virtually nothing. To overcome this lack of knowledge Oracle joined forces with Cranfield School of Management to conduct the first global study of enterprise performance management. We have collected data from executives in five different countries the UK, the USA, Australia, Japan and China. This report, one a series of country reports, summarises the Chinese data which were gathered by Peking University. Chief among the report s conclusions are: 1. Chinese firms have a highly structured approach to performance management, with 89 percent reporting that they had adopted a formal structure for their enterprise performance management systems. 2. In China, the dominant role of enterprise performance management is assessing performance. Other purposes such as aligning employee behaviour and improving operational efficiency are seen as less important. External reporting is seen as the least important role for performance measurement. 3. Generally Chinese firms appear to be making significant progress with their enterprise performance management systems. The balanced scorecard is particularly popular with 67 percent of firms reporting that they used this. 4. In spite of the progress made, however, firms still face significant challenges with their enterprise performance management systems. Less than half of the respondents attributed part of their companies overall business performance to their enterprise performance management systems. This is particularly interesting as 9 percent of respondents claimed that they gained insight from their enterprise performance management systems and over 6 percent said that their enterprise performance management systems helped them make better strategic and operational decisions.. Despite the reported benefits of enterprise performance management, the fact that less than half of those surveyed attribute part of their overall business performance to their enterprise performance management systems suggest some shortcomings. Why don t a greater number of Chinese firms attribute more of their organisations

4 4 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art overall business performance to their enterprise performance management systems if they are delivering insight and enabling them to make better decisions? 6. A major factor is the confidence to act on information. Making decisions is all very well, but unless decisions are followed by action their impact will be negligible. 7. There are three reasons why Chinese firms might be hesitant to act on their enterprise performance management data. First, there are relatively few advocates for enterprise performance management in Chinese organisations. Less than a third of respondents report that their Chief Executives are advocates of enterprise performance management and advocates drop to less than percent at the level of the employees. 8. Second, there are clear concerns about how well enterprise performance management systems integrate with other organisational systems especially those associated with risk management. Fig.1: A structured approach to EPM 6 9. Third, questions can be asked about whether Chinese firms are making best use of their performance data. While many claim to be happy with the insights their performance data deliver, an overwhelming 73.2 percent of the respondents either have incomplete or partial understanding of cause and effect relationships in their companies. Perhaps because, 4.9 percent make no effort to visualise the links between their measures Indicators not structured Indicators structured Indicators linked to strategic objectives Indicators linked in cause effect diagrams 1. So what should Chinese firms do to improve the impact and effectiveness of their enterprise performance management systems? For Chinese firms it appears that the primary issue concerns confidence to act on the data provided by the enterprise performance management system. Increasing levels of advocacy, enhancing integration and extracting more sophisticated insights from the data are crucial priorities. Fig.2: The most popular frameworks Enterprise Performance Management in China: A structured approach The Chinese approach to performance measurement tends to be highly structured. As Figure 1 shows only 11.1 percent of respondents report that their enterprise performance management systems are not structured, while Figure 2 highlights that the majority of Chinese firms have adopted formal performance management frameworks, with over 66 percent using the balanced scorecard. 1 Balanced scorecard Six sigma EFQM Other 66.7 have adopted the balanced scorecard. Chinese firms are also quite clear on the primary purpose of enterprise performance management [see Figure 3] percent identify the core purpose of enterprise performance management as assessing performance. Contrast this with the 16.3 percent that felt external reporting was a core purpose of enterprise performance management.

5 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art What is measured? In adopting structured approaches to enterprise performance management, Chinese firms have also focussed their measures, concentrating primarily on the traditional performance measures. Figure 4 summarises the spread of performance measures used in Chinese firms. As the data show, financial measures dominate, with 81.8 percent reporting that they track financial measures. Consistent with the observation that relatively few firms felt that external reporting was an important role for enterprise performance management, relatively few firms reporting tracking either environmental measures [1.1 percent] or regulatory measures [6.1 percent]. How this will change in the future remains to be seen, especially as the majority of Chinese firms felt that they already had too many measures [see Figure ]. % reporting use Fig.4: What is measured? Are the right things being measured? At a more strategic level 7.8 percent reported that their performance measures reflected their organisation s strategy. These data are countered by the fact that 49. percent report that financial measures represent over percent of their performance measures [see Figure 6]. If one accepts the argument that performance on non-financial factors influences future financial performance then there is an inconsistency in the argument that measures reflect the broad nature of strategy and yet measures are predominantly financial in orientation. This is not an uncommon position. Indeed the global data collected as part of this study, suggests that firms in other countries are in a similar position. However, it does cause us to question how well Chinese firms understand the non-financial drivers of value, especially when one takes into account the fact that an overwhelming 73.2 percent of the Chinese respondents report having either an incomplete or a partial understanding of cause and effect relationships in their companies Fig.: Do you have too many measures? Dis nor Only 19.8% feel they have right number of measures. Fig.3: Core role of EPM Fig.6: Financial measures clearly dominate 8 Assessing Performance Aligning Employees Behaviours Operational Efficiency Strategic Decision Making Compensation/Rewarding Strategic Planning Financial Control Validating Strategy External Reporting Primary reason for measurement None 1-24% 2-49% - 74% 7-99% All 49. report that more than half of their measures are financial in orientation.

6 6 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art Fig.7: How good are the measures - data quality? Fig.8: Do measures clearly and accurately reflect the business? Dis Dis nor 6 claim that their measures are based on good quality data. nor Fig.9: How much insight is extracted? What about the quality of data? Questions of data quality are common place, yet Chinese firms seemed to be reasonably content that their data is of high quality [see Figure 7]. This finding is in contrast to other countries, where higher levels of concern about data quality are reported. Interestingly, one of the reasons why data quality is poor in some countries is the high reliance on spreadsheets as the primary software solution supporting enterprise performance management. In China the high reliance on spreadsheets (72 percent of respondents report that they use spreadsheets) does not appear to have adversely affected data quality (6.4 percent report that their performance measures are based on good quality data, while less than one in five think their data is not of high quality). High quality data is one of the reasons why.2 percent of Chinese respondents believe that their performance measures clearly and accurately measure their business [see Figure 8]. What role does measurement play in Chinese firms? So if Chinese firms have good measurement data and measures that are well aligned with their organisation s strategies then how do they use their enterprise performance management systems? 77.6 percent report that top management use key performance indicators to guide employees behaviours and control the implementation of strategy. While 74.4 percent believe their top management teams use performance measurement to assess outputs and 63.1 percent believe their top management teams use performance measurement to control inputs. And what is the impact of measurement in Chinese firms? If the roles of enterprise performance management are to assess performance [both in terms of outputs and inputs] and to influence behaviours, then what impact do enterprise performance management systems have in Chinese firms? At first sight the answer appears contradictory - 9 percent report gaining insights from their enterprise performance management system [see Figure 9]. These insights enable better strategic and operational decisions to be taken, which in turn have an impact 1 Dis nor 9% think that their EPM systems deliver insight.

7 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art 7 on the key performance indicators [see Figure 1]. Despite these positive comments, less than half of the respondents attribute part of their companies overall business performance to their enterprise performance management activities [see Figure 11]. Why is this? Why, when respondents report that their enterprise performance management systems help them make better strategic and operational decisions and help them improve performance against their key performance indicators, do they not attribute more of their organisation s overall performance to the enterprise performance management system? Lacking the confidence to act on information? There are particular issues that are striking in the Chinese data. Most significantly there are relatively few advocates of enterprise performance management in Chinese firms. Senior managers are seen as the main audience for performance information in Chinese firms [see Figure 12]. 7.3 percent of Chinese respondents identified senior managers as the main audience for performance information, compared with 64. percent who reported that middle managers and front line staff were a main audience. Yet levels of advocacy for enterprise performance management falls as we move down the organisational hierarchy [see Figure 13]. Even at the highest levels of the organisation only 29.9 percent claim that their CEOs are advocates of enterprise performance management. This figure falls to 4.2 percent at the lowest levels the rest of the employees. With such low levels of advocacy what chance is there that enterprise performance management systems will inspire the confidence to act on the performance data? Fig.11: The impact of EPM Dis nor Only 49. or strongly that improvements in company performance can be attributed to EPM. Fig.12: Who are the primary users of EPM? Senior Managers Middle Managers & Staff Dis nor Fig.1: Where is the impact? Fig.13: Where are the advocates of EPM? Strategic decisions Operational decisions Positive impact on KPIs Dis nor Respondents report that EPM helps them make better strategic decisions (6%) and operational decisions (66%) and has a positive impact on KPIs (61.3%) CEO Top executive team Senior managers Middle managers Employees Avocate of EPM

8 8 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art Fig.14: Challenges of integration and alignment Financial reporting Management reporting Planning & budgeting Reward systems Project management CRM Forecasting Risk management Either or strongly that the EPM system is aligned with... Fig.1: Validating cause and effect relationships Dis nor 7.1% claim to test the cause and effect relationships between their measures. Why the low levels of advocacy and confidence? The data point to two specific concerns that might explain the relatively low levels of advocacy and confidence. First, there is the question of how well the enterprise performance management systems in Chinese firms integrate with other organisational systems. Second, there are issues about how well Chinese firms are using their performance data to explore the causal business models that underpin their performance measures. Figure 14 shows the extent to which the Chinese respondents felt that their enterprise performance management systems integrated with other organisational systems. As these data show Chinese firms reported significant concerns about the extent of integration between enterprise performance management systems and their risk management systems. As with other countries, the levels of integration between the enterprise performance management system and the financial reporting system, the management reporting system and the planning and budgeting system is high. As well as alignment, however, there is a deeper question of how effectively Chinese firms are able to extract insight from their enterprise performance management systems to explain causal business models. While 7.1 percent claim to validate the cause and effect relationships between measures [see Figure 1], an overwhelming 73.2 percent of the respondents either have incomplete or partial understanding of cause and effect relationships in their companies [see Figure 16]. One of the reasons for this is that 4.9 percent make no effort to visualise the links between their measures [see Figure 17]. Together these two issues undermine confidence in and hence advocacy of the enterprise performance management system. Having an enterprise performance management system that is not well integrated with other organisational systems will result in confusion and competing priorities. Coupling this with limited understanding of the drivers of value (as expressed in empirically tested business models) further undermines the credibility of the enterprise performance management system. Fig.16: Understanding cause-and-effect links Incomplete Complete Partial 73.2% have an incomplete or partial understanding of the cause-and-effect relationships in their firms.

9 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art 9 So what should Chinese firms do to improve? Fig.17: Visualizing cause-and-effect links It is clear that Chinese firms needs to enhance their capability to extract value from their enterprise performance management systems. Until they do this it is unlikely that confidence in and levels of advocacy for enterprise performance management will rise. Key to enhancing capability in enterprise performance management is to recognise the significant progress made by firms in other parts of the world. Interestingly only 29.3 percent of Chinese respondents claimed that they conducted any external benchmarking and 49. percent claimed to develop their enterprise performance management systems in house without any external support. Given the widespread experience that exists in enterprise performance management it is unlikely that this insular and inwardly focused approach is going to deliver the best results. But building the confidence to act on data involves more than simply learning from the experience of others. Increasingly organisations are seeking to use their measurement data to test the assumptions they hold about the drivers of their firm s success. To really build confidence, Chinese firms need to develop the organisational capabilities required to perform such testing. This, in turn, will increase their understanding of the causal relationships between their measures. Specifically to build their organisational capability Chinese firms need to: 1. Adopt best practice approaches to the design and deployment of their enterprise performance management System, clearly articulating their organisational value drivers before getting sucked into debates about what and how to measure. 2. Widely communicate their theories of how their organisation s work. If they build causal models during the design and deployment of the enterprise performance management System they should widely communicate and cascade these causal models. 3. Encourage people throughout the organisation to test and challenge these causal models. Using the data they collect through their enterprise performance management systems, Chinese firms can test the validity of their theories about their business value drivers. 4. With careful management a positive cycle can be created in Chinese firms. Using measurement data to test causal models will increase interest and advocacy especially if the insights are counter-intuitive and valuable. Increased advocacy will result in more requests for analysis and insight, further enhancing confidence in the enterprise performance management system.. Critically, to underpin this positive cycle, it is essential that Chinese firms invest in developing the skills of their people and the enabling infrastructure, thereby ensuring they have the organisational capability to make best use of their enterprise performance management systems None Between perspectives Between strategic objectives Between performance measures 4.9% do not visualise the cause-and-effect links in their EPM system.

10 1 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art Fig.18: Respondents by sector Agriculture Education Transportation Government Pharmaceuticals Wholesale/retail Construction Utilities Financial services Other Telecoms Services Manufacturing Fig.19: Respondents by revenues About the Research We selected a sampling frame which contains private firms located in China. A sample of 26 firms was selected. After piloting the survey with academics and practitioners, we administered the web-based survey to members of top management teams in the sampled firms. We received 1 responses. The usable survey responses were 99 resulting in a response rate of 18.8 percent. The respondents were all sectors of Chinese economy (see Figure 18). Manufacturing firms accounted for percent of the respondents and 4 percent of the firms were publicly held. About 4 percent of the respondents reported that their revenues were greater than 1M (see Figure 19). All participants were assured that all responses would be kept confidential. The survey stated that only aggregates would be used for the research and that no individual company would be linked to specific responses. Up to 1M 1M - 2M 2M - M M - 1B 1B - B Over B

11 Enterprise Performance Management: The Chinese State of the Art 11

12 Centre for Business Performance, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford, MK43 AL UK T: +44 () F: +44 () To contact Andy Neely, To contact Bassil Yaghi, Oracle Corporation UK Ltd., Oracle Parkway, Thames Valley Park (TVP), Reading, Berkshire, RG6 1RA. UK T: F: To contact Nigel Youell, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 1871, The People s Republic of China T: F: To contact Zhijun Wang,

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