13 Recommended CPM Software Tools for Effective KPI Management in 2021
A growing trend among agile companies is to track overall performance using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
If you use a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution integrated with a leading ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, this approach will display the hard numbers your company is used to analyzing in your monthly review meetings as well as quickly and clearly demonstrating how your organization is performing as compared to your goals.
Knowing precisely how your company’s performance compares to its goals at all times can be a game changer.
In the past, tracking and monitoring KPIs weekly or monthly could quickly become a spreadsheet nightmare. Built-in capabilities in today’s modern recommended CPM software solutions make it easy for you to begin planning, tracking, and monitoring your KPIs – starting immediately.
Ready to track your KPIs? Your first step is to make sure you are using a recommended CPM software solution that contains at least the 13 most critical KPI planning, tracking, and monitoring tools.
13 Recommended CPM Software Tools for Planning, Tracking, and Monitoring KPIs
A good Corporate Performance Management solution will provide templates, reports, and dashboards that help you complete your KPI planning, tracking, and monitoring tasks seamlessly. With these tools, you can count on having a continuous, end-to-end view of each of your KPIs over time.
KPI Planning Templates and Tools
KPI planning solutions help you ease and speed up KPI entry and establish a clear process for managing your KPIs.
If you would like to learn how to implement KPI tracking into your existing monthly or weekly reporting process, please check out this in-depth white paper on Monthly Reporting Process Best Practices.
This critical input form helps your executive and departmental teams capture metrics to reuse in budgets, financial reports, dashboards, and other KPI planning, tracking, and monitoring tools.
2. Process Manager
A Process Manager tool that is fully integrated with your CPM solution helps your authorized team members create checklists, assign tasks to various personnel, and access up-to-date, secured, cloud-based task lists anytime and anywhere.
This tool helps keep your team on track with KPI deadlines and accountability, which is why it is a key recommended CPM software tool for KPI-driven performance management.
KPI Tracking Reports
As you probably have already experienced, it is not too difficult to set up KPIs – the true difficulty lies in keeping a close eye on your performance regularly so you can continue to make progress.
KPI tracking reports provide the timely alerts you need to ensure that your organization keeps moving forward on expected performance consistently.
This report provides timely exception reporting that will alert you quickly and clearly to any issues with your KPIs. This report should be able to be automatically distributed to decision makers’ emails on a schedule, as well as run on demand.
This monthly KPI tracker should deliver an interactive view that highlights variances for at-a-glance tracking that keeps your company in the know about the dynamic Top 3 KPIs for Revenues, Profitability, and Liquidity.
When this dashboard is fully integrated with your CPM and the financial data from your ERP, the Financial KPI Dashboard will also include links to drill downs for additional information.
Curious how an interactive, integrated Financial KPI Dashboard works? There is no need to wonder – you can try it out for yourself, right here!
Useful for supplementing report books, a good Top 10 KPI Report should include the last 13 months of performance for each of your tracked KPIs. This empowers your leadership team to quickly and easily identify and act on important trends in organizational performance.
As you have probably have noticed by now, the not-so-secret key to success with using KPIs to drive organizational performance is to keep a close eye on your performance monthly (or, better yet, weekly).
Modern recommended CPM software solutions provide the big-picture snapshot overview organizational leaders need to quickly understand existing or developing KPI issues. A good CPM will craft this report using dynamic “traffic lights” that clearly indicate current KPI status.
KPI Monitoring Reports
Long-term KPIs focus on annual goals as well as goals that can extend years into the future. These KPIs are often characterized by incremental progress over time and their long timespans can make them easy to overlook in monthly or weekly progress review meetings.
Since long-term KPIs rely on continuous small steps forward, it is of critical importance that you closely monitor your long-term KPIs on a regular basis to ensure that all stakeholders and deadlines are staying on track.
Most of your organization’s KPIs are likely to be tied to long-term goals. It will be important to track the evolving status of these KPIs often to ensure they aren’t forgotten or delayed due to more urgent, short-term issues (AKA “fires” that need to be put out).
A good KPI Actions Current Status Summary report helps to keep all goal stakeholders on track, providing at-a-glance status comments and notes from KPI owners, controllers, and executives. It also displays important dates and urgency.
This management dashboard helps ensure that your Annual Budget is aligned with your goals, purpose, and core values. An effective Annual Budget KPI Report will also provide additional key information, such as multiple years of goals for comparison, current exceptions, and key variances.
Need tips for your Annual Budgeting process in a time of uncertainty? Read the free Budgeting Process Best Practices white paper.
Used to closely monitor your strategic planning initiatives, a good Strategic KPI Report from a top CPM software solution should clearly display exceptions, easy-to-read charts, and a forward-looking view into your next few years of KPI targets.
This analysis report displays exceptions in both statistical and financial metrics. Recommended CPM software solutions with this report are likely to organize each KPI by Year to Date (YTD) Actual, YTD Budget, and YTD Forecast, and should display 12-month rolling trends as well.
If your team discovers significant variances (positive or negative) in the Big Picture KPI Snapshots (#6), this Deep Dive KPI Analysis is the logical next step to use for further investigation.
An effective Deep Dive KPI Analysis will provide easy-to-read charts and graphs that help compare your variance to your target KPIs and goals.
Geared toward Sales KPI tracking, this pipeline analysis report displays deals in process as well as expected revenue from each deal, weighted by probability.
A good CPM will also display the number of small, medium, and large deals you have pending, which helps your executives and your Sales department leaders keep a close watch on performance.
As John Wanamaker famously said of the marketing for his popular Wanamaker’s department stores, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Wanamaker would have appreciated Campaign KPI Benchmarking.
A good CPM helps you understand which of your marketing and advertising dollars bring you the most return with a Campaign KPI Benchmarking Report that answers specific questions, such as “Which are my best and least good campaigns?”
Why Choosing These Recommended CPM Software Tools Makes More Sense
As you look into your choices for Corporate Performance Management solutions and search their capabilities for these key tools and reports, you will discover that only the top CPM software solutions will contain all the capabilities you need. You may find yourself tempted to choose just any CPM and build missing KPI tracking reports in Excel.
Of course, there is nothing stopping you from building a multitude of spreadsheets to track KPIs. However, if you choose to fill in the gaps yourself with spreadsheets, remember that you will have paid good money for an inferior CPM that leaves your team responsible for completing time-consuming weekly manual data-entry tasks – every week of every month of every year.
Do you really want to waste labor hours each week (1) collecting updated information to put into each sheet, (2) entering that information manually, and (3) putting updated reports together in time for the weekly KPI analysis meeting?
To most business leaders, the answer to that question is an emphatic “no!” because it is a waste of time. It is also a recipe for disaster because manual data entry almost inevitably results in errors.
Instead of manually tracking down and inputting data into a range of spreadsheets each week, it is a better idea to integrate a leading CPM software solution with your ERP, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance or Business Central.
Through seamless integration, you can trust that you will always have the accurate, up-to-date information you need in your KPI reports and dashboards. You can also trust that your on-demand financial and statistical data will be appropriate to serve as the single source of truth for all your team members who are responsible for inputting and/or analyzing organizational performance and KPIs.
Which Is the Best Recommended CPM Software for Dynamics, Sage Intacct, SAP, or Other ERPs?
Of course, you have your choice of recommended CPM software solutions that integrate with your Dynamics, Sage Intacct, SAP, or other ERP – but you may want to begin your search for the right CPM by contacting the financial planning and budgeting experts at Solver.
With Solver, you will have access to hundreds of financial planning templates and reports, plus our extensive template glossary and experienced staff who are always happy to share their expertise and help you along every step of your KPI-driven transformation.
If you have questions about how you can streamline and improve your KPI planning, tracking, and monitoring tasks, our support experts are ready to help you get the most out of Solver’s flexible and robust financial planning and reporting tools. Solver is committed to helping you set up your business practices for success, so you can proceed confidently into your business’s financial future.