Original Date: 02/26/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Performance Measures Reporting System
General Dynamics Armament Systems uses a Performance Measures Reporting System based on an Essbase backbone and a Kaplan-Norton Balanced Scorecard model. The system provides a consistent method for tracking Business Area Teams’ performances as well as monitoring and managing the company’s performance through a standard set of performance measures/metrics.
In 1999, General Dynamics Armament Systems (GDAS) changed its organizational focus from weapons manufacturing to systems management. Likewise, the company’s business approach was restructured to reflect Business Area Teams. The teams are program-centered, and integrate with the functions of other departments to operate as cost centers with individual responsibility for income, sales, deliveries, customer satisfaction, and business performance. With the conversion to Business Area Teams came the need for a new method to track the teams’ performances and monitor and manage the company’s performance through a standard set of performance measures/metrics.
The Performance Measures Reporting System uses a standard set of performance metrics via a Business Metrics Scorecard. This Scorecard consists of a two-fold system: an Essbase backbone and a Kaplan-Norton Balanced Scoreboard model. Since the data required for the metrics resides on various platforms at the company, an analytical tool called Essbase was used to consolidate the source data into a centralized location. Essbase is compatible with Excel as a spreadsheet add-in, and provides a multi-dimensional database optimized for planning, analysis, and management reporting applications. The metrics contained within the Essbase database are then loaded to the Scorecard, which provides a web-enabled view of the business metrics. The Scorecard displays the metrics in three forms (Actual, Baseline Plan, and Current Plan), and then calculates and displays a variance between the actual and the planned data. The Scorecard also includes a glossary of all metrics, multiple predefined reports, graphs, and summary data. GDAS uses multiple Scorecards to display various metrics. Management can access all Scorecards including company-wide summary data while other individuals can only access Business Area Team level data.
The Scorecards provide GDAS with approximately 450 reports and charts. To produce these charts manually would require 13 full-time employees. Instead, the Performance Measures Reporting System, at a cost of $1 million, generates the reports and charts automatically. The Scorecards allow GDAS to maintain all of its crucial data in one place so managers can easily access the information anytime, including via the Intranet, for their decision-making processes. As a result of the Performance Measures Reporting System, the company can make decisions based on consistent data and eliminate the need for managers to search for data from many resources. Essbase also provides managers with the ability to perform hypothetical scenarios.
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