What is business performance management and what does a business performance professional do?

Business performance management, sometimes referred to as corporate performance management, is the act of defining an organisation’s strategic goals, monitoring business performance against these goals, and then developing ways for the business to more effectively achieve those goals. It often utilises reports, analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of business activities and the delivery of objectives.

Business performance professionals ensure performance and business management activities are aligned to the wider company strategic agenda and provide reliable insight to decision makers as to the progress of the business against its objectives. They will establish routine reporting structures and analyse data from multiple sources to deliver regular, insightful reports to senior management regarding the performance of the business or certain projects against KPI's.

As a result of their findings, these professionals may recommend business improvement initiatives, liaise with divisional business heads on areas that need attention, or identify group wide trends that need addressing in order that performance targets and strategic objectives of the organisation are met. The business performance professional may also track the performance of the company versus the competition.

Key responsibilities

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:

  • Supporting the development and implementation of repeatable processes to regularly monitor the performance of the business and its projects.
  • Analysing and comparing intended performance results with actual outcomes, and identifying the gaps.
  • Compiling a daily, weekly and monthly group performance overview to identify potential group wide trends.
  • Monitoring the divisional performance on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
  • Summarising areas for improvement in the divisions and agree on action points.
  • Liaising with finance teams on performance updates and monthly report production.
  • Combining data from multiple sources to respond to queries from senior management.
  • Producing all performance dashboards and periodic reporting; providing analysis and insight into performance, risk and opportunities.
  • Helping to establish periodic budget reviews, and preparing periodic budget reports for senior management.

Why are they important?

Business performance professionals help organisations identify ways to maximise efficiency in order to improve the company’s performance. Continuous and real-time reviews also help to identify and eliminate any problems before they grow into other areas of the business

Skills needed for this role

Business performance professionals should be delivery-focused and have a mentality of continuous improvement. Strong analytical skills are essential as are excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Individuals should be pro-active with the ability to lead change, often in a fast-paced environment.

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

Advanced Performance Management

Career opportunities presented by this role

Business performance opportunities exist across all industries and range from manager, to senior manager, to head of business performance. Roles are usually permanent in nature although experienced individuals may become independent consultants.

Competencies

High level competencies required include:

  • Advisory and consultancy

    A. Gathers and understands financial and non-financial information to develop complete knowledge of the client business and the environment in which it operates.

    B. Provides expert advice that will add value to the business and gain advantage.

    C. Identify and advise on business partnering to develop strategic relationships to create opportunities, improve performance and solve business problems.

    D. Prepare and present business plans and advise on the actions to implement these plans.

  • Data, digital and technology

    A. Identifies strategic options to add value, using data and technology.

    B. Analyses and evaluates data using appropriate technologies and tools.

    C. Applies technologies to visualise data clearly and effectively.

    D. Applies scepticism and ethical judgement to the use of data and data technology.

  • Management accounting

    A. Applies development and performance management, in the wider business and technological environment, within the context of strategic planning and implementation.

    B. Directs organisational performance through the selection and measurement of financial and non-financial performance indicators.

    C. Collaborates on the key tactical and organisational areas of budgeting and control, capital investments, people and resource management.

    D. Consults on the design and use of current and emerging technology and information systems to improve strategic decision-making and organisational performance.

     

  • Stakeholder relationship management

    A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.

    C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.

  • Strategy and innovation

    A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.

    B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop sustainable plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluates, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

    D. Adopts and applies innovative methods to implement strategy and manages change.