IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution
Seven steps for getting started
Thank you for choosing IBM Workplace™ for Business Strategy Execution.
Take ten minutes to read how IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution meets the challenges that companies face when
they are trying to execute their business strategies.
After that, walk through the seven steps to learn how the product helps you create and monitor the strategic objectives that can
drive the successful execution of your business strategy.
The challenges of executing a business strategy successfully • Consistent measurements and metrics across the organization.
At the beginning of each year, business leaders strive to create the A second challenge that companies face is an uncertainty
right strategy for their business. A strategy might focus externally, about business performance results because key metrics
such as to help generate revenue or to expand the customer and performance indicators are inconsistent throughout the
base; or a strategy might focus inward and strive to cut costs or to organization. For example, a finance executive might be most
improve quality. Certainly, formulating the right strategy is critical to comfortable with creating a strategy that is backed up by
a company’s success. financial data. In doing this, decision makers might ignore
other important metrics that can support a strategy, such as
But, what happens when a well conceived strategy loses focus as those associated with internal processes or the management
the year moves forward? of resources. Consequently, if a problem arises in the midst of
the year, executives might not consider all of the factors that
During the year, challenges can arise that prohibit a company from are shaping business performance, and they will be unable
successfully executing its strategy. to respond appropriately because they don’t have a complete
picture of the situation.
• Understanding the company strategy and how to best con-
• The ability to take action to resolve issues quickly. A final chal-
tribute. A big challenge for companies is the ability to clearly
lenge for companies is the ability to react quickly to changes in
communicate the strategy and to keep employees focused
the business landscape. There are often communication gaps
on it throughout the year. If a strategy is misunderstood, then
that lead to missed objectives. Without having the right tools in
divisions, departments, and individual employees might not
place to alert executives, data is slow to roll up, and the gaps
execute with the strategy in mind. In many companies, a small
in the business strategy are often realized too late. Of course,
percentage of employees might actually understand the overall
knowing about the change is half the battle. The next step for
corporate objectives, and an even smaller number understand
decision makers is to collaborate with their teams to form a plan,
how their work aligns with the goals of the company. This can
and sometimes companies are missing those tools as well.
lead to a disjointed and inefficient implementation of the busi-
ness strategy across the enterprise, and it can increase the
risk of missing critical business targets. Without a linkage of
performance to strategic objectives, then an individual’s impact
on the outcome of the strategy will be unclear. This is especially
true if management does not spend much time monitoring
strategy execution throughout the year.
How IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution can help
The challenges presented above are not without solutions. IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution provides intuitive tools
and features designed to meet those challenges so that your company stays focused on the business strategy throughout the year.
Align corporate objectives throughout your organization which the employee assumes responsibility. Employees can push
IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution software allows objectives to others so that the right people are linked to the
objectives to be broken down into manageable and actionable activities for the objectives. In this way, the Scorecard helps define
tasks, cascaded to each part of the organization and linked to- ownership of objectives, and employees can see how their perfor-
gether as appropriate across business units. mance relates to other’s ability to meet objectives.
The primary tool provided with IBM Workplace for Business Strat- When employees manage their scorecards, they can use the
egy Execution is the Scorecard. Conceptually, the Scorecard is the Navigator to locate others easily. The Navigator displays a view
interface where strategic objectives are created and monitored. In of the organization structure from the perspective of a user or a
practice, each employee maintains his or her own scorecard. custom hierarchy. The Navigator is conveniently located next to
An individual employee scorecard lists strategic objectives for the Scorecard.
Scorecard, Navigator, My Alerts
Objectives, metrics, and performance indicators are clearly React quickly when the business landscape changes
defined and communicated The Scorecard provides a real-time view into the relevant informa-
The Scorecard provides an intuitive interface where consistent tion that affects objectives. If a low-performing objective surfaces,
metrics are used to determine the status of an objective, that is, the responsible parties are alerted through the My Alerts window,
how the objective is performing. Metrics include the actual values which is located next to the Scorecard. The alert is posted im-
that are assigned to an objective during a time period. You have mediately so that the decision makers can address the issue as
the flexibility to choose the appropriate data source for the actual quickly as possible.
values. For example, you can choose to have values extracted
from an external data source or values can be rolled up across IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution integrates with the
linked objectives. collaborative and productivity tools that are provided by the under-
lying portal software. Employees can access e-mail and start chat
In addition, performance indicators are consistent throughout the sessions to solve problems quickly. Whether you install on IBM
Scorecard. By default, performance indicators for objectives are WebSphere® Portal or with IBM Workplace Services Express, you
broken down into four categories: Financial, Learning and Growth, can take advantage of the collaborative features and document
Customer and Employee. These categories, called perspectives, management tools that each offering provides.
are based on the balanced scorecard theory, by Robert Kaplan
and David Norton. The purpose of the different perspectives is to
ensure that scorecards look at performance in a balanced view
of the business. 3
Before you begin the tour
Now that you are familiar with the capabilities that IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution provides, walk through the
seven steps to tour the product and to see how you can get started.
About the tour What is the target scheduler? The target scheduler is a tool that
In our tour, you assume the role of the business executive who allows you to manipulate value points in a fashion that resembles a
steps through the process of creating a strategic objective, adjust- line or curve specific to an objective. You use the target scheduler
ing its properties, and then pushing it to the appropriate people. to adjust targets and milestones for an objective.
After that, you monitor the progress of the objective and use the
integrated collaborative tools to communicate with others. This tour What is a dashboard? A dashboard is a graphical user interface
assumes that you are already logged in to the site. that conveys real-time information about business data. A dash-
board can be made up of a combination of graphs, charts, RSS
A few terms that you should know feeds, business portlets and tickers. A dashboard is separate from
You need a basic understanding of some terms before you start
the tour. Read the following questions and answers to learn more.
The use of sample data
What is an objective? Simply put, an objective is a goal that IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution provides sample
supports your strategy. You create objectives in the Scorecard. data that includes fictitious users. This tour references two of those
Examples of objectives might be land new contracts or maintain users. To learn more about the sample data, refer to the Informa-
spending levels. tion Center.
What is an initiative? An initiative is a project, action, or activity that
you want to implement. You create an initiative as an action to an
objective. The metrics and properties for an initiative are consistent
with those for an objective.
1. Creating a new objective
The first step for getting started is to create an objective. You create an objec-
tive that focuses on increasing awareness of ethical standards throughout Business benefits
the company. You want to monitor the progress of this objective on a monthly
• The Scorecard presents a unified view of all objectives,
basis, and you expect 100% compliance before the objective will be complete.
which enables you to monitor progress in a single place.
1. To start, you click New Objective in the Scorecard. • You can open up the Scorecard to employees, so that
throughout the year the progress of your business strategy
is visible to all.
• Everyone uses clear metrics, so there is no confusion over
how results are obtained.
Tips for creating your own objectives
Creating a new objective • Keep the objective name brief.
• Not all objectives are financial. For example, some objec-
2. Next, you select the appropriate values, including Learning and Growth for
tives might focus on the education and growth of your
the perspective, Percentage as the value type and Monthly for the milestone.
employees, or internal business processes.
• Pay attention to the value type and milestones. The value
type and milestone settings provide the basis for the
graphs and reports that you can generate. Note that after
you save your objective, you cannot change the value type
at a later time, but you can adjust the targets for milestones
with the target scheduler.
• Select a value type that reflects the associated perspec-
tive. For example, Currency is a common value type for a
Fields for creating a new objective
Shown below is the new objective as it appears in the Scorecard after
the changes are saved.
Objective displayed on your scorecard 5
2. Adding a Web resource
Adding a Web resource is a quick way to provide convenient access to impor-
tant information. An example of a Web resource is a Web site or a dashboard. About Web resources
In this step, you create a link to an internal news site for the Legal department
You can select a resource that is external to your portal, such
so that you can access information related to ethical standards.
as a different Web site, or you can select a portal resource.
If you select a portal resource, you can link to another portal
1. In your scorecard, you access the Properties for the new objective, and page, such as a dashboard that contains graphs, charts, RSS
then select the Web Resource tab. feeds, business portlets and tickers.
Adding a Web resource
2. Next, you enter the link to the Web site as an External resource.
Adding an external link
3. After you save the changes, you launch the site from the action list for
Launching the site
3. Plotting milestones and targets to reflect expectations
When an objective is created, beginning and final values are defined, along
with the frequency with which milestones are tracked. Because you want to Tips for adjusting targets and milestones
track monthly milestones beyond the default last target date, you add a new
• By default, the last day of the target scheduler is the end
last target date that expands the timeline and creates new milestones. Next,
of the year. You can add a new last target date.
you select a template curve where the beginning value is less than the target
value and an upward trend is exposed. • If you add a new Last target date, adjust the milestones
to meet your new goal.
1. In your scorecard, you access the Properties for the objective, and then • You can adjust points on the lines to look at interim goals.
select the Targets tab. The target scheduler displays with value points on
• When you edit values in the target scheduler, associated
the last days of each month, which represents the milestone dates. Next,
you add a new Last target date to create a new time span for the targets values are updated in the Scorecard.
and to add the new milestones. • You can do much more with the target scheduler. Refer
to the Information Center for details.
Adding a new last target date
2. You pick a curve that promotes an upward trend for the objective.
Selecting a curve
The new curve is shown below with update milestones.
How the zone separator lines work
By default, two lines display in the target scheduler. Together,
these lines create three zones: positive, moderate, and negative.
The line on top is the target and the threshold line is below.
The target line is generated from the beginning and end target
values that you supply when you create your objective. The
threshold line is generated from values that are 90% of your
target milestone values.
You can customize the target scheduler by adding or deleting
lines on your target schedule to create your own zones.
A new curve displays
4. Selecting the data source for the objective
The data source is where an objective gets its actual values. The status of your
objective depends on the actual values that are rolled up from other objectives. What you need to know about data sources
Because you will push your objective to others, you select Aggregate from
There are three methods for acquiring data:
alignment for the data source. By doing this, you ensure that the actual values
will be rolled up from other objectives to your objective. • You can record data manually.
• If you plan to link or push objectives to others, select
1. In your scorecard, you access the Properties for the objective, and then aggregate from alignment , so that the actual values are
select the Data Source tab. rolled-up from other objectives.
2. Next, you select Aggregate from alignment, and then Additive as the • You can choose to acquire data from an external source.
calculation method. In this case, actual values are pulled in from a Web Ser-
vices Description Language (WSDL) file that you specify.
Although one objective might use a data source that is
different from another objective, the presentation of the
related status and trends for those objectives is consistent
within the Scorecard.
Selecting a data source
5. Pushing objectives to the right people
You can make sure that the people who are responsible for the success of the
objective are on board by pushing the objective to them. In our tour, you push More information about pushing and linking objectives
the objective to two sample users that are provided with IBM Workplace for
• You must have appropriate access to a user’s scorecard
Business Strategy Execution: Elizabeth Skyler in Human Resources and Mal-
before you can push an objective to him or her. See the
colm MacGillivray in Legal. Before you push the objective, you specify that the
suggested target for each person is 50%, which means that you expect Eliza- Information Center for details about access control.
beth and Malcolm to share the responsibility for the success of the objective. • The ability to link or push objectives is a powerful feature
of IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution. To learn
1. In the Properties for the objective, you click the Linkages tab, and then more, refer to the Information Center.
Pushing an objective
2. You use Directory Search to locate Elizabeth and Malcolm, and then you
add them as recipients for the pushed objective.
Using Directory Search to locate colleagues
3. Because you want Elizabeth and Malcolm to share the responsibility equally,
you enter 50 as the Suggested target, and then click Push Objective. What a recipient should do after the objective
A recipient for an objective will receive a message in the My
Alerts window, and a new objective will appear in his or her
My Alerts window
The recipient should start to track the objective, and make
sure that actual values are entered from an appropriate data
To do this, the recipient can change the data source for the
Assigning responsibility equally between two recipients objective that was pushed to him or her. In addition to the
data sources mentioned previously, recipients can also
4. Finally, you save the changes and new objectives are created in the score- import data from a spreadsheet. Refer to the Information
cards for Elizabeth and Malcolm. Center for details.
Pushing an objective to two parties
6. Tracking progress throughout the year
As the business year moves forward, you can easily track the progress of your
objectives. You want to monitor progress as actual values are rolled up to your About the status map
objective from the objectives for Elizabeth and Malcolm. To do this, you access
Typically, business leaders monitor progress on a monthly
status and reporting tools provided with the Scorecard. Additionally, you ac-
or quarterly basis. But if a low-performing objective arises,
cess a dashboard on your site that contains real-time data that is critical to the
successful execution of your business strategy. leaders can quickly analyze status maps at any time to under-
stand what areas need attention.
1. From the action list for your objective, you click Status Map. The status map
gives you a quick view of the status and linkage relationship for your objective.
2. Next, from the action list for the objective, you click Graph or Report. You
view a graph or a report to get a quick look at how actual values compare About graphs and reports
to your expectations. Actual values are shown as a black line on the graph.
Each objective and initiative has a corresponding graph and
Graphs provide a visual representation of the actual values
recorded and the relationships with target values.
The report displays, in table form, all of the actual values
recorded, along with history of target values, variance, and
3. In the Properties for the objective, you click the History tab to see a
timetable of historical activity. Find out who did what and when
The history shows when a property for an objective or initia-
tive was changed, who initiated the change, and what was
Other items tracked in the history table include the old and
new values given to an objective or initiative.
4. You access a dashboard on your site to view short-term data related to your
specific objectives and overall business strategy.
A dashboard is different from the Scorecard, in that you use a dashboard to The dashboard on your site is not unlike the dashboard in
track day-to-day changes, and you use the Scorecard to monitor progress your automobile. For example, your automobile provides a
over a longer period of time. A dashboard can provide graphs, charts, RSS dashboard with dials and controls that report on moment-to-
feeds, business portlets, and tickers that convey relevant information for moment operations. How fast are you going? Check the speed
your strategic objectives.
odometer. How much gas is left? Check the gas gauge. Is that
steam spitting from the hood? Check the temperature gauge.
Of course, you hope that your strategic objectives won’t
overheat, but if they do, you can quickly check a dashboard to
view the latest information.
7. Collaborating with others to react quickly
After time has passed and actual values are recorded, you can react quickly
if a problem or opportunity arises. In the final step of our tour, you respond to Collaborative tools
an alert that displays in the My Alerts window. To get more information and to
Because IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution
formulate a plan, you use the integrated collaborative features to communicate
integrates with your existing IBM WebSphere Portal installa-
tion or with IBM Workplace Services Express, you can take
advantage of the collaborative features that those products
1. You respond to an alert that posts in your My Alerts window. provide.
Let others join in by creating a team space
If you are running with IBM Workplace Services Express, you
can create a team space where you can pull a team together to
plan a response.
Team spaces are work areas in the portal, where team mem-
bers can participate in discussions, share project documents,
share a project calendar, chat with team members, create and
view lists, and much more.
2. To address issues, you use the Navigator to locate others quickly and to
collaborate with them through e-mail or chat sessions.
How do you know that your business is successful at year’s end? Maybe it’s the bottom line or the stock price.
Now, with IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution, you can look back and know that your business has kept the focus on the
strategic objectives that were created earlier in the year.
Remember the following points:
To get started Create a new objective to support your business strategy
To add a link to useful information Add a Web resource such as a Web site, portal page, or
To change the targets and milestones for your objective Open the target scheduler and plot your preferences
To make sure that the actual values for your objective are Select the appropriate data source for the actual values
coming from the right source
To make sure that the right people are involved with the Push the objective to others
success of the objective
To track long-term and short-term progress of your objective Access status maps, graphs and reports, and dashboards
To quickly communicate opportunities and solve problems Use the integrated collaborative features to communicate
related to your objective with your organization
You can find additional product documentation at: ibm.com/developerworks/workplace/documentation.html