Dafmag.fr, the 21/02/2014, tribune of Marie-Laure Demarquay .
There are 7 deadly sins in reporting …. The second was to conceal the perpetual change which your society undergoes or impels; the third ? Only trust one indicator. Explanations.
With the difficulties that the crisis has brought to your business, you are now focusing more strongly on the key elements of your business, especially your cash which is in difficulty. To support this key point of your business, your reporting has been updated to take into account only how each department of your company contributes to the improvement of the cash flow. In this way, you define the precise indicators for each business unit manager.
When your sales fall, however, your sales people are poor because no indicator of your reporting comes to provide them with relevant information to explain it. Moreover you are not aware of this decline in sales because all your customers paid their bills on time last month, your cash flow indicators are in the green. A few months later, it is already too late to correct the decline in sales because the information did not reach you in time, and salespeople unable to rely on the reporting system to understand their problem could not act effectively.
By restricting your reporting to a specific goal, you may only be able to make the information you collect useful to that goal. By concealing all the other functions of this system, namely to make quick decisions about the immediate situation.
To judge as accurately as possible the performance of the various business lines of your company, and how they contribute to the overall performance of your company, choose indicators that are relevant to each of these elements in terms of the issues they face. To do this, involve the managers of your various business units in the development of your reporting system, to enable agile management at all levels of your company.