Last week I weighed in on the on-going debate as to whether PM is the same thing as BI. The Performance Guys seemed to agree with my assessment and echoed my belief that performance management involves motivation, not just monitoring and measuring. I’d only point out that motivation doesn’t necessarily require money; I once did it with cans of Pepsi.
Timo Elliot, on the other hand, didn’t buy the arguments. In his words,
“Yes, this process can be more or less sophisticated, and require additional technologies (see Jonathan’s table of the presumed differences between BI and PM) but the notion that at a certain level the business goal suddenly changes strikes me as artificial. […] I believe that organizations have a single business goal — call it, say, ‘performance excellence’ — that covers a spectrum of needs from ‘what’s happening?’ to ‘what should be happening?’, and which requires what are currently called BI and PM tools.”
While I applaud Timo’s efforts to ensure that we’re all more careful in our terminology, I don’t think his post helps remove the confusion. I, for one, can’t tell whether he’s suggesting that the PM and BI markets are the same or just PM and BI technology. And to suggest that the technologies are the same thing because they both support the business goal of performance excellence is simplification to the point of silliness. By that argument, ERP and CRM – whose goals are certainly to improve the performance of organizations – must also be the same thing as business intelligence. In fact, we might as well throw office productivity tools in as well.
Intelligent, well-meaning, people can have differences of opinions on topics. Religion, politics, and sports are subjects of these endless debates. Perhaps performance management will be too.