The field of strategic management has grown significantly as organizations find new and better ways to gather information about operational and financial performance. Two decades ago, strategic management was limited to rudimentary analysis which was often backed by qualitative data. Today, quality management systems have created a strategic framework based on a statistical tools driven by business software applications and process improvement methodologies. The challenge is finding a point of common ground.
Too Much Data
Statistical management tools are used across industries, from government and nonprofit agencies to corporations and banks. The challenge with most management information systems is one of data, and identifying consistent ways to apply that data to strategic planning efforts.
Bridging the Gap
Quality management systems (QMS) like Six Sigma and LEAN manufacturing are two commonly used business management solutions which are helping organizations to build a common language for interpreting data and reporting results. While these management systems are effective, they are often incompatible with business systems. As a result managers must find ways to bridge the gap between quality assessment tools and the data provided by business information systems.
One way to bridge the gap between management information systems and QMS is to build customized tools which are specific to the organization or business unit. While this is by far the most efficient solution, organic models created from database and spreadsheet applications (like MS Access and Excel) can make it difficult to pass on roles and business processes from one employee to the next. This reduces productivity levels. A more effective solution is to ask users of business information data to provide insight into the common uses of data. Programmers can then customize a solution to the business operating system (OS) used, i.e., SAP. Operating systems which speak directly to your QMS will save your organization both time and money.