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What Is Continuous Accounting?

Elizabeth Milne

Continuous accounting is a paradigm shift for finance professionals responsible for closing the books and producing financial statements. “The way we’ve always done it” is to wait until period end, work long hours, and get the end of the period reporting done. This traditional way of doing things is based on repeating what’s been done period after period in the past. The reports are getting done so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Change is hard.

The concept of continuous accounting is not waiting until the end of the period to execute the multiple tasks that need to happen to close the books. With the advancements in technology over the past years, it is now possible to execute tasks required for the close throughout the period. Similar to the concept of a soft close, continuous accounting provides better visibility into financial results throughout the period – live and in real time.

This does not replace the need for a hard close. The annual report sent to stockholders should not change each time the reader opens it. The core essence of financial reports is a snapshot at a specific period of time. However, being able to have better insight sooner into what that snapshot is likely to be can provide great value.

Certain accounting needs to happen during the end of the period, but much can be accomplished earlier than typically executed. Intercompany reconciliation is an example of a task that can be now run throughout the period. Historically, corporate processes would be the bottleneck as subsidiaries would need to wait until period end for them to collect and run matching reports, which were then returned to the subsidiaries that would then reconcile among themselves, make corrections, resubmit, and then run the matching reports again. With the technology that’s available today, subsidiaries can see their intercompany activity along with their intercompany trading partner’s activity throughout the period. This approach eliminates the need to wait until the end of the period to ensure they are in balance. This is just one example of tasks that can be distributed throughout the period, including account balance reconciliation and attesting, certain accruals, review of equity accounts that are expected not to change, and certain allocations.

The period-end closed is not going away anytime soon. The concept of a real-time consolidation during the period will not provide a complete picture as there is much activity that still happens. But it can start the provide a picture of what is going to come.

Change is hard, and this type of change requires technology change as well as process change. It is a different way of doing things, but the benefits outweigh the pain of change. Lightening the workload at a period-end close speeds the close and contributes to better work/life balance. Additionally, the finance department can provide more accurate visibility into the financial position earlier in the period, enabling better operational decisions that impact the business sooner.

The period-end close and reporting is required, speeding that close is desired, and continuous accounting is inspired and admired.

Learn more about this approach and why it’s important for your business. Join our SAP CFO Strategic Webinar: “Continuous Accounting,” on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 10:00 a.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. GMT / 4:00 p.m. CET. Register today.

Follow SAP Finance online: @SAPFinance (Twitter)  | LinkedIn | FacebookYouTube

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Elizabeth Milne

About Elizabeth Milne

Elizabeth Milne has over 20 years of experience improving the software solutions for multi-national, multi-billion dollar organizations. Her finance career began working at Walt Disney, then Warner Bros. in the areas of financial consolidation, budgeting, and financial reporting. She subsequently moved to the software industry and has held positions including implementation consultant and manager, account executive, pre-sales consultant, solution management team at SAP, Business Objects and Cartesis. She graduated with an Executive MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In 2014 she published her first book “Accelerated Financial Closing with SAP.” She currently manages the accounting and financial close portfolio for SAP Product Marketing. You can follow her on twitter @ElizabethEMilne

The CFO Role In 2020

Estelle Lagorce

African American businessman looking out office window --- Image by © Mark Edward Atkinson/Blend Images/CorbisThe role of the CFO is undergoing a serious transformation, and CFOs can expect their role to continue to evolve, according to a recent CFO.com article by Deloitte COO and CFO Frank Friedman.

In the futurist article, Friedman says one of the biggest factors that will contribute to the CFO’s significant change over the next five years is technology.

Digital technology is obviously expected to drive change in high-tech companies, but Friedman says it’s industries outside of the tech sectors that are of particular interest, as they struggle to understand how to grasp and harness the digital capabilities available to them.

Working with high tech in low-tech industries

Five years from now, a finance team may be defined by how well it uses technology and innovative business tools, regardless of what industry it’s in. The article outlines some examples of ways that digital technology will increasingly be used by CFOs in “non-tech” sectors:

  • Predictive analytics: CFOs in manufacturing companies can forecast results and produce revenue predictions based on customer-experience profiles and current demand, instead of comparing to previous years as most companies still do today.
  • Social media and crowdsourcing: You may not think CFOs spend a lot of time on social media or crowdsourcing sites, but these methods can actually expedite finance processes, such as month-end responsibilities of the finance organization.
  • Big Data: CFOs already have a lot of data at their fingertips, but in 2020 they will have even more. CFOs in both tech and non-tech sectors who understand how to use that data to make valuable, informed decisions, can strategically guide their company and industry in a more digitally oriented world.

To do this, Friedman says CFOs can lead the way by addressing some critical areas:

  1. Know the issues: Gather the key questions that leaders expect Big Data analytics to answer.
  1. Make data easily accessible: Collect data that is manageable and easy to access.
  1. Broaden skills: The finance team needs people with the skills to understand and strategically interpret the data available to them.

The tech-savvy CFO

The role of today’s CFO has already expanded to include strategic corporate growth advice as well as managing the bottom line. In 2020, Friedman says expectations placed on the CFO are presumed to be even greater, and CFOs will likely need a much more diverse, multidisciplinary skill set to meet those demands.

The article details several traits and skills that CFOs will need in order to keep up with the pace of digital change in their role.

  1. Digital knowledge: CFOs must be tech-savvy in order to capitalize on technical innovations that will benefit their company and their industry as a whole.
  1. Data-driven execution: CFOs will need the ability to execute company strategy and operations decisions based on data-driven insights.
  1. Regulatory compliance: Regulations continue to be more stringent globally, so CFOs will need to be proficient at working closely with regulators and compliance systems.
  1. Risk management: With the growing global economy comes increased cyber and geopolitical risks worldwide. The CFOs of 2020, especially those in large multinational organizations, will need to have the expertise to monitor and manage risk in areas that may be unforeseen today.

The future CFO’s well-rounded resume

By 2020, the CFO role will require much more than just an accounting background. According to Deloitte’s Frank Friedman, “CFOs may need to bring a much more multidisciplinary skill set to the job as well as broader career experiences, from working overseas to holding positions in sales and marketing, and even running a business unit.”

So if you’re a current or aspiring CFO, you have five years to round out your resume with the necessary skills to be ready for the digitally driven role of the CFO in 2020.

The above information is based on the CFO.com article What Will the CFO Role Look Like In 2020?” by Deloitte COO & CFO, Frank Friedman – Copyright © 2015 CFO.com.

Want to learn more about best practices for transforming your finance organization? View the SAP/Deloitte Webinar, “Reshaping the Finance Function”.

For an in-depth look at digital technology’s role in business transformation, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

To learn more about the business and technology factors driving digital disruption, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

To read more CFO insights from a tech industry perspective, read the Wall Street Journal article with SAP CFO Luka Mucic: Driving Insight with In-memory Technology.

Discover 7 Questions CFOs Should Ask Themselves About Cyber Security.

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Estelle Lagorce

About Estelle Lagorce

Estelle Lagorce is the Director, Global Partner Marketing, at SAP. She leads the global planning, successful implementation and business impact of integrated marketing programs with top global Strategic Partner across priority regions and countries (demand generation, thought leadership).

Get Your Payables House In Order

Chris Rauen

First of 8 blogs in the series

Too many organizations ignore the business potential from streamlining accounts payable operations. In a digital economy, however, this may represent one of the best opportunities to improve financial performance and boost the bottom line.

In its recent report, ePayables 2015: Higher Ground, the research and advisory firm Ardent Partners made a strong case for accounts payable transformation. “In 2015, more AP groups are accelerating their plans to transform their operations and scale to new heights,” states the report.

The digital makeover

From a payables perspective, how you go about fixing outdated procure-to-pay (P2P) practices is much like the decision to improve an aging home. Do you tear your house down and build a new one, or leverage as much of the existing structure as you can and begin a major home improvement project?

There is, of course, a third option. Take no action and make calls to plumbers, electricians, roofers, and other specialists as needed before the house falls apart altogether. While few organizations would consider a “triage” strategy the best option to address deficiencies in P2P operations, many still do. (Just don’t share that with your CFO.)

This blog post is the first in a series that will examine options for upgrading procure-to-pay processes from outclassed to best-in-class. Continuing to focus time and effort on managing transactions just doesn’t make sense. With today’s business networks, organizations have new ways to collaborate with suppliers and other partners to buy, sell, and manage cash.

Automation handles low-value activities, eliminating data entry, exception management, and payment status phone calls. That leaves more time for benchmarking operations, monitoring supplier performance, expanding early payment discounts, and improving management of working capital – the kinds of things that can dramatically improve business performance.

Where do you start?

To begin, you have to recognize that getting your payables house in order is much more than a process efficiency initiative. While cost savings from e-invoicing can be 60% to 80% lower than paper invoicing, there’s much more to the business case.

Improving contract compliance and expanding early payment discounts are other components of a business case for P2P transformation. According to various procure-to-pay research studies and Ariba customer results, the cost savings from getting your payables house in order are conservatively estimated to be $10 million per billion collars of spend. We’ll break down these ROI components in greater detail in future posts on this topic.

The value of alignment

Another important first step, validated by the Ardent Partners report, is getting procurement and finance-accounts payables in alignment. As this is a holistic process, you’ll need to make sure that both organizations are in sync, and you have support from upper management to make it happen.

Now, back to the question: Do you approach a payables makeover to support P2P transformation as a tear-down or a fixer-upper? If your procurement-accounts payable teams are out of alignment, your P2P processes are predominantly paper, and decentralized buying leaves little control over spend, you’re looking at a tear-down to lay the foundation for best practices payables. We’ll share a blueprint with you in the next post in this series.

Chris Rauen is a solution marketer for Ariba, an SAP company. He regularly contributes to topics including e-invoicing and dynamic discounting as well as the value of collaborating in a digital economy. 

Learn more about how to take your payables to the next level of performance in Ardent Partners’ research report “ ePayables 2015: Higher Ground.”

Comments

Chris Rauen

About Chris Rauen

Chris Rauen is a solution marketer for SAP Ariba. He regularly contributes to topics including e-invoicing and dynamic discounting as well as the value of collaborating in a digital economy.

3 Ways Robots Will Co-Evolve with Humans

Christopher Koch

Comments

Christopher Koch

About Christopher Koch

Christopher Koch is the Editorial Director of the SAP Center for Business Insight. He is an experienced publishing professional, researcher, editor, and writer in business, technology, and B2B marketing. Share your thoughts with Chris on Twitter @Ckochster.

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Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Gavin Mooney

About Gavin Mooney

Gavin Mooney is a utilities industry solution specialist for SAP. From a background in Engineering and IT, Gavin has been working in the utilities industry with SAP products for nearly 15 years. He has had the privilege of working with a number of Electricity, Gas and Water Utilities across the globe to implement SAP’s Industry Solution for Utilities. He now works with utilities to help them identify the best way to run simple and run better with SAP's latest products. Gavin loves to network and build lasting business relationships and is passionate about cleantech and the fundamental transformation currently shaking up the utilities industry.

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awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Kris Hansen

About Kris Hansen

Kris Hansen is senior principal, Financial Services for SAP Canada. He is focused on understanding the financial services industry and identifying new and interesting digital opportunities that create disruptive business value.

Tags:

awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Wilson Zhu

About Wilson Zhu

Wilson Zhu is a Marketing Manager at SAP. He focuses on the topic of Digital Supply Chain and IoT. Follow him on Twitter: @thezhu.

Tags:

awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Roger Noia

About Roger Noia

Roger Noia is the director of Solution Marketing, SAP Jam Collaboration, at SAP. He is responsible for product marketing and sales enablement for our dedicated sales team as well as the broader SAP sales force selling SAP Jam.

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awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Tags:

awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Tags:

awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Drew Schiller

About Drew Schiller

Drew Schiller co-founded and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Validic, the leading digital health platform for connecting patient-generated data from apps, wearables, and in-home medical devices to the healthcare system. At Validic, Drew leads the corporate strategy, drives key day-to-day initiatives, and works closely with senior executives at partner organizations to stay ahead of the innovation curve.

Tags:

awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Carolyn Beal

About Carolyn Beal

Carolyn Beal is senior director of Solution Marketing for Social Software at SAP. Her specialties include product marketing, marketing communications, CRM, and demand generation.

Tags:

awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

Comments

Jayne Landry

About Jayne Landry

Jayne Landry is the global vice president and general manager for Business Intelligence at SAP. Ms. Landry joined Crystal Decisions in 2002 and came into SAP through the Business Objects acquisition in 2007. A seasoned executive with 20+ years of experience in the technology sector, Jayne has held leadership roles in high-tech companies in the CRM, mobility, and cloud applications space. Ms. Landry holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Auckland, and has continued executive development with Queen’s University, Ontario, and through work with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

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awareness

Donuts, Content Management and Information Governance

Ina Felsheim and Michael Rander

I was on vacation for two weeks, which was awesome, and my girls mainly wanted to do two things:

I had my own list of projects, too. The big one was installing glass tile on the kitchen backsplash. (Grout everywhere. That’s all I’m saying.)

After two weeks of glorious holiday, I sat down to take stock. The old technical writer in me came creeping out, and I began to count how many sets of instructions we followed over the course of the two weeks—more than 15, definitely. And the amazing thing? They were all right. Every. Last. One. From proper application of fabric paint to proper frying temperature for homemade donuts, to putting together a shoe rack that came in 20 pieces.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have happened five years ago. The difference comes from an increased awareness in the importance of great user assistance. Without successful “use,” who’s going to evangelize your product?

Information Governance: Part of a Larger Food Pyramid

In EIM, we have a well-seasoned group of information developers. They apply information governance principles every day:

  • Create a single source of master information (in this case, product step-by-step instructions)
  • Manage versioning of master information (as product updates happen)
  • Survey end-users of the information to gauge quality, freshness, and applicability of master information
  • Establish master information Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed (RACI) models for owners, reviewers, and informed stakeholders.

Sometimes, we group this knowledge management work into other categories, like content management. However, information governance needs to also be inclusive of these activities; otherwise, how can we be successful? No one can live on donuts alone!

Does your information governance program include content management? Do you have comments about the quality of EIM user assistance (online help, PDFs, printed documentation, etc.)?

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Rick Knowles

About Rick Knowles

Rick Knowles is senior vice president (SVP) and general manager (GM) of the partnership between SAP SE and Apple, Inc. In this role, he oversees the strategic roadmap in building state-of-the-art applications for some of the most complex business systems in the world. Rick has been with SAP for close to 20 years, where he has held executive positions such as SVP and chief of staff, GM of One Customer Experience, and SVP and chief operating officer for SAP Americas, the company’s largest geographic market. You can follow him on Twitter @RickKnowlesSAP.

About Michael Rander

Michael Rander is the Global Research Director for Future Of Work at SAP. He is an experienced project manager, strategic and competitive market researcher, operations manager as well as an avid photographer, athlete, traveler and entrepreneur. Share your thoughts with Michael on Twitter @michaelrander.

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