Plymouth Meeting, PA (PRWEB) September 14, 2009
ActiveStrategy, Inc., today announced the release of version 8.0 of its widely deployed ActiveStrategy Enterprise (ASE) software application, which is the most comprehensive performance management software currently available. ASE software supports and enables all areas of performance management within one enterprise application - from strategic planning and prioritization, to Balanced Scorecard and metric deployment, to initiative and task management, as well as performance improvement, and even personal goal management for all employees.
ASE v8.0 adds new features and enhancements that help business users more easily drive improvement actions, ensure that any activities related to performance management are completed as planned, and better see the impact of improvement efforts - both at the very highest overview levels and at detailed levels.
Specific changes include a powerful new "Action Item" feature, plus new and enhanced functionality in several key areas of the system: measures, initiatives/projects, and program groups for large sets of projects.
ASE v8.0 is immediately available to new customers. Existing customers who host their own system are able to upgrade to ASE v8.0 at any time, and customers who use ActiveStrategy Online, which is ActiveStrategy's SaaS (software as a service) offering, are able to access the new version now.
Action Items, brand new to ASE in this release, allow users to capture to-do items and "attach" them to virtually anything in the system - such as measures, objectives, initiatives, and scorecards. Action Items are especially useful for organizations to keep track of new activities and follow-up tasks that arise while conducting strategic or operational performance reviews.
Individual Action Items may have owners, due dates, and status flags, which provide a visual indication of which action items are overdue or in progress. Owners may receive automated email alerts to remind them about upcoming action item due dates. Action Items are displayed in a new "Reference Center" area for the objects to which they are linked, and they may also be linked to other objects in the system, improving visibility for these items and reinforcing strategic linkages.
"We use ActiveStrategy Enterprise in our business reviews to discuss performance and manage improvement activities, so the new Action Items functionality is a great enhancement for us - it will help us keep track of the important outcomes and follow up actions agreed upon during these reviews. More importantly, these Action Items provide a visual cue that ensures that follow up occurs," explained Lisa S. Liu, Director, MSSA Office of Business Performance Management for Kaiser Permanente.
Enhanced Measure Functionality
ASE software allows users to drill down from high-level or strategic views - such as scorecards, dashboards, or lists of organizational KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) - to underlying details with a single click. One such drill-down takes users to a "Measure Detail" page, which captures such things as a detailed description of the measure, owner information, historical performance information, trend charts, and more.
The Measure Detail page has been redesigned in ASE v8.0 based upon extensive customer feedback. The new page design better facilitates the flow of a performance discussion. For example, "Variance Reports" - which include commentary from a measure owner about why performance is below target - are now prominently integrated into the measure details.
Another enhancement improves the way ASE software summarizes information about groups of initiatives or projects to display as a measure. Previously, a user could have a measure called "Completed Initiatives" and display a green stoplight indicator, for example, if 95% of linked initiatives or projects were complete or a yellow indicator if only 80% were complete. Now users are also able to set thresholds for such a measure based on the budget, timing, scope, quality, and risk of the linked initiatives/projects. This is a big help for organizations that manage vast numbers of initiatives and need high-level indicators to show progress and indicate potential problem areas.
Also new in ASE v8.0 is a measure dictionary within the online help files. This dictionary includes instructions for creating every type of measure available in the system, as well as a spreadsheet containing industry-specific examples for each type.
Improved Functionality to Manage and Align Initiatives
ASE version 8.0 provides new capabilities to manage large groups of initiatives (also called projects) and programs through a new "portfolio" view, while improving the way users interact with initiatives at the detail level.
Prior to this release, ASE allowed users to manage initiatives, align them to scorecards, measures, and other system objects, to create tasks below the initiatives, and to group initiatives into program groups with phases. ASE v8.0 adds another level to this hierarchy with portfolios, which can include groups of child/parent program groups, as well as initiatives and tasks. A new Portfolio Report displays the details of each level in the hierarchy at-a-glance, while providing one-click drill-down capability.
At the initiative detail level, pages have been redesigned to improve information flow and draw attention to the most important areas. New sorting features allow users to filter groups of tasks, initiatives, and even charts by phase name or status. New status indicators have been added so that users may easily track and display quality, scope, and risk - in addition to budget and timing, which had been available in prior releases. Users can toggle between actual data and indicators, depending on the level of detail desired.
Delving one step deeper into ASE's project management capabilities, version 8.0 greatly streamlines the process for users to add and edit tasks under initiatives or projects. Rather than creating tasks one at a time, initiative owners may now create or edit dozens of tasks on a single page.
Linda Ritter, former City Manager for Carson City, NV explained, "The new reporting functionality for program groups in this version of the software has improved our ability to keep our governing board, as well as our citizens, aware of progress being made on the capital projects that are important to them. The enhanced task tracking tools help our management team to ensure that projects are moving forward according to plans - without surprises! And all of this is connected to our overall strategic plan, which is just perfect."
Based near Philadelphia, PA, ActiveStrategy's singular focus is enabling results through performance management and measurement. Through a combination of the world's most comprehensive performance management software, ActiveStrategy Enterprise, and leading management consulting services, we help organizations of all sizes and in all sectors dramatically improve their business performance.
About ActiveStrategy Enterprise
ActiveStrategy Enterprise is web-based software that lets users easily measure, view, and manage all of their crucial performance information in one place, allowing them to make informed decisions, take the right actions, and dramatically improve business results. It supports all major performance management, performance measurement, and performance excellence methodologies including the Balanced Scorecard, Malcolm Baldrige Criteria, Six Sigma, Lean, KPI deployment, and human capital alignment.
For more information, visit http://www.activestrategy.com.
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