At the City of Concordia last week, we were reviewing new financial software. We sat through a full day of demonstrations on all the various products. I saw a number of products that I could use do develop "management information."
What I call management information is the stuff you can make decisions with. That is a DUH for us, I agree.
I read one of my recommended blogs tonight and saw a short article on Silo's. Here is the URL for About Management http://management.about.com/ where I read about silo's. I paused to think about what we looked at last week.
Most of us look at the finance numbers to tell us where we have been. We look at utility sales to tell us what we sold. We look at the fixed assets report to see what we own. We don't use those numbers to get a BIG PICTURE of where we are and what we are trying to accomplish.
Consider utility billing. How many meters do we have of each size installed? Does that reflect the way we have our billing structure designed.
I am asking these questions of the way we do work because I don't have network access to the financial management system - something I intend to change.
In our system, financial software resides on individual computers - silo's - and if I want information I have to go to the "keeper" of that silo for it. Hopefully, the keeper knows how to run the software well enough that he/she can generate the information I want (or someone has asked me to get).
As managers, we need to question where information is kept and how it is used. Can I get to it without causing a work stoppage? That is something to think about.