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Volume 7 | Issue 1 | January 2013

Daniel Vitek, MBA, PMP

High-performing organizations consistently deliver more with less, produce higher quality outcomes with less risk, and simply put, outperform their peers and competitors. Generally speaking, such organizations are superior in areas such as:

  •  Clearly defined performance measures and metrics
  • Leaders are clear and concise with their message
  • Well thought out, consistent, clear, strategy
  • Stakeholders hold high ethical standards
  • Employees are innovative in their work

Improving performance involves, amongst other things, qualitatively and quantitatively evaluating the cost-benefit balance of initiatives within the context of their alignment to the organization’s mission, goals, objectives, and strategies.

  1.  Enabling this demands repeatability, consistency, measurability, and transparency across enterprise
  2. Accomplishing this requires a highly skilled and talented delivery team, leadership support, strong champions of continuous improvement, and commitment to consistent methodologies
  3.  Supporting this requires integrated technology solutions to deliver the Business Intelligence (BI) necessary to effectively inform decision making

BI is a performance management term describing the knowledge derived from collecting and analyzing an organization's information. In general, BI also encompasses concepts, standards, and methods for gathering, storing, analyzing, presenting, and distributing such information. BI solutions leverage technologies uniquely designed to facilitate the capture, integration, storage, and manipulation of data. This is achieved through a centralized data store that enables query of data, statistical analysis, report generation, forecasting, and data mining.

BI holds tremendous promise of informing and improving performance management in turn, producing substantial, sustainable, bottom-line business value. However, nothing worth having comes easy.

Implementation of effective BI is often accompanied by many political and technical challenges. To minimize the impact of such challenges leadership must be visible in their support of BI as a core competency of effective performance management. They must champion the use of technology and acceptance of BI in such a manner that promotes the sharing and collaborative use of information across the enterprise. Managers then must ensure that information feeding BI solutions is consistent, relevant, and clean so that it can be relied upon for efficient analysis and effective decision making.

Regardless of the challenges, organizations that overcome such hurdles and begin leveraging BI effectively and consistently often realize substantial benefits very quickly. Such benefits first become evident as better informed decision making in areas such as portfolio management, project selection, resource allocation, and risk reduction. Improved transparency into business operations and resource utilization then reduces inefficiencies, increases productivity, improves quality, eliminates inefficient practices, and identifies opportunities.

BI allows business decisions to be supported by hard-data. Strategic decisions that in the past may have been based on assumptions or qualitative analysis can instead be based on hard facts, numbers, relative historical data, and analytics. Within the Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (OSELS) the Project Execution Office (PEO) has implemented a cross-Program Office OSELS BI Decision Support Solution (DSS) for the portfolio of initiatives under its oversight.

The DSS leverage BI to enable project, program, portfolio, performance, and strategic management and decision-making by disseminating fact-based data that allows for improved business functions.

The OSELS PEO is recognized as a progressive proponents and innovative user of SharePoint. This reputation was earned through the creative use of SharePoint to integrate cross-Office data to more effectively facilitate the management of initiatives.

PEO began this effort by involving stakeholders in the development and implementation of project management solutions that integrated management best practices and performance reporting standards. Success quickly escalated and evolved into a flexible scalable multi-part project, program, portfolio, performance, and strategic management solution that integrates Federal and CDC policies and OSELS standards into a single performance solution for improving enterprise planning, monitoring, and control. Relevant data from across-offices is collected, aggregated, analyzed when and however needed, and static, dynamic, and ad-hock BI reporting products made available through a central report center hub. This report center enables singlepoint accessibility to centralized information and related analytics that has traditionally not existed or has been isolated within organization silos.

The resulting solution is an elegant marriage of people, practice, process, information, and technology that facilitates and supports ever increasing levels of organizational maturity.

For more information and tools related to the topic(s) covered in this newsletter, the CDC Unified Process, or the Project Management Community of Practice please visit the CDC Unified Process website at

Please also visit the CDC Unified Process Newsletter Archive located at for access to many additional newsletters, articles, and management related topics and information.


The CDC UP offers a short overview presentation to any CDC FTE or Non-FTE group. Presentations are often performed at your location, on a day of the week convenient for your group, and typically take place over lunch structured as one hour lunch-and-learn style meeting.

Contact the CDC Unified Process at or visit to arrange a short overview presentation for your group.


The CDC Unified Process Project Management Newsletter is authored by Daniel Vitek, MBA, PMP and published by the Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services.

For questions about the CDC Unified Process, comments regarding this newsletter, suggestions for future newsletter topics, or to subscribe to the CDC Unified Process Project Management Newsletter please contact the CDC Unified Process or visit



  • March 22, 2013
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