To coordinate collaboration between data contributors, reviewers, and approvers during business processes, PerformancePoint Planning Server uses process cycles and data entry forms. Process management is performed through PerformancePiont Planning Business Modeler, whereas form authoring and data submission is performed through PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel.
Planning for data collaboration includes system and workflow planning, in addition to business and process planning considerations.
System considerations and workflow
When you plan your Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 application, you should consider the logistics involved with the geographies where your users reside; such as whether you will have globally-dispersed users who will contribute, review, and approve data.
To handle this scenario, you will have to consider such things as time zone differences when you set assignment deadlines, system bandwidth during times when users from multiple geographies will use the system at the same time, and multi-currency planning considerations.
Business and process planning considerations
When you begin to plan your business processes implementation, it is important to consider data flow. A useful planning step is documentation of your overall process, users and their roles in the process, and the flow of data.
Another important consideration is process type. Some typical business process types that are used in Planning Server include the following:
- Rolling or recurring processes, such as quarterly forecasts
- Top-down or bottom-up target setting, such as a budget process
- A step in a larger financial process, such as consolidations
- General data submission to support other processes
Data security is also an important consideration when you implement business processes. Planning Server secures data by user and as part of the process cycle, so that identifying which users will need to view, edit, review, and approve data is an important part of business processes planning.
Locale-specific accounting rules that may affect business processes, such as currency conversions or financial consolidations, should also be considered during planning.
When you plan what data entry forms you will use in your business processes, the use of calculations in forms, creation of dynamic forms that automatically update each month based on user, the skill set of your users, and form complexity should be considered.
Additionally, any process that has complex calculations or many users can affect performance. Careful planning during form configuration, calculation definition, model design, and data flow planning can improve performance. Utilization of PerformancePoint Add-in for Excel offline functionality can also help in improving performance and scalability.
When you plan the number of forms to create in your application, you should also consider the life cycle of your data, as data from more than one model can be viewed in a data entry form, but the data entry part of the form can only be linked to one model. If you will need multiple model data entry, you will have to either create multiple model sites or multiple forms.
Note Planning Server provides a review and approval process for data and this functionality meets basic requirements for review and approval workflow. For more complex collaborations, integration with Windows SharePoint Services Web Parts is advised.
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