Strategy is nothing without execution

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

The difference between a wild success and a novel failure is the ability to execute against strategy. In many cases, even if the strategy is flawed, the organization that executes best, wins. I’ve read this so many times that it’s almost become a cliché.

The mechanics of strategic execution is what I’m interested in. And it turns out it’s not that complicated. Ultimately it consists of three simple concepts.

  1. Alignment
    This is where a solid strategy comes into play. If everyone is marching in different directions nothing gets accomplished. Set your goals and get everyone working towards them.
  2. Transparency
    People need to collaborate, stay informed and understand what others are working on. Without transparency you get waste, lots of duplicate effort and even more frustration.
  3. Accountability
    Everyone needs to know what’s expected of them. This means making sure they follow through on what they say, and they know how success will be measured.

Putting it to practice

Taking these three concepts and putting them into practice should be simple and straightforward. For successful execution, everyone has to participate and feel empowered.

  1. Define and communicate the goals & objectives. Make sure they are clearly communicated and that teams and individuals can expand on them and make them their own.
  2. Capture and track the metrics & KPIs. Once the goals have been identified, use metrics to track progress and set your targets to determine success.
  3. Coordinate and manage all the business activity. Marry the goals and metrics to the action plans necessary to realize success.

As a summary, remember: Goals – Metrics – Action Plans

We’ve put this to practice at Shibumi and have done some pretty incredible things.

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Shibumi & Prolocity Consulting Announce Partnership

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Mark DiGirolamo

Actionable insight to how your BPM program should be defined, deployed, measured and monitored

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — and Prolocity Consulting announced a partnership to deliver a series of offerings that will enable business and IT to accelerate the adoption of Business Process Management (BPM) throughout the enterprise.  Combining the power of Shibumi’s cloud-based business execution platform with Prolocity’s knowledge and expertise for deploying the BPM management discipline, business and process professionals now have a single place to define, measure and manage the execution of BPM initiatives.

“We have observed that the majority of companies struggle to efficiently and effectively deploy their Enterprise BPM program as they progress throughout the plan year.  Timely communication, disciplined oversight and improved reaction time to key program indicators are the essential ingredients that allow our clients to understand why they are not meeting their program objectives and deployment targets,” said Tom Dwyer, Partner at Prolocity.  “It is for this reason we are excited to announce this powerful capability using our proven approach to practicing the BPM discipline, combined with the industry-leading business execution platform to enable our clients to achieve the objectives of their BPM adoption program.”  “Having a firm like Prolocity deploy its expertise in conjunction with Shibumi’s capabilities is a huge win for any organization serious about improving its processes and making sure the changes stick,” said Ken Pellegrino, Chief Strategy Officer of Shibumi.

Defining, Developing and Deploying Strategic BPM Initiatives

Throughout 2015 Prolocity Consulting will demonstrate their approach for introducing the many practice areas that comprise the BPM discipline.  Each practice is defined by clear objectives, critical performance targets and key indicators.  Those practice areas include:

  • Aligning Process Performance to Business Strategy
  • Defining an Enterprise Business Process Architecture
  • Strategic BPM Planning and Adoption
  • Process Discovery, Measurement, Assessment, and Improvement
  • Process Governance

To assist clients with the design, deployment and management of Prolocity’s BPM services, Prolocity and Shibumi will provide service elements within the Shibumi business platform.  For each BPM Service, these service elements consist of goals, objectives, initiatives and tasks with their associated performance targets.  Availability of the Shibumi support for each of these BPM Services will be the subject of future announcements in 2015.

Map key business processes to strategy. Easily communicate process improvement objectives. Define performance targets and initiatives.  Increase transparency and program accountability. Deeply cascade performance targets. Track progress and react to changes in your business and the market.  Gain command of your strategic goals and transform them into actionable components that can be measured and monitored.


Contact your Prolocity or Shibumi Sales representative today to find out how we can enable you to ensure success.


About Shibumi
Founded in 2012, Shibumi is a cloud-based application that provides a secure, central location to manage initiatives and deliver better results..  Shibumi allows enterprises to stay focused on achieving their goals, collaborate, measure impact and adapt plans as circumstances invariably change. Headquartered in San Francisco, Shibumi is a privately-backed company.  To learn more about Shibumi, visit

About Prolocity Consulting

Prolocity Consulting provides business transformation services which align job activities, processes and organizations to enable innovative “process thinking”, operational improvements and alignment of process performance to corporate strategy.  Utilizing BPM as a management discipline, our approach improves company performance by improving the performance of the processes that run that company.  We help our clients meet expectations for a process from both the customer’s and the company’s point of view.  Prolocity Consulting has offices in Sacramento and Boston.  To learn more about our services please visit

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Shibumi & Salient Process: Aligning Process Performance + Business Strategy + Measurement

Posted on December 18, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Actionable insight to how your improvement projects should be defined, measured and monitored


Salient Process and today announced the launch of an offering that enables business and IT to collaborate on alignment of business performance with business strategy. Combining the power of the Shibumi’s industry-leading business execution platform with Salient’s knowledge of Balanced Scorecard ™ method, business and process professionals now have a single place to define, measure and manage the execution of improvement initiatives in a collaborative environment.

logos2“We have observed that the majority of companies struggle to gain desired visibility into leading indicators and effective measurement mechanisms for the Balanced Scorecard ™ as they progress throughout the plan year. Measurement, actionable insights and improved reaction time to the leading indicators are the magic bullets that allow our clients to understand why they are not meeting their Scorecard objectives and performance targets”, said John Robinson Vice President of Solutions at Salient Process. “It is for this reason we are excited to announce this powerful capability using our process-driven, Balanced Scorecard ™ framework combined with Shibumi’s cloud platform to deliver maximum value from improvement efforts and increase our client’s competitive capabilities.”

Align Strategic Objectives with Performance of Key Business Objectives

Map strategy to key business processes. Easily communicate objectives, Define performance targets and initiatives. Increase and control transparency. Cascade performance targets. Track progress and quickly cascade and react to changes in your business and market. Gain command of your strategic goals and transform them into actionable components, initiatives and improvements that are measured and monitored.

About Shibumi

Founded in 2012, Shibumi is a cloud-based application that provides a secure, central location to manage initiatives and deliver better results. Shibumi reduces the need for time-consuming manual effort coordinating status, impact assessments and performance results and helps teams focus on their most important job – executing. Shibumi is a privately-backed company. To learn more about Shibumi, visit

About Salient Process

Founded in 2011, Salient Process is a premier provider of Business Process Management (BPM) and Decision Management (BRMS and CEP) consulting services. Salient Process enables organizations to actualize the measurable benefits of better decisions by linking process outcomes to corporate goals. Utilizing a proven methodology Salient Process partners with organizations to ensure they successfully navigate the process and decision-centric maturity journey. Headquartered in Sacramento, CA the company has offices in Denver and Miami. To learn more about Salient Process, LLC visit

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Tell your story using Shibumi

Posted on November 21, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Working with our customers over the last year, we’ve reinforced our belief that effective communication is key to managing goals and initiatives. Teams are constantly spending precious hours updating management on progress and revising expectations.

Most often, people fallback to PowerPoint when they need to do briefingsor communicate progress with a large group; however, ’duplicative work’, ‘instantly out of date’, ‘time consuming’ is what we most hear about PowerPoint.

In response to this we’ve added a suite of features to replace the one off presentations.

Improved Dashboards

exec dashboard

To craft a story, you may want to highlight certain details such as specific milestones, KPIs or status messages. Giving access to the entire initiative or goal can cause information overload for a viewer. Dashboards are meant to simplify the views and display a subset of information. Combined with Shibumi’s custom sections, you have a powerful tool for communication.

Once the dashboard is built, invite others to view it. Presto, no more one off, manually created presentations. As you update your plan, the dashboard updates instantly increasing the timeliness of information and decreasing your workload.  And with Shibumi’s advanced security features you can tell your story internally or externally with complete confidence that you remain in control.

Custom Sections


Part of being able to tell your story is having control over layout. Being able to highlight goals in the top right, metrics in the bottom left, a scorecard right in the middle. This all plays to guiding a viewer down a narrative.

In support of this the Shibumi interface is now based on custom sections. Custom sections give you complete control over how the page is layed out and where information appears so you can determine what, when and how your viewers are consuming the information you want to share.

With custom sections you can resize, drag and drop, add custom labels and more.

Get started by creating an initiative and clicking the ‘Add Section’ button.

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Six Sigma & Shibumi

Posted on October 2, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Shibumi is a cloud-based application used to simplify the execution of initiatives and deliver results. We’re all about defining goals, aligning business activity and measuring performance along the way. Working with our customers we’re often asked about Six Sigma.

Working with many Six Sigma practitioners, we have crafted some useful features to better manage projects utilizing that methodology.

Templates are the key

six sigma

We started by creating a template for Six Sigma projects. Because templates can be completely customized, including contents and layout, we were able to fully support the DMAIC methodology. This didn’t only include DMAIC but also all the phases and tasks under each of those steps. In addition, we attached the standard deliverables that should be produced at each stage. For example:

  • Process Maps
  • Fishbone diagrams
  • etc…

To capture all the quantitative data necessary for Six Sigma we leveraged Shibumi metrics. This included metrics like:

  • # of defects
  • Defects per Million Opportunities
  • Cost of Poor Quality
  • Throughput Yield
  • etc…

All of this culminated in a fairly detailed template that customers have already put to use in live Six Sigma projects.  Shibumi is a turn-key application that can help you and your team organize and track your progress and have you executing like the black-belt you truly are.  Try it out.

If you’d like more information about this, please contact us.


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Advanced Reporting has come to Shibumi

Posted on October 1, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Every organization struggles with how to make sense of and manage the massive amount of information generated each day.  This information includes your strategic goals, the measures you use to determine success and the initiatives your working towards. With the latest release Shibumi makes it simple to generate tabular reports and heatmaps to analyze this information and make it actionable.

Advanced Reports with a few clicks


With advanced reports in Shibumi it’s easy to create tabular reports with a few clicks.

  1. Select what you would like to report on (Goals, Initiatives, Projects, etc…)
  2. Define any additional filters you would like
  3. Add/Remove any columns of data in the report
  4. Click Save

Adding and removing columns is a snap. Click the (+) on the far right on the label row and pick which ones you’d like to add. Shibumi scans the contents of the report and presents you with all the available columns in a simple pick list.

Reports + Templates: Creating powerful management views

When you combine our recently added templating functionality with reporting you get a powerful combination. As you define items in Shibumi based on templates, the reports are even easier to generate, because they all share the same basic attributes.

Take, for example, a project template. Projects can share the same phases and health measures such as budget, scope and timeline to ensure a standard method of evaluation. As you add projects into the portfolio, the reports can automatically pick up your new metrics to give you enhanced visibility into performance in seconds.

Using reports to create tailored lists

Another use of reports is to create tailored views into Shibumi for each user. A user has a set of goals and initiatives she’s responsible for. She has identified the key metrics she uses to gauge performance and she would like all this complied into a simple grid for a one-stop view into her world.  With reports she can now have that exact view, making it much easier for her to interact with all of her relevant data in one place.

She can even manage the data directly from the report with inline editing and our recently introduced preview pane, saving her time and effort and letting her see how changes impact her results.

A game changer

Advanced reporting in Shibumi represents a leap in the types of insights and views that can be generated.  Take a look for yourself. Click ‘Reports’ on the left to get started.

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Introducing, the Preview Pane

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

A major aspect of Shibumi is the business context it provides our customers. When things are organized and logically related to each other, the entire organization has a better understanding of the larger picture.

We’re always working on new ways to better provide context and that’s why we’re so excited about the preview pane. The preview pane, simply put, is a way to preview an item without leaving your current view.

It’s all about context

Let’s say your looking at a partner plan for the organization. This plan may include some business metrics around leads and sales from partners and a list of current partners. You see the leads metric is trending down, which prompts you to want to look through a few individual account plans.

Without having the leave the overall partner plan, the preview pane let’s you take a peak at each individual account plan, while still providing the full context.

The benefits of this are two fold. One, it allows you to get to information much faster, previewing a list of items can be done in seconds. And two, it better supports the thought process of most people. You see an at risk item, preview it, get your answer, move onto the next item.

Initial feedback has been great, and we’re sure you’ll love it too! Take a look now.


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Shibumi just got a whole lot faster!

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

You’ve been asking for it, and now, it’s finally here. Multi-select!

We’ve seen some pretty impressive things from our customers. The amount of stuff they’re managing in Shibumi has been amazing.  As a result, the ability to manage all that stuff in a faster more effective way has been high on the enhancement list. The single most requested item has been multi-select to perform the most common actions on many items at once.

Give it a try for yourself! You can now mark complete, move, copy and delete en masse!

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 8.38.43 PM

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Jumpstart your Initiatives with Templates

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

Repeatability is a mantra we often hear, and for good reason. Defining a consistent approach allows a company to scale, sets expectations, and empowers all involved. When talking about the initiatives a company is targeting, repeatability is critically important.

To support this in Shibumi we’re releasing templates. Templates will allow you to capture your best practices into a package that can be used over and over again.


Anatomy of a Template

Templates in Shibumi are extremely flexible and meant to capture all aspects of an initiative. They include:

  • The standard set of participant roles
  • The performance measures used to gauge progress and health
  • The best practice set of activities needed to execute
  • Additional next level template definitions

Applying this across the organization

The last item is really where the power of our templates is exposed. Let’s take a simple example of a program portfolio.

  • The Portfolio – This can be based on a template that includes standard metrics such as budget, cost and ROI.
    • Initiatives / Projects – Each initiative or project in the portfolio can be created using one or more templates containing standard metrics that roll up to the portfolio level so tracking progress is a breeze.
      • Phases / Milestones – The initiative and project templates can contain standard phases or milestones so that your best practices are followed.

This is just one example, but we at Shibumi are applying this to many types of organizations.

Along with our consulting partners, we’re defining templates for:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Finance

Really, the possibilities are endless. If you’d like to know more contact us and let’s start defining your standard approach!

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A better way to create and manage your initiatives

Posted on February 4, 2014 by Mark DiGirolamo

With our latest release we’re excited to offer a faster and better way to create and manage initiatives in Shibumi.

Say Goodbye to Spreadsheets (and hello to Bulk Create!)

Spreadsheets have long been the fallback solution for managing all types of initiatives or tracking ongoing status. Keeping these spreadsheets organized, collated, and available to everyone is a major challenge for even small sized teams. Now you can copy your plan out of Excel, and paste it right into Shibumi – and inherit all the powerful features Shibumi has to offer.


Getting started is easy. When creating items in Shibumi, choose Create Multiple. Then interact with the grid much the same way you would with a spreadsheet.  Craft your plan ahead of time in Excel, and then copy and paste it into Shibumi.  Or type directly into the grid, if you prefer.  Either way, because the grid allows you to create multiple items at once, you can build your plan MUCH faster.

Gain easy access to your performance metrics!

KPIs give your team and management increased insight into the plan and the results you’ve been able to achieve.

Now you can quickly and easily add your performance metrics directly to a custom initiative dashboard.  Simply create a KPI under an initiative, and it will automatically be added to that initiative’s Performance Summary.

Better yet, organize and customize the dashboard to communicate a tailored view of the most relevant metrics to your team and management – all updated in real-time.  Just like that, you’ll have a convenient alternative to the constant creation and re-creation of status and performance update presentations.


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