Sales Performance Management

Time done your way: Using calendars in IBM ICM

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In the world of Incentive Compensation Management (ICM), flexibility, audibility, and reporting are major pillars upon which a good system is built. The use of calendars in IBM ICM is at the heart of the platform, helping establish a foundation for success. Within ICM, calendars are defined as date ranges, aggregated into periods that define a specific block of time that is relevant for each respective business. Depending on the business’ need, this can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. These are the periods in which data needs to be aggregated.


The ability to quickly and accurately retrieve data for the purposes of auditing is a fundamental requirement in the world of incentive compensation management. One major feature that greatly enhances an ICM user’s auditing process is the ability to lock data on ICM calendars. Each individual calendar can be locked so that data for prior periods can be frozen. Calculations and tables within each model can be tied to a calendar, and subsequently locked. This keeps results and data that are tied to these frozen periods from changing, while still allowing periods that are unlocked to be continually updated as-needed and the delta between the two reported on. Administrators control the ability to lock a calendar and may choose when and how far back in time to lock ICM data. As a general rule, one best practice is to always lock calendars once a payment has been submitted to payroll for payment, so that the details behind each payout in the application tie exactly to each check that is written for all payees.


Timely and accurate reports that provide the supporting details behind a past, current, or future payout (or any other business need) in ICM are critical to adoption and long-term success of any ICM application. IBM ICM’s calendars make this possible by allowing for the ability to create report specific calculations that are tied to individual calendars. By doing so, results can be tailored to reflect the respective period that is required for each report. For example, a Compensation Statement Report would utilize calculations that lock on the same calendar as the payout, matching paycheck amounts to the supporting performance. Whereas there may be a need to report on what prior periods look like if it also incorporated results that came in after that period has been paid out (i.e. prior period adjustments), and therefore need to use calculations that utilize an unlocked calendar.

Multiple calendars

In IBM ICM, an administrator has the ability to add new calendars as necessary. The following are a few business cases for adding additional calendars in IBM ICM:

  • Compensation plans with different payout frequencies (such as monthly vs quarterly
  • Need to incorporate prior period adjustments (for example, restate past periods)
  • Significantly different payroll date for business units (in general, it is ideal to have only one or as few payout specific calendars as possible)


In IBM ICM, users have the ability to create multiple calendars to meet the needs of their various business units or country specific requirements. For example, a company’s sales division may capture data in monthly increments, whereas their manufacturing division may capture data in weekly increments. IBM ICM provides a custom and flexible platform, using time-based calculations (set to different calendars), can accurately aggregate the data for these distinct periods of time simultaneously. It is worth noting that by default, ICM begins with a single calendar when a model is created, with the ability to add additional calendars manually on an as-needed basis.

IBM gives you control

Through IBM Incentive Compensation Management, IBM provides the flexibility, reporting and confidence to have complete control over the calendar system during the entire compensation process. Paired with the IBM Cloud, and leveraging the cognitive power of IBM Watson, businesses can maximize the potential of their sales performance management solution, adapt and scale quickly, without compromising security or privacy.

To learn more about IBM Incentive Compensation Management, visit us here.

Senior Business Consultant, Business Analytics, Sales Performance Management

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