This is how a successful planning process succeeds in companies and organizations.
Almost every company is continuously looking at its strategy. This results in a common vision and measures are defined to support and promote the future prospects of the company. However, successful implementation is usually only theory … the reality often looks different.
Strategy vs. planning
Corporate strategy declares common goals, but so often the plan to implement it misses the mark. In other words, the defined measures and targets will consequently find little or no reflection in the current planning cycle in the future. All too often, bottom-up planning is done in the hope that the budget created will reasonably align with the strategy.
In our view, an integrated digital planning process should at best include the following factors:
- Integration of the strategy into the ongoing planning and forecasting process and constant feedback
- Top-down / bottom-up and counter-current methods
- Automatic creation of financial planning (cash flow, balance sheet and GUV) from operative detailed planning
- Automatic integration of all relevant data from the various upstream systems
Planning fast and target-oriented
The detailed planning can only be designed in a targeted manner where the information is available and the decision-making and control options are located. I.e. it makes sense to roughly sketch out a framework for those responsible for the organisational units on the basis of a top-down specification, the subsequent planning of which they then concretise. All existing and already fixed framework parameters should flow in automatically from the corresponding systems and should not be “plannable”.
Based on these technical premises, a process is installed that makes it possible to guarantee fast planning cycles. This proven approach creates the possibility to react quickly to new findings. The participants also gain more time to deal more comprehensively with the contents of the results or for further development of scenarios. Consequently, those responsible are in a position to plan in a more timely manner and at shorter notice, with the further advantage that undesirable developments and deviations can be identified in good time and thus reacted to promptly.
Dynamics of the integrated planning process
The embedding of this planning process in the company organization as well as in other processes is of crucial importance. Planning and, based on that, the appropriate periodic analysis meetings can make or break this agility advantage. By making the numbers and information clear to all participants in advance, meetings can be approached in a solution-oriented and appropriate manner. Otherwise, a lot of time will be wasted in conveying facts and creating scenarios, which in the worst case will result in a decisive competitive disadvantage.
Current planning is the sum of all decisions that have been made at that point in time. In a rapidly changing world, it must be possible to make decisions or revise existing decisions quickly. An agile planning process activates and supports this process.
Harald Straßmair | 07.12.2017