Too many companies put a tremendous amount of time and resources into the planning process. Then only to have much of that work wasted by not having the right information to make decisions.  Why invest time in developing plans, but fail to implement an effective performance management process?

Continuous Planning Uses Technology

Companies are changing the way they plan through a combination of better process and leading technology.  Moving from static planning to a connected and continuous planning process that allows users to input changes to the plan as they occur and enable quicker decisions to keep things on track.  The question is what information is critical to making the decisions?

Effective, connected and continuous planning provides information on a timely basis. But is it all the information needed to make decisions?  Companies should identify measures that result in “action”!  Don’t provide measures that are “for information only”. Because this type of information is usually backward looking and results in little or no action.

Continuous Planning Needs Data

Providing key insights about why the revenue target was missing, such as actual and projected sales for your top customers and top products!  Maybe it is information that predicts the cost of raw materials, or the impact of weather and changing demographics in key markets!  By providing actionable insight, planners gain a deeper understanding of the true drivers of the business and become more effective and accurate at forecasting them.  As a result, leaders can quickly act to address unfavorable predictions.

As you start improving your insight to support your planning and decision making, keep in mind that one of the key impediments to getting the information you need is your data.  Yes, the data can be a significant roadblock especially if there are multiple systems, data stores and offline models.  The issue is that without a trusted source of data it is almost impossible to provide effective analytics.

Now is the time for your company to significantly move your planning forward.  Leave behind the annual planning process that many consider being a complete waste of time.

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Download our eBook, “Turn Waste into Value”, to learn how to find true value in the planning process, and 3 steps to easily get your company started on the path to effective annual planning.