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March 20, 2020

Is Continuous Planning A Smarter Move For Your Organization?

Continuous planning is not only smarter than event-based planning, it's easier!!!

Event-based planning creates an annual cycle of ramping up effort for data collection, making decisions, flipping over to execution, then rinsing and repeating. In this cyclical process, planners tend to gain higher levels of clarity on project initiatives only during certain spike periods where planning data is collected. But then things start to get foggy as the cycle switches to project execution.
 
Disruptors create new demands on resources and ad hoc decisions are made as to what should stop and what should go at any given moment. Value and risk are not adequately considered, and lower value priorities begin to compromise higher value activities, inhibiting organizations from achieving their objectives. Then as people are shifted around to meet ever changing priorities, strategy is left behind, risk increases, and important projects end up not getting completed on time or not getting completed at all.

The lift of annual data calls can be very painful for planners. Highly skilled planners are forced to expend significant amounts of time performing data quality checks on new project submissions. Then they have to manually build views of where things are to support executive decisions. Because most plans are actually built in spreadsheets, planners laboriously transpose data from emails, Sharepoint, and other repositories into Excel and Powerpoint files for the ‘big planning event’. Plans are discussed by executives, decisions are made, then planners again manually translate from table talk to money being allocated.

As the planning process moves away from finance, people are assigned to projects with the hope of getting the work done, but then new priorities arise and ad hoc puts and takes are made between projects as new needs arise. The result is that organizations not only fail to deliver all the projects that were originally planned, but often highly important projects are shelved simply due to resource bottlenecks. The damage caused by this event based, painful, disconnected planning approach cannot be underestimated. The inability to deliver critical capabilities to support business needs often results in erosion of competitive positioning as well as lost opportunities for growth.
 
Sound familiar?
 

Having a Continuous Planning solution

But what if there was an automated solution? A way for planners to create a scalable and repeatable data management framework; collaborate with project sponsors all using a familiar sheet based data construct; generate real time what-if scenarios to support financial allocation decisions; switch to execution that supports smarter ongoing project decisions.
 
Using a continuous framework, enables people to submit new needs. It provides a high-level view of the impact of those needs not only on schedules, but on the ability of the organization to deliver value. Now they can manage risk and ensure balance across areas of the business.
 
Having data management and scenario generation all built into one platform, planners don't have to do the manual data collection and translation! Instead, they can spend more of their time generating smart what-if scenarios to provide executives with insights throughout the planning process.
 

Conclusion

Everyone wins with a continuous planning framework! Data is more easily kept up-to-date and then organized to support ongoing financial and human resource decisions throughout the planning cycle.
 
 

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