Developing a "living" business planning process
Industry dynamics, competitive forces, and economic cycles are shifting more rapidly than ever before. Value chains are being compressed, traditional marketing and distribution channels are becoming less important, and entire company business models risk becoming obsolete. Our “living” business planning approach may be just what you need.
Maintaining and achieving top performance in dynamic environments requires an exceptionally structured yet flexible business planning process that is explicitly guided by a fact-based, long-term strategic plan. In many client situations, we have seen the two processes become decoupled. This results in a business planning process that is little more than a competitive budgeting exercise and a strategic planning event that remains a theoretical procedure with no link to company operations.
We have worked with numerous companies across a wide variety of industries to help develop a "living" business planning process that addresses the following challenges:
- Flexibility vs. resolve—Remaining flexible to address changing business conditions while maintaining adherence to company vision and long-term strategic direction
- Diffusion of responsibility—Gaining the attention of senior management while incorporating business unit heads and line managers in the planning process to achieve operational input
- Implementation ability—Capturing the company's goals and vision but remaining actionable to business units and line employees
- Performance measurement—Monitoring progress against the goals set forth in the business plan and identifying warning signs early in the process
- Resource alignment—Ensuring that the company has or develops the proper skill sets and resources to effectively execute the plan
- Non-core growth—Incorporating growth opportunities and innovation prospects outside of the existing businesses
We help our clients design a systematic business planning process that effectively provides the connection between strategy development and execution. We base all of our recommendations on a deep understanding of our client's value chain, competition, and market position combined with our experience in strategy implementation and organizational effectiveness. We seek to design and implement a business planning process that addresses all key strategic issues and opportunities; communicates strategic priorities to the broader organization; incorporates input and gains buy-in from both senior leadership and business unit personnel; assigns and provides responsibility to appropriate resources for initiative implementation; and provides means of performance and progress measurement over time.