Complex processes, inconsistent procedures, lack of integration and incorrectly used or outdated technologies tie up many resources in business planning. Employees complain about the high manual effort required to prepare and execute planning processes, plus time-consuming coordination rounds. In other words: Business planning requires considerable effort and takes too long. Often, the quality of the results achieved is disproportionate to the effort expended.
Reducing effort as a key driver for planning projects
For this reason, reducing planning effort is a key driver for business planning projects. When it comes to modernizing and optimizing planning, six critical levers can be identified that companies can use to significantly reduce the effort involved in business planning.
Lever #1: Make use of delta planning and automation
Companies don’t need to start their planning process from scratch every year. Instead, they should use base budgets and focus primarily on changes and measures. This will lead to reduced planning effort and less number crunching.
Lever #2: Optimize detailing
The critical question is what information is really needed to make business decisions, not what is possible. A better detailing will focus on business needs and optimize the cost-benefit ratio of the planning processes.
Lever #3: Actively manage your planning processes
The annual planning process should be understood as a project – including project management structures and processes. This avoids unnecessary loops, and risks are identified earlier.
Lever #4: Integrate all planning dimensions
Integrating all planning dimensions (for example, strategic planning, operational planning, forecasting) will reduce manual effort and speed up the planning process significantly.
Lever #5: Benefit from the latest technologies
State-of-the-art technologies enable business planning to be automated and standardized at the same time. They also provide the flexibility needed to meet individual needs without ignoring given standards.
Lever #6: Improve data management
Optimized data management provides companies with the flexibility to easily adapt data models to changing requirements. Moreover, it even opens up the opportunity to establish new business models based on high-quality data.
Take your business planning to a new level
The key characteristics of contemporary planning include a high degree of integration, close interlinking of planning dimensions and a high degree of automation in the planning processes. Our six levers offer suitable starting points for every company to improve efficiency, increase flexibility, increase speed, reduce complexity, generate added value and raise business planning as a whole to a new level.