“Let’s change the way we do things” is arguably the least favorite directive we can hear. The reason? By definition, something has gone wrong. You never hear this from an American football player after winning the Super Bowl, the coach of a national soccer team after winning the World Cup, or a tennis player after winning Wimbledon. No, this is something the losers would say because they failed at reaching their goal.
A digital economy is a fast-changing one. As digitalized business models have connected all data from across companies’ value chains in real-time, business leaders are increasingly being called upon to make more decisions and make them more quickly in response to new information. In other words, they need to be able to dynamically plan “in the moment”—that is, develop instantaneous responses to business changes using up-to-the-minute data at a very granular level of detail.
In recent years, supply chains have become global, more complex and vulnerable to disruptions due to the fact that the world is changing. Furthermore, we see trends such as global changes in supply and demand, higher volatility in demand patterns and more focus on customer centricity. Because the world is changing and we are moving towards a “new normal” state, we need new perspectives on planning, supply chain management and risk.
The days of creating an annual plan and then reviewing that plan 12 months later, as the new annual planning season begins, are over. In 2018, the rate and magnitude of change continues to increase, and the premium on being able to make better, faster, smarter decisions continues to rise. Over the course of 12 months, there may have been major upheavals in your industry, in the economy, or in technology. If you haven’t thought about making adjustments to the changes in your world in real time, you may have missed major opportunities or warning signs.
In my first article in this series, I described the concept of dynamic planning and how it differs from the historical static way of planning. Here, I am focusing on some of the impacts of changing the planning philosophy and process.
The whole strength of the dynamic planning concept is the ability to gain insights about the organization at a frequency greater than the annual planning cycle. To gain these insights, however, there needs to be a way to access data on a company-wide basis, in real time. We need access to actuals to give us the clearest picture of the true state of the organization at anytime from anywhere.
As many of us get caught up in the intrigue and suspense created by the characters and storylines of “Game of Thrones,” it leads me to think about how annual budgets, forecasts, and plans are also full of intrigue, anticipation, and unexpected findings and results.