The Harvard Business Review recently published the article “Planning Doesn’t Have to Be the Enemy of Agile.” Given its implications for businesses, we asked our Chief Planning Officer for his thoughts on this timely and relevant topic.
Simon Tucker: This is a great article about how companies should organize into agile teams, empower those teams to make decisions, and to plan in an agile, everyday environment.
It shows the need to break traditional forms of planning (annual/bi-annual) for plans that “live” and are constantly updated. As business conditions change, as they do all too often in today’s business environment, drivers and assumptions need to change that then have a cascading effect across the organization.
This means that it is vital to “connect” plans and teams together so that the flow of data and information can occur bi-directionally up and down the organization. If just one simple condition changes (say the price of a good or service has to be reduced or increased due to competition pressure), the wide-spread implications of what a business has to do from Sales to Marketing to HR to Finance must be immediately seen, the impact assessed, and a new course chartered if necessary.
Without a change in behavior in how companies plan, without connections across the business, without constant collaboration, and without a single source of truth, companies will fail in this rapidly changing landscape.
The message is clear: the ability to quickly model a new business scenario and see its impact across the business is vital in today’s business world.