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Building Agility Through Continuous Planning

Periods of disruptive change highlight the value of faster, more agile, and more predictive planning and decision-making processes. Finance teams must be able to respond quickly to changing business conditions to provide timely, action-oriented analysis and guidance to decision makers. To accomplish this, CFOs and leadership teams must have the processes and technology to achieve this objective. They must have a continuous planning process in place and software that supports continuous planning.

Recent turbulence illustrates the value of what Ventana Research calls “continuous planning.” It’s an approach that uses technology to connect and integrate all the forward-looking activities in which companies engage, such as marketing, sales, customer, supply chain and workforce planning as well as budgeting. It’s a high-participation, collaborative, and action-oriented planning approach built on frequent, short planning sprints. Integrated planning processes enable organizations to enhance the accuracy of their plans with refinements that are made at shorter intervals, which in turn enable companies to achieve greater agility when responding to market or competitive changes. An ongoing, collaborative dialogue about achieving objectives brings together finance, line-of-business managers and executives to promote better ongoing alignment and buy-in to the planning process and the resulting plans.

 
 

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About the Author

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Robert Kugel

SVP and Research Director
Ventana Research

Robert Kugel is responsible for the Office of Finance and business research, focusing on the intersection of information technology with the finance organization and business. His research agenda includes the application of IT to finance and business process optimization, looking particularly at ERP and continuous accounting, financial performance management, predictive planning, price and revenue management, revenue and lease accounting and robotic finance.