Ron Dimon's thought-leading second edition of the book originally entitled Enterprise Performance Management Done Right, published in 2012, is a practical roadmap for using Connected Planning to develop an agile organization and to navigate the complex Enterprise Performance Management landscape.
According to esteemed author, researcher, and Management professor Dr. Christopher Neck, "In the same way that one needs to be self-leading to finish a grueling marathon, an organization must be self-leading in order to execute on its plans in an efficient and effective manner. What drives self-leadership at all levels in an organization? The people within the organization of course--and those people must be involved in the planning occurring in an organization. Without a plan, an organization has no direction."
Since 2012, much has changed in the world of connecting strategy with improved performance: new, cloud-based, in-memory technologies have been adopted by the largest organizations in the world. This book is for CFOs, CIOs, their direct reports, and any organizational visionary or aspiring leader who wants to ''bring it all together'' and create an actionable vision and plan for improving readiness, resilience, and performance.
This is the second edition of the book originally entitled Enterprise Performance Management Done Right published in 2012. Since that time, much has changed in the world of connecting strategy with improved performance: new, cloud-based, in-memory technologies have been adopted by the largest organizations in the world, more unstructured data and ways of handling it, and an even faster pace of business disruption and competition. Since the first edition was published, I've noticed more emphasis has been placed on the planning, modeling, and analytics components of Enterprise Performance Management, as organizations are eager to improve their ability to react quickly to changing markets and customers, changing competition, and changing employee needs. The desire to improve readiness for change as a core competency among my clients is driving more interest in planning processes and technologies.
What's changed in the second edition:
- There is more emphasis on the debate and commit sections of the Enterprise Performance Management framework. I am using the term "connected planning" to emphasize that;
- There is less emphasis on the statutory consolidation and reporting process, as the audience for this is limited to the Finance department, and Connected Planning appeals more to business managers and teams;
- Chapters have been reordered to provide better flow of the Connected Planning process;
- A new chapter on digital planning, and those new technologies that impact planning and forecasting, has been added;
- As most planning systems are now cloud-based, or most organizations are moving to the cloud, the cloud architecture diagrams have been removed;
- Whiteboard drawings have been updated and standardized by the steady hand of Meredith Dimon, Greenware Press Studios.
Who Should Read This Book?
This book is for CFOs, CIOs, their direct reports, and any organizational visionary or aspiring leader who wants to "bring it all together" and create an actionable vision and plan for improving readiness and performance. The book is also intended for managers who want to understand Connected Planning and how it can help them be better managers. My hope is that any student of planning and forecasting can learn and apply at least a few ideas from this book.
Connected Planning is essentially about three things to help you improve your management operating system:
- A Framework. This is the management operating system for your business and shows how all of the pieces of Connected Planning work together as one holistic process. It is most useful as a long-term, high-level Connected Planning vision.
- Enabling Technologies. Within the framework, I show what pieces you need to put into place to deliver on the necessary planning processes and how to connect them.
- A Fresh Planning Roadmap. This is insight on how to prioritize all those potential planning and forecasting initiatives given your strategic business objectives, and how they are supported by enabling technologies, eventually being fulfilled on your aspirational Connected Planning framework.
Overview of the Content
The book is organized into 11 chapters:
- Chapter 1: What's Broken and What's Possible? This chapter gives you an overview of the promise of Connected Planning. It helps you understand what problems this domain was created to solve and how well it's been solving them.
- Chapter 2: Connected Planning. A new chapter in the second edition that gives an overview of Connected Planning, the components, and other definitions that help readers navigate the rest of the book.
- Chapter 3: A Planning Operating System. This is the central framework of the book and of the model for Connected Planning as a process. Each of the cornerstones of the process are explored in subsequent chapters.
- Chapter 4: Debate: What Can We Do and What Should We Do? One of the most overlooked cornerstones of Connected Planning, modeling "what if" scenarios, is the topic of this chapter. Enabling a robust, fact-based, open debate in the company helps it prepare for a variety of possible futures and helps it maximize the value of its assets and minimize risk.
- Chapter 5: Commit: Who Will Deliver What, by When? There's more to Connected Planning than only planning. This chapter describes some better practices and shows how planning should be connected to the other areas of the management operating system.
- Chapter 6: Visualize: Where Are We, Right Now? One of the most common needs of Connected Planning is variance reporting. It helps answer the question "where are we and how are we doing?" at a point in time. This chapter outlines how reporting and visualization has changed to be much more dynamic, how it must deliver more insight than ever, and how it cannot live in isolation from the planning process.
- Chapter 7: Understand: Why Did We Get the Results We Got? Connected Planning as a process not only helps set targets, it also helps explore and understand why you met, exceeded, or missed those targets. This chapter explores approaches to understanding results through business questions and includes the ideas behind "Big Data" and predictive analytics.
- Chapter 8: Execute: From Insights to Actions to Results. Chapter 8 is a collection of Connected Planning use cases across a variety of business functions, including Sales and Marketing, Supply Chain, and Human Resources, and processes like order-to-cash. From this chapter you see how Connected Planning can be applied to any area of the business . . . not just Finance.
- Chapter 9: Strategy: Everyone Aligned to the Right Outcomes. Connected Planning works when it's aligned with and in support of an organization's strategic objectives. Chapter 9 covers several topics on aligning connected planning to strategy including the ever-popular Profitability Management.
- Chapter 10: Digital Planning. A new chapter in this edition, Chapter 10 gives an overview of newer digital technologies that can surround and improve Connected Planning ecosystems.
- Chapter 11: Bringing It All Together. Chapter 11 is all about developing your next-generation planning roadmap based on the concepts and practices discussed in this book. It helps you sell Connected Planning internally, ties up a few loose ends, and addresses what it takes to become world class in Connected Planning adoption.
Typically, budgeting, planning, and forecasting are thought of as solely Finance or Information Technology initiatives and can easily be put in the "operational efficiency through automation" bucket of benefits. Which is just a fancy way of saying a corporate cost-cutting program. However, in order for Connected Planning to really matter in the business, it has to have a direct impact on more than just operating margins. Ideally, it should provide your department, business unit, and company with one or more competitive advantages in the areas of:
- Customer acquisition and retention
- Product innovation and profitability
- People productivity
- Supply-chain efficiency
- Marketing effectiveness
- Overall sustainable execution of strategy
It is no longer an IT-led area but rather a joint IT, Finance, and Business concern that impacts all of these performance areas.
One of the first areas of the business to look at for financial performance and competitive advantage is revenue growth. There are a variety of ways that Connected Planning can improve revenue growth, including:
- Better focus on sales productivity through more relevant, expedient sales forecasting
- Better sales velocity by focusing efforts on the best-selling products, bundles, and channels
- Maximized revenue by modeling product, bundle, and channel price mixes
Especially in a down economy, with the automatic reaction to cut costs, Connected Planning can help ensure you cut the "right" costs and that the removal of those costs doesn't adversely impact profitable revenue or future market share. Connected Planning can impact this area in many ways, for example:
- Understanding customer and product profitability allows companies to focus on marketing and selling the products that give the best return.
- Quickly modeling NewCo scenarios in a pending acquisition and basing those models on historical data and actual constraints (by product, by geography, by customer segment, etc.) can give a more accurate picture of available synergies to set the expectations of the street.
Accelerating your cash cycle gives you more confidence in working capital, better opportunities for investments, and improves overall efficiency. Connected Planning efforts can include:
- Gathering and sharing information on Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), Days Payable Outstanding (DPO), and Days in Inventory (DII)-delivered to the right people in the organization (and tied to employee rewards)-can have a positive impact on cash cycle.
- Cash-Flow forecasting and Working Capital analysis can help improve the cost of capital and debt ratios and can...