Monday, March 12, 2012

Keeping your Planning Focus

Do you or your organization suffer from a lack of focus during your planning, budgeting, forecasting and reporting exercises?

The other day, while I was watching my five year old son's indoor soccer game I noticed that I was following the action in the wrong game?  Why?  The reason is simple enough, my son was playing a field over and the spectator stands are only available on one side of the field, which meant that I had to keep my focus on the second field instead of the game being played right in front of me!

I believe that our planning and reporting can suffer the same 'lack of focus'.  It can occur for a few reasons, including:
  • Spending more time collecting and organizing data than analysing the data
  • Budgeting/forecasting at an inappropriate level of detail, effectively drawing our focus from key business drivers that should receive more relative focus and giving equal weight to administrative expenses
  • Routinely generating, reviewing and analyzing a standard set of reports, as opposed to interacting with the data and performing 'ad-hoc analysis' on key areas and variances

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