Ready for 2013? – Lean Planning & Budgeting: Get Your Key People Involved Up Front

 In Business Model Management, Industry News

Alignment & Identification

As stressed in blog post #1, achieving alignment and identification for your 2013 plan is crucial for gaining maximum (revenue, gross margin, market share, profit, number of customers, number of resellers, valuation, cash at hand or whatever metric you are using) impact for each EUR/USD spend on the cost side.

Alignment is the assurance that all stakeholders have a common interpretation of the plan. Yes, this is the plan.

Identification is the buy-in from each of the stakeholders to the plan.  Yes, this is my plan!

Who should be involved?  Alignment and identification requires involvement in the planning process from the very start.  You can forget all about the traditional approach of doing the 2013 plan in the executive lounge and present it to the staff at a 1-day 2013 kick-off with an external key-note speaker in February 2013.  Big companies with high momentum may get away with this approach (for some time), but not the small and mid sized software-driven company with two digit growth rate ambitions.

Who are the key stakeholders in the execution of the plan?

Get them involved from the very start.

Are you relying on resellers for revenue generation and market share growth?  How will you ensure their alignment and identification?

Get them involved from the very start.

But will that make the group of people involved with the 2013 planning process rather large?!. Yes, it will. But you are not going to beat the market without all your key stakeholders pushing and pulling in the same direction.  Identify the key stakeholders and get them in the same “room” before you start the planning process.  Only through the involvement of all key stakeholders can you achieve the alignment and identification required for preparing and executing the 2013 plan successfully.

Corporate Health

Alignment and identification is a key component of “corporate health”.  When your ambition is to make it to global leadership, corporate health is fundamental.  You may perform well for a couple of years focusing on financial performance only, but you are not going to get the momentum required to make it to the top and stay there.

“Health is the ability of an organization to align, execute and renew itself faster than the competition so that it can achieve and sustain exceptional performance over time” [1]

Before you get started on the 2013 preparation process, do a health check on your 2013 planning team. Check the current degree of alignment and identification. Are you already on the same page or are you miles apart?

Other posts in this “Ready for 2013? –  Lean Planning & Budgeting” series:

The objective of these blog posts is to outline a 2013 “preparation process” where you end up having a plan and a budget, which is a stepping stone to a position as a the global market leader in the future and where the stakeholders are 100% aligned and committed to execute the plan and deliver the numbers for 2013.

#1: Perform an Alignment Check before Planning and Budgeting
#2: Get the Key People Involved up Front
#3: How to do an Alignment and Identification Check
#4: The Revenue Challenge
#5: Planning Fundamentals
#6: Mitigating risk and exploiting opportunity
#7: Mission/Vision and the 3-5 Year Perspective
#8: What Comes First, the Plan or the Budget?
#9: Defining Key Performance Indicators for Plan and Budget Follow-up
#10: The People on the Bus

[1] Quotation inspired by the book “Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage” by Scott Keller and Colin Price.


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