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Bid goodbye to 'these' practices for agile planning & budgeting!

  • Planning
  • Thought Leadership

Bid goodbye to 'these' practices for agile planning & budgeting!

Bid goodbye to 'these' practices for agile planning & budgeting!

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern business, characterized by rapid market shifts and unparalleled volatility, the demand for nimble decision-making and heightened responsiveness has never been greater. 

To thrive in this dynamic environment, organizations grapple with the need to explore numerous potential business scenarios and accurately assess each scenario's potential consequences. However, the reliance on outdated legacy solutions or standalone spreadsheet applications for planning and forecasting presents a formidable obstacle to achieving these goals.

The traditional approach, dependent on legacy systems and manual spreadsheet-based processes, is proving to be a bottleneck for organizations striving to stay ahead of the curve. This conventional methodology leads to laborious and inefficient planning procedures that lack the necessary focus on simulations and in-depth analysis. 

Astonishingly, the FP&A Trends Survey paints a bleak picture, with a mere 38% of participating organizations expressing confidence in the accuracy of their forecasts. The fading confidence in budget precision isn't unexpected, given the reliance on outdated practices in a substantial part of planning.

A 2022 McKinsey report reveals that organizations dedicate 10% more time and resources to FP&A activities than a decade ago. As business leaders steadfastly endeavour to elevate the effectiveness of their budgeting & planning, Here are four things planning teams should bid goodbye to.

Outdated planning approaches

Historically, planning has often been a number-guessing game to meet top management's predefined objectives. However, the decreasing span of predictability calls for a change from retrospective-based planning to a forward-looking approach rooted in business drivers. Unfortunately, this shift remains elusive for many due to the limitations posed by outdated tools and entrenched bottlenecks in existing processes.

36% of CFOs say that accurate forecasting will be their biggest challenge for the next 12 months, according to Gartner.

For instance, meticulously crafted budgets that were once deemed comprehensive become obsolete within a mere 3 to 6 months, underscoring the urgency for a more adaptable and proactive planning paradigm.

JustPerform effectively tackles the challenge of outdated planning approaches through its innovative process-first approach. By embracing a dynamic and adaptable planning methodology, JustPerform facilitates the transition from conventional retrospective-based planning to a forward-looking, driver-based strategy.

With its business user driven modelling, JustPerform's platform empowers organisations to model a wide range of potential scenarios, encompassing factors such as market fluctuations, regulatory changes, and competitive dynamics. By simulating these scenarios, organizations can identify and embrace potential risks, opportunities, and their potential impact on financial outcomes.

Siloed planning & budgeting

Planning within numerous organisations is restricted to a finance-centric ritual where input from various departments is collected to construct an annual budget. However, this fragmented approach often creates department silos, diverting attention from overall organization goals. This approach lacks organisational alignment as it restricts collaboration to data collection with no transparency and visibility on business goals. 

As per Gartner, 47% of planning leaders stated they didn’t have a formal collaborative enterprise strategy, implying they would seek to do so over the next two to three years.

Counteracting the silos created by fragmented planning, JustPerform empowers all planning contributors with a unified, easy-to-use interface for collaborative enterprise-wide planning. Its value-driver tree ensures that all the contributors know how each metric impacts the overall business goals with a visual, easy-to-consume interface. Moreover, its seamless source system integration to more than 80+ systems and purpose-built Excel Add-in facilitates the unification of planning & budgeting endeavours.

By fostering collaboration and bringing transparency, JustPerform addresses the issue at its core, ensuring that planning remains a collective goal-driven process.

High dependence on standalone spreadsheets

Although spreadsheets have long been the go-to tools for planning, their exclusive usage proves to be filled with inefficiencies. While their user-friendly interface offers familiarity, the drawbacks of low security, absence of version control, and susceptibility to errors make it an ordinary tool to meet the demands of contemporary planning requirements. 

Only 38% of FP&A professionals believe they have the tools and resources to effectively complete their work as per ‘Association for Finance Professionals’ survey.

Allowing FP&A teams to leverage their familiarity with Excel, JustPerform developed Excel Add-in by addressing all the limitations of Excel.  JustPerform Excel Add-in is connected to JustPerform cloud and Unlike standalone spreadsheets, it comes with version controls, in-built validations and role-based access. The performance of the JustPeform cloud coupled with user-friendliness of the Excel makes entire planning error-proof and agile.

Manual approach to data chores

Aggregating, transforming, and enriching data has traditionally posed a significant time burden on organizations. Spreadsheets and legacy planning tools lack the automation and intelligence to streamline these activities. Consequently, organizations often find themselves engrossed in intricate formula-based calculations and coding scripts to prepare data for planning & budgeting.

The absence of coding skills among business users perpetuates a heavy reliance on technical teams for data transformation, which leaves little time for other value add strategic planning endeavours.

Only 26% of FP&A effort is spent on higher-value activities such as insight generation and decision-making support, as per FP&A Trends Survey

JustPerform addresses these challenges through a double-forked approach. While its easy-to-use data flow designer simplifies data wrangling and mapping, its business rule engine allows for automated data transformation without complex coding. In summary, JustPerform lets business users drive the data chores by providing them with the required intelligence, thereby allowing more time for analysis and decision-making.

In conclusion, the contemporary business landscape demands a radical shift in planning paradigms, from antiquated approaches to agile methodologies that embrace change, collaboration, and precision. It's high time for business leaders to bid goodbye to these outdated practices and embrace new solutions like JustPerform to bridge the gap and bring agility in planning and budgeting.

Here are the 4 practices to bid goodbye for agile planning and budgeting:

  1. Outdated planning approaches
  2. Siloed planning efforts
  3. High dependance on standalone spreadsheets
  4. Manual approach to data chores

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