The basics of Integrated Business Planning bring together data from across an organisation. Advances in technology now make it possible for planning to include a wide range of financial and operational data, moving away from time consuming, disjointed processes and towards an approach that is more efficient and productive. There are many benefits to Integrated Business Planning, from boosting output to ensuring that every department in the business contributes to company-wide plans.
Why is Integrated Business Planning necessary?
Planning processes in even the best organised businesses can suffer from a lack of cohesion. They may typically involve contributions from across an organisation, each one standalone. The result is that planning can become incredibly time consuming, sifting through the contributions made by individual silos within the business. It’s an approach that, ultimately, is unable to provide a complete perspective of the way that the business is functioning. Switching to a system of Integrated Business Planning can help to target problem areas including:
- Poor transparency over how each team functions and where, and how, this impacts on the business
- Lack of competitiveness, as the time consuming process of trying to compile data from all departments impedes responsiveness
- Minimal collaboration and no accountability – teams operate in their own bubble, as opposed to with an awareness of how their actions impact the wider operation
How can Integrated Business Planning achieve positive change?
An Integrated Business Planning approach can help any enterprise to overcome issues similar to those listed above. At its heart it’s a system that is designed to create more alignment within the business and to facilitate better decision making. Working with a system of Integrated Business Planning has a number of benefits including:
- Overcoming any existing disconnect between strategic goals and financial and operational activities. When planning is integrated the entire business is involved. Insight is offered to every team so that each individual department is read in on where the business is going and what its objectives are. With a system of Integrated Business Planning in place the results and activities of individual teams are much easier to place in terms of where they fit with overall business goals.
- Transparency and accountability. There is no hiding with Integrated Business Planning, as lines of accountability are clearly established. Individual teams can see where their output has helped or hindered the business overall and employees become much more aware of the effect of their actions on the broader enterprise.
- Understanding and optimising different departmental outputs and the relationships between them. The benefits of one single data view are many. Planning can be extended to different scenarios including the impact of various factors, from marketing to changes in production or headcount and applied both to financial and operational results.
Integrated Business Planning is a smart, intuitive move for most enterprises looking to achieve more insight, accuracy and transparency during the planning process. With the right tools it can be simple, easy to execute and have the potential to deliver transformative results.