2 min read

Planning: You can’t live with it—but you can’t live without it

Jason Ambrose

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Think about your planning process for a moment. What comes to mind first: Do you think of it as a successful, collaborative, or efficient activity? According to new State of Connected Planning research, it’s unlikely that those particular adjectives come to mind. Yet despite recognition of its flaws, business planning is perceived as critical to success.

So, what gives—what’s behind this contradiction?

First, let’s look at some numbers: In our first-ever, global State of Connected Planning report, we asked over 1,000 planning leaders about how their business operates and how they approach and perceive an effective planning process. Their feedback overwhelmingly suggested that conventional business planning can no longer meet the needs of today’s high-demand markets.

Better technology, better business outcomes

Our research shows that businesses consider planning to be critical to achieving better results. Nearly all planners believe that better planning—and the technology that supports it—delivers better results. Ninety-two percent of companies believe that better planning technology produces better business outcomes. (Click to tweet)

Planning, for many, just isn’t working: Only 15 percent of companies report that they execute fully on plans and 86 percent face limitations to collaboration. Those numbers should stop us in our tracks. If we know that better planning leads to better outcomes, how can it be that only 15% of us are delivering on the plans?

A potential answer lies in the next data point: speed. Today, 74 percent of companies are planning more frequently than they were five years ago. To this end, think about how much your world has changed in just the past five years:

  • How much more complex has your planning environment become?
  • How much faster are your external conditions changing?
  • How much more data do you have to manage?
  • How has the pace of change increased within your organization?

The pace of business is increasing; the explosion of data and technology has made the world much more complex. Further, new business models are springing up in established industries who win market share based on their ability to use technology and data to manage that complexity.

Clarity amid increased complexity

What our research reveals is that planning for many of us has not adapted to provide clarity in an increasingly complex and dynamic world. Nearly three-fourths of companies report that they can take weeks, sometimes even months, to incorporate market changes into their plans. This inability to adjust plans quickly and nimbly can be costly: When planning remains static, growth can flatline. This makes overcoming the challenges of conventional planning an imperative for businesses today.

The results are consistent with the conversations we have with many of our customers about Connected Planning. Functions and processes are intensely focused on refining their planning to handle the complexity but they are seeing the step-change benefits to collaboration across the organization, and with partners, infusing clarity into decision-making and executing in a timely fashion.

Connected Planning can address the paradox of important but unsuccessful planning by connecting market insights and strategic planning directly to operational planning, fostering an organizational culture that embraces and responds easily to complexity.

Learn more about how businesses approach planning today by accessing the State of Connected Planning report below.

The State of Connected PlanningPlan differently