Scenario planning is one of the most important tools you have. So you want to be able to manage it quickly, accurately and effectively. There’s nothing more frustrating to the C-suite than to have to wait for days in order to see what effect a particular change may have on the business.
Today, more than ever, it’s critical to understand the effects that both external and internal factors could have on your business so that you are prepared for any eventuality or uncertainty. But good scenario planning is not just about looking at your risk register. It’s about seeing how altering your approach in one area could save money in another. It’s about seeing where you could be leaner, more agile and more competitive.
Why improve your scenario planning?
According to Oracle NetSuite, there are two common barriers to committing to scenario planning:
- Data is hard to collect. So, good quality scenario planning simply takes too much time
- Things change quickly, and a recent scenario plan could easily become out of date
Both these issues often prevent organisations from even starting a scenario planning programme. And even if some planning is in place, it can quickly become obsolete, or get pushed down the agenda because it is too time-consuming and stretches resources.
This can create a disconnect within the organisation: CEOs and COOs want to ask: ‘What would happen if we…’ and CFOs may not have a quick or complete answer to the question. In some cases, the data required is either not collected, or is in too many different places. And even where the data exists, it can take days to plug it into a spreadsheet to come up with a useful result.
By improving your approach to scenario planning, you are giving your organisation the ability to:
- Have an accurate and precise picture of what would happen in certain situations
- Be able to update scenarios in real-time, using the latest available data
- Run a variety of scenarios for the same event, giving a ‘best’ option to the board
- Enable better decision making and planning, based on detailed insights
- Reveal new opportunities for growth
How ambitious is your finance department?
A dynamic and insight-driven FP&A team can sit at the very heart of an organisation, helping it to make informed and knowledge-based decisions about the future – a future that can be anywhere from the next quarter to the next 10 years.
Instead of simply managing financial data, your department is actively interrogating it and using it to advise the wider business. This drives action that increases competitiveness, improves margins, opens up new opportunities and promotes better financial planning.
We have a simple map that describes this process:
Data –> Information –> Knowledge –> Value –> Action –> Data
Having access to the financial data within your business means you can derive the key information to give you the knowledge you need to add value to your decision making. This results in targeted action that delivers more useful data to the business. Where finance departments often fall down is either by collecting the data and not using it, or having no overall visibility over the data they have.
Ready to give your scenario planning a boost?
If you’re not scenario planning for your organisation, you should be. And if you have scenario planning in place, imagine how liberating it would be to be able to update it in real time – in seconds during a board meeting, for example – to give your team and your colleagues instant results and visibility.
That’s exactly what our QSF Plan & Insight tool delivers. It’s compatible with all your existing systems, effectively sitting on top of them, pulling in your data into a user-friendly dashboard that allows you to present your results straight away.
If you’d like to find out more, or you want to book a demo, just fill in our quick contact form today and say you’re interested in QSF for scenario planning.