Nobody understands Robert Burns’ quote, “The best laid plans often go awry,” like modern business leaders. When it comes to financial planning, finance teams need the ability to assess and adjust plans when they go off course. Intelligent planning starts with analysis of past results to help determine where is business is going, and measure future success. However, most planning processes are tangled in static spreadsheet processes that are error prone and limit agility. Modern businesses are leveraging intelligent technologies that provide the most up-to-date insight by analyzing the actual data being used by the systems of record. This enables users to react to analytic results in the context of their business process or workflow by creating scenarios that provide the insight to make strategic decisions.
“No matter how much data is fed to machine learning and predictive analytics tools, the key is deciding which outputs are useful and how to act on them.”
When it comes to implementing new technologies, many businesses go through what Gartner calls a “hype cycle”- where the initial implementation is a period of inflated expectations that becomes a “slope of enlightenment” once people begin to find practical uses for the technology, and finally develops into an extended “plateau of productivity”, where the actual value of the tool is realized. Today, technology itself will not provide a competitive advantage. How a business leverages their tools to gain meaningful business insight and what they do with that knowledge will define their success. With the rise of digital transformation and innovation, beating out competitors will come down to visibility, judgement, knowledge, strategy and approach.
Traditional project management methods have been completely transformed by new tools and technologies that enable flexibility and adaptability across the business. Traditional methods are vulnerable to delays, miscalculations or unforeseen costs that can cause budget overruns, or overall failures to deliver on stated goals. Contrarily, agile project management is an iterative, adaptive approach that helps ensure the project delivers what the customer truly needs. The agile methodology adapts to business needs since it doesn’t have a set-in-stone scope. The scope may change, while resources and time are fixed. It allows businesses to quickly amend plans or shift directions and focus on a different solution if the business need changes mid-project.
Today’s supply chain planning has to be continuous and based on real-time information to drive effective business decisions. In the face of rising customer expectations around individualized products, shorter delivery time frames, and predictable availability, organizations are moving away from the familiar pace of traditional planning approaches. The need to act and respond on a more real-time basis is driving manufacturers to get closer to the end consumer wherever possible. With data regarding operations and the customer experience digitally available in real-time, organizations can predict, plan, and drive goods through the supply chain more sustainably and profitably. This can also help prompt more timely adjustments of long-term plans regarding new product launches, capital investments, or supply chain configurations.