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Evolving Your Planning Process for the Digital Economy

Poll shows continuous planning can pave the way forward

Published By Carina Hatfield
Evolving Your Planning Process for the Digital Economy

Is unplanned demand proving to be a disruptive force in your organization? When it comes to fitting in new projects with limited capacity, you may be facing the painful reality that annual planning isn’t working. Continuous planning in a digital economy may be the answer.

If today’s constantly evolving landscape is causing chaos in your organization, you’re not alone. In a recent IDG CIO Research Services survey, 85 percent of CIOs and IT leaders report they are deviating several times a year from their approved annual plan.

Whether struggling with internal or external business demands, it is clear that annual planning lacks strategic effectiveness, while continuous planning can provide much-needed agility.

IDG Quick Poll

Findings in a recent “IDG CIO Quick Poll: Planning for the Digital Economy” concluded:

  • Only 50 percent rate their organizations as extremely or very effective at adapting to unforeseen demand
  • 60 percent want to prioritize improved communication with business units and executives
  • 59 percent are less likely to view resource constraints as a strategic planning challenge when they prioritize improved adaptability to new demands and data-driven business trade-offs

So, what is the best path forward when it comes to planning for the unplanned? In speaking to customers, I’ve found that having access to real-time updated plans will spark the very conversations needed to avoid over-committing resources.

The IDG Poll also found enterprises need to:

  • Embrace a continuous planning model to empower each role within the organization to persistently plan and support the overall portfolio
  • Update plans regularly using actuals and new demands so a roll-up of real-time, in-flight projects can provide a holistic view into the organization
  • Map projects to business outcomes so the highest priorities are above the line, lending confidence that the current portfolio represents a realistic plan

To take a deeper dive into the results, get your free copy of CIO QuickPulse Survey, Planning for the Digital Economy: Adapting to Today’s Constantly Evolving Environment.  If you’re wondering how to get started, I recommend watching The Myth of Annual Planning video. It provides a short overview on the movement to continuous planning and the impact it can make on your business.

I’d like to hear from you. What are some of your challenges when it comes to planning? Share by leaving a comment below.

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Carina Hatfield Written by Carina Hatfield Director, Product Management

Carina Hatfield always has a plan. Throughout the years, she has improved her ability to respond and re-prioritize for new ideas and unplanned events. She followed her original plan of becoming a CPA going into budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning until a new idea was prioritized and she took on the opportunity to join Planview. After six years of implementing Planview Enterprise to help organizations improve their strategic, forecasting, and planning processes, Carina has taken that experience and applied it to her role in Product Management.