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Rethink Planning: Managing the Annual Plan Against Incoming Demand and Change

Published By Martha Garcia
Rethink Planning: Managing the Annual Plan Against Incoming Demand and Change

A Case for Continuous Iterative Planning

Here’s a simple question for you: How often do you revisit the annual plan once it is “done?” This is a question Patrick Tickle, chief product officer at Planview, asked Margo Visitacion, vice president, principal analyst at Forrester Research, Inc. and Carina Hatfield, product manager at Planview, at the outset of the webcast, “When Incoming Demand and Change Derail Your Annual Plan webcast.”

I think it’s interesting that both experts identify a shift in not only how often companies are circling back to their original annual plan, but how they are redefining the annual plan altogether. It appears from their experience and research, more organizations are integrating planning and portfolio monitoring and moving toward ad hoc or monthly reviews.

What’s driving this change? Margo and Carina discuss a few catalysts in the webcast plus excellent tips on how to mature your organization. Here are a few things I found most helpful when trying to understand how the most successful and mature companies are getting real value out of their “annual” plans. Preview the Slideshare above or register for the complete “When Incoming Demand and Change Derail Your Annual Plan” webcast. I’ve included time markers next to each topic to help you quickly navigate:

  • 4:40 – Companies that are moving toward a more agile type of cadence are visiting their plans more frequently. The most successful are able to react to the plan but it’s all about the quality of the data they are collecting across the organization. Automation is a huge driver, making it easier to do it on an iterative cycle so can focus more on their jobs.
  • 7:45 – Lack of combined, holistic view of both resource capacity and pipeline demand ranks the highest (State of Resource Management and Capacity Planning – Benchmark Study 2014) and the other top 5 pain points. This leads to missed opportunities, reactivity to external events, and an inability to optimize internal events where you direct the right resources at the right time.
  • 13:43 – Four critical elements (best practices) for having an integrated Strategic planning and execution process
  • 18:44 – Who drives the initiative to make change happen?
  • 34:50 – How do you change the model to make people collaborate?
  • 51:35 – How investment and capacity planning can help enable organizations integrate planning and portfolio monitoring more effectively and drive the changes necessary for organizations to become better planners.

This webcast, “When Incoming Demand and Change Derail Your Annual Plan,” is one of my favorites for helping anyone interested in maturing their current annual planning process to continual, iterative planning process. I’m curious to know where your organization is on the scale. Leave a comment below to tell us about your planning process and if your plan is of value.

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Written by Martha Garcia

Martha Garcia graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Communication Studies. It was here that she developed an interest in corporate communication, specifically in the areas of change management within complex organizations as well as leadership and organizational behavior. Martha is responsible for working closely with thought leaders in the areas of IT and the PMO to develop compelling programs and content including informative webcasts and white papers for the IT PMO community.