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Today, Integrated Business Planning sits at the heart of many organisations as the management process that runs the business, covering all the core functions from product development and operations, to sales, marketing and finance.
Its real power is in enabling the key decisions that influence the future direction of the company and the achievement of the strategic plan. As the capability of a business’s processes mature, these decisions become increasingly complicated and their timing ever more critical.
However, the very practicality of structuring the Integrated Business Planning process so it really does enable effective and timely decision-making, is a challenge, which shouldn’t be underestimated. The most difficult decisions are those relating to issues, which will face the business in the future, since by definition, the future is unknown and there will always be unforeseen events, and circumstances that are subject to variation. Nonetheless decisions made today will have a defining effect on the business in one, two, or five year’s time. Deferring or avoiding these decisions can prove fatal. The key lies in configuring the Integrated Business Planning process, so it creates the same practical and emotional response for the decision-maker when reviewing future planned performance as it does when they are faced with the reality of past or current performance. It then becomes clear they have to act immediately to recover the situation.
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