Few organizations excel at selecting and managing initiatives and capital projects, according to a new Long-Range Planning Benchmark Research Report. Conducted by Ventana Research and sponsored by Planview® and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF).

This is good news for Team Development Consultants, Trainers and Facilitators.

The study surveyed 289 global long-range planning professionals across various industries to discover their practices and needs, as well as the potential benefits from improving their existing processes, information and systems.

The recommendations provided in this research report for long-range planning should help financial executives streamline their companies’ planning processes. And this is good news for Team Development Consultants.

Companies use long-range planning to determine the best strategy for succeeding in their markets and to ensure they have the assets needed to support their strategic objectives. This planning includes the allocation of investments in those assets and identifying resources, such as financial and personnel, sufficient to support them. About two-thirds of the survey respondents said their main objectives are to help develop the annual budget, optimally allocate capital or project investments, and influence corporate strategy.

“Efficient long-range planning is critical in today’s dynamic business climate,” said Marie Hollein, president and CEO of Financial Executives International (FEI). “The recommendations provided in this research report for long-range planning should help financial executives streamline their companies’ planning processes.”

Key Findings:

  • Majority indicate improvements needed: Only five percent of companies surveyed said their long-range planning process works so well that no improvements are needed. More than half said their process works but needs some adjustments in various aspects of planning, including managing the execution of major initiatives and capital projects.
  • Effectiveness of planning correlated with quality of decisions: 89 percent of companies with a long-range planning process that works well also said their choices of major initiatives and capital projects are good. Overall, just 10 percent said their organizations have consistently selected the best major initiatives and capital projects for funding, while 30 percent said their results have been mixed.
  • Data quality is critical: Companies with more up-to-date, accurate data indicate that they are better able to conduct contingency planning, adapt to change, and make consistently good choices of capital projects and major initiatives. In addition, organizations that can drill down into underlying details immediately during a review meeting are better able to respond to changing environments and more likely to make better choices about capital or major initiative investments.
  • Software is a key component: Software has a direct impact on a company’s ability to support a more efficient process and do contingency planning. Two-thirds that have very or generally effective software can examine all relevant scenarios versus just 20 percent that do not. According to the research, organizations should reconsider the use of spreadsheets, which are used by two-thirds of the companies surveyed but rank substantially below dedicated applications on how well they monitor and manage capital projects as well as a host of other forecasting and budgeting issues.

“Improving the management of projects and major initiatives requires a well-designed, consistent process that emphasizes measurement and responsibilities,” said Linda Roach, vice president of marketing, Planview. “As the Ventana Research study reveals, the best results are achieved when this process is supported by software designed to facilitate initiative-specific data collection, forecasting, analysis and reporting.”

To learn about planning facilitation tools that assist in long-range planning and action planning attend the complimentary live  Webinar for Team Development Consultants and Trainers that is available in April.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton

About TIGERS Success Series

TIGERS Success Series is a team development consultancy based on 6 core principles that anchor high performance team dynamics. These principles are trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success. TIGERS offers licensing and certification to team building trainers and consultants interested in expanding their practice to serve organizational leaders from the break room to the boardroom. Learn more by scheduling a business call.