managing director brovanture
With all the talk over the last week, since the parliamentary vote on the UK Prime Minister’s plan for Brexit, about a Plan B it got me thinking about just how many plans should an organisation have given the fluidity of just what might happen over the next few weeks? As we enter a time of even more uncertainty, with parliament flexing its muscles and various groups of MPs coming up with their own plans, we could be looking at C, D, E, F G, H…!
Dealing with a complex set of scenarios like this and maintaining control plus really understanding the variables and their implications is a big task and vitally important if an organisation is going to be able to react quickly and effectively to whatever turns out to be the final deal. Or, of course, no deal! This is not a job for spreadsheets, but my guess is that most companies have finance staff buried in extremely complex spreadsheets trying to do just this. We all know the risks. They have been documented over and over again along with a plethora of real-life horror stories. I wrote about this a while ago in my article How Close Are You to a Spreadsheet Disaster? My take is that right now this is more important than it has ever been.
Why do I say that? Well, we have to deal with multiple variables in our everyday planning which test our processes, and also our judgement, but right now we have a whole lot more to contend with and these are even more complex. How do we define the drivers that we can flex for multiple Brexit scenarios? What values do we give to them? How do they impact on our plans? Do we want to get all these complex ideas sorted out and then screw up the plan due to a spreadsheet error? That would be a travesty.
So, my take is that now, more than ever, organisations need to be looking at better ways to plan, budget and forecast than spreadsheets. Time is short, but whatever decisions are made, or not made, by our politicians in the next few weeks, the uncertainty will continue as the implications reveal themselves over the coming months and, dare I say it, years! Driver based planning, rolling forecasts, statistical forecasting and multiple scenario comparison and analysis will be vital tools if organisations are to reduce risk and be able to take advantage of any opportunities that emerge, in a timely manner.
Modern, cloud based, planning, budgeting and forecasting tools make all of this possible, both quickly and at affordable prices for all sizes of organisation. To find out more take a look at our website HERE or contact me via LinkedIn or use the email form on our website.
It has been said before, but right now it is very relevant – “we live in interesting times” – I hope your times are only as interesting as you wish them to be!