The dynamic business environment—continuing deregulation, advances in technology, new disclosure requirements, wary investors—creates both challenges and demands for accurate business planning and forecasting. For private companies, better planning is a competitive necessity. For public companies, poor planning has a direct bearing on shareholder value.
Studies show that the markets consistently punish companies that do not accurately forecast their financial performance, even if that performance is objectively good. By contrast, companies that can consistently deliver forecasted results are rewarded with a premium in their market capitalization. Business leaders, analysts, and other business watchers have pointed out the need to manage company-wide performance more effectively. Planning is a key element of this corporate performance management (CPM) approach.
Smart organizations are winning through an integrated strategy for CPM. They drive enterprise performance through planning; they monitor performance through scorecarding, and understand that performance through reporting and analysis. Yet, many companies attempt to manage dynamic global businesses with wholly inadequate planning systems and processes.
The collective result is an inability to execute the game plan. And failure to execute or even perceived failure to execute—can have profoundly negative short- and long-term effects on performance.