By Ben Geller, VP Marketing, Troux
I was taken by surprise the other day when I looked at my calendar and saw that we are well into August; and before you know it summer will be over and autumn will be upon us. Immediately I started thinking about the ritual year-end strategic planning session that generally looms around now. I’m sure many of you know of what I speak.
Historically strategic planning has centered around regular sessions that evaluate business performance and goals over established periods of time. Some organizations even remain attached to the yearly planning cycle. But, with the introduction of digital business and disruptive business models, has this approach become broken, merely sending businesses into a pro-longed process of planning and budget allocating that is outdated before its executed?
I think it probably has, which means we have to start thinking about how to change our planning processes. Earlier this year we started dialogue on the very idea of how change is changing and how it affects the planning process. Our post, Beyond Technology: How Enterprise Intelligence Supports Business Strategy and Change, looked at how enterprise intelligence (EI) makes it possible for the C-suite to make necessary strategic business decisions at the drop of a hat:
The insights produced by EI tools allow Chief Strategy Officers to quickly and methodically maneuver the business as the market changes by delivering enterprise transparency that shows the cost, impact and benefits of change across the connected enterprise.
But, how does it work?
Good question. Let’s start by looking at real-time strategy. In this context ‘real-time’ means you get an immediate view of any given part of a business. The idea behind enterprise intelligence is to provide executives with a real-time, continuous strategic planning view that enables an assessment of the entire connected enterprise. Forbes talked about this recently in the article, Is Enterprise Architecture Completely Broken?:
Those EAs who truly embrace change – who work directly with business stakeholders to move their organizations to an increasingly agile state of continuous business transformation – will more likely find themselves adding real value to their enterprises.
Using enterprise intelligence to immediately understand how a specific strategy will impact all the various parts of the business means informed decisions can be made efficiently in order to mitigate risk or capitalize on an opportunity.
Is that really possible?
At Troux, we help our clients do this everyday. As a result, the planning cycle is real-time and actionable.
The Troux mind map has become a popular tool that helps companies understand the types of outcomes they can achieve with real-time strategic planning. These outcomes generally come from finding answers to key questions, such as:
- Where are business and IT out alignment?
- Where is the business at-risk?
- What are the impacts of change?
- What are our future-state alternatives?
The mind map visually illustrates the answers to the questions that drive the desired business outcomes. These answers communicate strategy and impacts to the enterprise regardless of technical prowess or business acumen, putting stakeholders on the same page on how everything works together.
The more things change…
I do enjoy that annual opportunity to check-in with my peers and superiors for a state-of-the-union assessment, but I’m not sure it needs to be categorized as “the one” strategic planning session anymore. The world of EI allows us to understand our market position every day and make decisions and changes accordingly. Since we have the data and information at our fingers tips real-time strategy is a reality. We can transform our annual planning sessions a daily dialogue that ensures we taking advantage of changes in the market. How long have businesses lamented that there is never enough time for strategic planning? Well, I think EI has helped us find it.