Woes of Planning…

How do you plan for your budgets and the resources? Really, it’s about capacity planning – figuring out the amount of resources you need and the associated costs. Based on interviews with dozens of organizations, we hear that many people plan their budgets in one of the following ways: using a Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software, dealing with spreadsheet hell or the most interesting one, going with gut feel. Interestingly, the majority of companies (large Fortune 100 down to small organizations) use spreadsheets to plan and even worse, they have gotten so used to dealing with linking and aggregating dozens of spreadsheets that they have lost track of time to analyze the data. From the same cohort of respondents, we learned that they plan because they want to do the following, but can’t quite get there :

  • Aligning Resources to Strategic Goals: They want to prioritize and allocate their budget and resources against strategic business goals but don’t have the ability to do that effectively especially when they can barely maintain the spreadsheets on a monthly basis.
  • Proactive Management: They want to proactively manage their resource capacity instead of putting out fires. How can you do that when you’re spending time on maintaining spreadsheets or maintaining a less-than-effective PPM software?
  • Informed Decisions: They want to answer the questions that their execs ask them. However, it takes a team days to extract the data from a large PPM tool and/or dig into multiple pivot tables to get an answer.

Are these the same challenges that you face within your organization? We would like to hear your perspective.