The Buttonwood Group LLP approach to redesigning an organization's planning
process, known as RRAP (for Rapid Redesign Approach to Planning) is highly
effective. We have facilitated this approach for companies in manufacturing,
financial services, telecom, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, entertainment,
retail, restaurants & food services industries.
While each and every industry, and company, is unique in some respect, the
issues surrounding the planning process tend to be surprisingly similar. To
illustrate that point, here is a sampling of concerns that our clients
originally told us about:
||The planning process takes too long and delivers too little
||We don't have "willing participants" in the process.
||Strategy should drive our planning process, but it's
||Finance needs to be more of a partner in the business.
||There's a lot more negotiating going on than real planning.
||We've tried to reengineer planning before, but it didn't
||We hear, "That's not my number" too often.
||Managers should own the plan, but in reality finance
answers for it.
||We quickly forget about the plan once it's done... it
Our approach is designed to comprehensively address these issues, and is
divided up into four distinct phases: 1) Preparation 2) Fact Gathering 3)
Redesign 4) Implementation.
Each phase is composed of a number of steps that are designed to ensure success
of the overall program, and to build upon the previous actions taken. Our
degree of involvement in each phase is based upon the project's resource needs
and in house availability of skilled resources.
What makes our approach rapid?
Having facilitated the process many times before, we are quickly able to move
from the preparation phase immediately into fact gathering. Leveraging a proven
interview guide, strong facilitation skills, and a proprietary database of best
practices from companies all over the world, we are able to rapidly define the
issues and document findings.
The Redesign Phase is especially well constructed and has earned high praise
from our clients. We facilitate a five meeting process, that with homework in
between the sessions, demands less than 20 hours of a participants time (just
two to three business days).
Why is that important?
Not only because it speeds solution development, but because it can help to
attract an all "A-List" group of players to the redesign team who want to know
their time will be well managed.
The Rapid Redesign Approach to Planning is grounded in three critical findings.
The first is that even the best redesigned process will fail if it lacks
organizational support. Why? Because people will invest only minimal effort in
the new process, often just enough to get by, if they are are not willing
participants. So the results of the new planning process won't seem that much
different from the old (it may be a case of garbage in, garbage out) and
disappointment often quickly sets in.
To obtain crucial buy-in and commitment, users need to somehow be involved in
the redesign process itself. Our approach, for instances, has a number of
simple mechanisms to gain user involvement without slowing down the process or
jeopardizing the final outcome.
The second important lesson we've learned and that we incorporate in our RRAP
approach is that new templates don't make a new process.
While that sounds obvious at first, it's a mistake that many redesign teams
make. Simply asking for new information in a new format will not alter the
underlying process of plan development, submission, presentation & review,
rework, approval & notification. Nor will it, by itself, improve plan
communication, collaboration and cooperation. Yet these are the very elements
that need to be addressed if a new planning process is to be successful.
The third critical finding that we incorporate into or RRAP approach is that
organization is a hidden key to success.
We say hidden because it's so often overlooked. Organization means having a
roadmap that makes clear each step of the redesign process, why it's needed and
how it fits in. It means knowing how you're going to get from where you are
today to where you want to be.
Without this roadmap, without organization, a project team typically goes
though a number of "false starts" switches direction frequently, and never
seems to see things through or accomplish all they set out to. A lot of people,
even outside the walls of finance, will notice this. Confidence in the project
team can be put at risk if this is the case.
If you'd like further information on the details of our Rapid Redesign Approach
to Planning, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org