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THE BUTTONWOOD GROUP  
OUR APPROACH - Rapid Redesign


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 value.
We don't have "willing participants" in the process.
Strategy should drive our planning process, but it's doesn't.
  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 really "stick".
  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 becomes "credenza-ware".


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 info@buttonwoodllp.com

 
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