Enterprise Planning & Forecasting Flow – with Oracle Tools

I was asked to elaborate on my last post to include which Oracle technologies address which part of the enterprise planning ecosystem, so here you are!  Please note, there are many ways to implement planning using Oracle tools, these are some of the most widely used.

enterprise planning flow with tools

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Enterprise Planning & Forecasting Flow

I was asked to show how all of the part of an organization’s budgeting, planning and forecasting come together and support each other, and how the organization can get more sophisticated at forecasting.  This diagram helped explain the overall flow as well as some of the elements you would want to put on a roadmap.

enterprise planning flow

This should be a good starting place to have a debate about using the right planning and forecasting for better insight into the business, better resource deployment, and better profitability decision-making.

A Management Operating System

I would like to introduce a framework for thinking about Enterprise Performance Management and Business Intelligence. The genesis of this framework came from my days working at Hyperion Solutions (later acquired by Oracle Corp.). It’s been called a management “operating system” for your company because, like the operating system of your computer, it helps govern input and output and manage what applications (or decisions) are being run and helps make the most effective use of resources (memory, disk space, CPU cycles). You can start anywhere on this closed-loop process to tell the management operating system story, and today I’ll share Gather – the most common part of the cycle, with you.

Enterprise Performance Management, A Management Operating System, EPM, Ron Dimon

A Management Operating System

Gather – While you are busy running your business (Execution, which means service customers, making products, selling in markets), you are generating lots of data. You gather that data and transform it into useful information (according to its context) and deliver it to the right people (according to impact and areas of responsibility).

This is the place where managers consume reports about the results of the business. It’s where they answer the question “where are we, right now?” Depending on your industry and your business, there are generally two kinds of reports: mostly financial and mostly operational. The trend has been to combine financial and operational information on one report, which is a good idea since the two are interrelated: financial investments help drive operational results, and effective operations help contribute to financial performance.

Reports are delivered in a variety of formats with a variety of tools and can be categorized as:

  • Canned (static) reports
  • Ad hoc or interactive reports
  • Dashboards and scorecards
  • Spreadsheets

Reports give their readers a snapshot of what results have been produced to date to help them gauge how close to their goals and targets they are.

You can learn more about EPM and how it can help your organization build a common business process to execute its strategy in my book Enterprise Performance Management Done Right: An Operating System for Your Organization (Wiley CIO)

Enterprise Planning

There are many kinds of plans in any organization. The kind of plan depends on what the plan is trying to accomplish, who the audience is, and how frequent and granular the plan needs to be. Here are the most common types of EPM plans:

paper whiteboard
Strategic Planning

  • Annual budget
  • Long-range plan/strat plan
  • Cash-flow forecast
  • Balance sheet plan

Finance Planning

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