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TMCNet:  Long-Range Planning Benchmark Study Exposes Gaps in Processes, Technology and Data

[February 25, 2013]

Long-Range Planning Benchmark Study Exposes Gaps in Processes, Technology and Data

AUSTIN, Texas --(Business Wire)--

Few organizations excel at selecting and managing initiatives and capital projects, according to a new Long-Range Planning Benchmark Research Report. Conducted by Ventana Research and sponsored by Planview® and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the study surveyed 289 global long-range planning professionals across various industries to discover their practices and needs, as well as the potential benefits from improving their existing processes, information and systems.

Companies use long-range planning to determine the best strategy for succeeding in their markets and to ensure they have the assets needed to support their strategic objectives. This planning includes the allocation of investments in those assets and identifying resources, such as financial and personnel, sufficient to support them. About two-thirds of the survey respondents said their main objectives are to help develop the annual budget, optimally allocate capital or project investments, and influence corporate strategy.

"Efficient long-range planning is critical in today's dynamic business climate," said Marie Hollein, president and CEO of Financial Executives International (FEI). "The recommendations provided in this research report for long-range planning should help financial executives streamline their companies' planning processes."

Key Findings:

  • Majority indicate improvements needed: Only five percent of companies surveyed said their long-range planning process works so well that no improvements are needed. More than half said their process works but needs some adjustments in various aspects of planning, including managing the execution of major initiatives and capital projects.
  • Effectiveness of planning correlated with quality of decisions: 89 percent of companies wit a long-range planning process that works well also said their choices of major initiatives and capital projects are good. Overall, just 10 percent said their organizations have consistently selected the best major initiatives and capital projects for funding, while 30 percent said their results have been mixed.
  • Data quality is critical: Companies with more up-to-date, accurate data indicate that they are better able to conduct contingency planning, adapt to change, and make consistently good choices of capital projects and major initiatives. In addition, organizations that can drill down into underlying details immediately during a review meeting are better able to respond to changing environments and more likely to make better choices about capital or major initiative investments.
  • Software is a key component: Software has a direct impact on a company's ability to support a more efficient process and do contingency planning. Two-thirds that have very or generally effective software can examine all relevant scenarios versus just 20 percent that do not. According to the research, organizations should reconsider the use of spreadsheets, which are used by two-thirds of the companies surveyed but rank substantially below dedicated applications on how well they monitor and manage capital projects as well as a host of other forecasting and budgeting issues.


To learn how organizations can immediately use this information, register for the Webinar - New Benchmarks for Long-Range Planning - to be held Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. EST. The webcast will feature industry experts Bill Sinnett, senior director, research of FERF, the research affiliate of FEI; Robert Kugel, senior vice president and research director of Ventana Research; and Marcus Klein, product line manager, Planview.

Download the Executive Summary here: http://planview.com/LRPBenchmark.

Quotes:

"The research shows that although there are legitimate differences in how companies plan, there are also important elements that can make these efforts most effective," commented Robert Kugel, senior vice president of Ventana Research's financial performance management practice. "Our research provides best practices and maps improvement opportunities that will help organizations plan more effectively and move beyond the use of spreadsheets into a connected approach to long-range planning."

"Improving the management of projects and major initiatives requires a well-designed, consistent process that emphasizes measurement and responsibilities," said Linda Roach, vice president of marketing, Planview. "As the Ventana Research study reveals, the best results are achieved when this process is supported by software designed to facilitate initiative-specific data collection, forecasting, analysis and reporting."

About Planview

Planview helps enterprises drive innovation, become more agile and efficient, and improve their business performance. For more than 20 years, leading organizations have been making better decisions using our solutions to optimize the planning and execution of their business strategy. As the market leader in portfolio management, Planview combines a passion for customer success with a commitment to innovation and thought leadership. Throughout the enterprise, Planview's customers use portfolio management to capitalize on business opportunities and thrive in a dynamic, global economy. For more information, visit http://www.planview.com. Follow Planview on Twitter (News - Alert): @Planview.


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