Management SummaryStern Stewart Research // Volume 58

The evolution of corporate planning has been characterized over the last decade by more attention to detail, new planning tools and extended planning horizons. The increased complexity that this brings with it, however, today impedes companies‘ ability to act and quickly react in a volatile market environment. A survey conducted among managers and decision-makers of the 100 companies with the biggest sales volumes in the D-A-CH countries confirms this dilemma. They all consider planning to be a key instrument of management, but 92% of the survey respondents consider theirs to be so „bulky“ in its current form, and its results so inconclusive, that it now seems to need reworking and further development.
So how can companies structure their planning process to be more effective and yet at the same time less cumbersome? In other words: how can planning once again become a powerful management tool for dealing with economic reality?
Based on the relevant interfaces and reciprocal effects with the control system, we consider four main strategic focuses to be of importance here, each of which has to be embedded in an improved planning architecture, in a form tailored to each company‘s individual characteristics:

1. Target-based planning: Consistent objectives across all hierarchical levels promote continuity and reduce costs 2. Measures-based planning: As a binding process element, individual measures enhance commitment and consistency 3. Continuous planning: The rolling forecast ensures a view that goes beyond the rigid business-year logic 4. Scenario-based planning: Scenarios account for uncertainties and enable more rapid reaction to change



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Konstantin Wrona

Konstantin integrates a genuine interest in enhancing businesses with a goal-oriented and focused character. He plays these strengths not just when advising on group center structures, complexity reduction, process design or functional optimization. But also when driving the social business ACES in Ghana or competing in tennis and golf on an advanced level. Typically he is the one ensuring the proper methodology and bringing up the innovative ideas, which corresponds to his recent focus on improving digitalization and agility in organizations.

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Dimitri Belobokov

Dimitri advises clients across a range of manufacturing industries. Underlying his consulting work is one common theme: Bringing together process know-how and business sense to drive operational excellence at the same time as financial performance. Dimitri is an accomplished conductor of symphonic orchestras. As the founder of a trading house in post-communist Moscow, he is a non-executive director of one of the world's premier commodities traders.

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Dr. Tobias Braun