What is scenario planning and why is it so important
Picture the scene. You’re out on a weekend hike. It’s a nice day, warm but not too hot, and you’re feeling good. After a few hours, you notice the sky is starting to darken. A little while later, you feel the cold drops of rain on your face, increasing in frequency until you’re in a downpour, miles from shelter.
Instead of panicking, you just open your rucksack and take out your raincoat. You’re ready to continue the hike unaffected, due to your foresight before leaving home.
Then you notice your shoelace has come undone and is trailing on the ground. As you begin to tie it again, it snaps in your hand. This time, it does affect you, because your foresight didn’t extend to bringing spare laces or a change of footwear.
In most areas of life, it’s neither easy nor practical to perform an analysis of the likelihood of certain occurrences happening, and how to navigate around them. But in business, software such as Vena makes it not only possible but even simple.
Such scenario planning allows you to consider a wide range of unplanned events, and the potential impact on your business - giving you opportunity to devise contingency plans.
The need for scenario planning software
Scenario planning isn’t the same as forecasting. The latter is looking ahead at likely scenarios, potential growth, and realistic targets. Scenario planning, on the other hand, takes an alternate view - what unlikely events could happen? The year 2020 will go into the history books, and it will serve as a reminder to businesses all over the world that unexpected events can and do occur, and can cause seismic changes.
This isn’t an exercise in doom and gloom; it’s about future-proofing your business as much as possible, by having contingency plans set up for various scenarios - so if the worst does happen, you aren’t caught off guard and losing additional time trying to work out what to do next.
Which brings us to the next point:
How Vena delivers better scenario planning
Effective planning is reliant on accurate data, and Vena provides not only all the data within your organization but it also makes it usable. The holistic view means you have everything at your fingertips at all times, without waiting for hours or days to retrieve it from separate silos around the company. This can include your sales volume, your pipeline following marketing efforts, headcount data, as well as historical information on which to base future predictions. You can even combine these internal data sources with external sources such as exchange rates and policy changes.
Vena also streamlines how this data can be used. Graphical reports make it painless to interpret different outcomes, and you can even plot finances in different ways throughout the year - so you can observe different outcomes with different spikes in activity at various points, and compare it with consistent 12-month activity.
And because all data is now kept in real-time, accessible instantly and from any device, your plans can be truly agile and respond to new threats at any point in time.
User case study: 66% faster report times
iPSL needed to reduce its planning cycle. Prior to using Vena, it was taking six weeks due to it being a manual process. This meant that the reports were already out of date by the time they were completed, and this made it impossible to be agile business ready to respond to threats and opportunities.
Since implementing Vena, the iPSL teams have access to real-time data and assurance of data integrity with no version control issues. This empowers them with agile business planning.
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