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Case Study: Developing a Tactical Planning System

Rapid deployment of a Tactical System to support a new Finance Planning Process

The client needed a solution at short notice to execute their new planning process after the planned systems-based solution suffered numerous delays.

The Business Modelling & Analytics team deployed a Tactical Solution leveraging the client’s existing software and IT infrastructure. This leverage allowed the Solution to be developed and deployed rapidly, while remaining agile and responsive to the evolving requirements from the client.

The Solution was successfully in place in time and enabled the client to perform the planning process on schedule. The swift end-to-end processing and output of data by the Solution added significant value to the client as they could iterate and scrutinise the data in a way they had never been able to before.

The client was undertaking a Finance Transformation project which aimed to revamp the planning processes within the business to work effectively with the recent expansion of the business due to acquisitions.

As part of this, the implementation of a system-based Planning Tool was commissioned to provide the information management backbone to the process.

The system implementation had already suffered numerous delays and it became clear that it would not be ready for the start of the planning process.

A solution was required to facilitate:

  • The collection of cost and revenue information from each business area;
  • The collation all of this information in a controlled manner allowing for auditability;
  • The application of back office to front office cost allocations; and
  • The production of consolidated outputs. The primary output was to be a set of data tables and draft board paper packs.

The development time available before the planned go-live was 6 weeks.

We built a Tactical Tool utilising our Tactical Systems control processes. It was built in three parts:

  • A template file into which users would fill in their plan, to which up front validation was performed,
  • A central model which would perform the data collation and calculate the cost allocations and resultant P&Ls,
  • An outputs module which contained Excel data tables and the apparatus to automatically build PowerPoint dashboards for the board paper packs.

We also facilitated an extensive training programme with template users and supported the client during the execution of the planning process.

Figure: Data Architecture

The Tool was implemented on the client systems in time for the planned go-live date, allowing the planning process to go ahead as planned.

The client found the Tool a massive improvement compared with their previous processes. The turnaround time for the consolidated outputs was now hours rather than days, allowing the FP&A function to focus on providing analysis and insight rather than executing process.

The flexibility of the Tool allowed the client to adopt an agile approach to evolving the Tool. This allowed them to hone in on their long term requirements to better guide the Strategic Tool implementation.

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