SAP HANA Idea Incubator – Planning Engagement of the Business
This could be a purely academic exercise to be applied across multiple organizations or this could be something applied to a single organization, particularly a larger one with many entities and planning in a very decentralized fashion.
Regardless of the planning solution involved, or whether the planning functionality is purely for financial purposes, or operational purposes, tax, etc., many systems have the capability to log changes to the system, complete with who made the change, the time stamp, and likely the nature of the change, the source of the activity, the entity, cost center, profit center, etc. Capture this information in HANA and develop KPIs around this information to highlight things such as:
1. number of people involved in the planning process by area
2. number of touch points by each person on the average
3. are updates by the users on a seasonal basis or regular and frequent throughout the year?
4. is there a right balance between too frequent and not frequent enough, at the right level in the organization, compared with plan accuracy?
5. frequency of source data loads, such as external, economic or industry data, etc.
6. is the business making updates soon after external data updates?
7. are planners providing updates as a result of other updates in the organization (sales forecast increases, which should lead to changes to operations and financials)? how long before the updates occur?
8. are certain metrics unique to some areas of the business, like tax planning?
9. do certain business functions plan better than others? are sources of information missing?
In addition to gaining insight into the level of engagement and collaboration of the organization in their planning functions, weaker areas in the organization can begin to learn from stronger areas of the organization. Insights such as timing of regular updates from sales could be a trigger for other updates. You could reduce the lag time from receiving external data to updating plans, therefore making more timely decisions.