A Hands-On Workshop for Improving Demand Plan Accuracy
It has commonly been said, “Demand plans and forecasts are not wrong. It is the underlying assumptions that prove to be inaccurate.”
The challenge is how to develop and manage assumptions and be sure they are considered when developing the demand plan.
That’s the purpose of our two-day Assumption Management Workshop. It is based on our real-world experience in operating and sustaining demand management processes that reduce bias and improve accuracy.
The deliverables of the workshop include the design of an assumption management process along with assumption templates and agreement on roles and responsibilities.
Here’s What Is Covered During the Workshop
This two-day workshop is offered on-site, or online when safe distancing is imperative.
Here are the highlights of each day’s sessions:
- Perspective and levels of planning.
- The importance of assumptions.
- What do good assumptions look like?
- The building blocks in creating assumptions.
- Expectations for the quality of assumptions.
- The sources of assumptions.
- How to document and track assumptions.
- How to document and track risks and opportunities.
- Tools and templates that facilitate managing assumptions.
- Ways to measure the accuracy of assumptions.
- How to reflect assumptions that drive the plan in the Demand Review.
Here’s What Is Covered During the Follow-Up
We stay engaged after the workshop by providing agreed upon support to:
- Follow-up on your progress in implementing the assumption management process.
- Addressing change management issues – people, processes, and behaviors.
- Coaching to improve the quality of the assumptions and judgment in translating assumptions into the demand plan numbers.
- Coaching on how to integrate assumptions into software and other planning tools, as needed.
The Value of Assumption Management
Companies with robust assumption management reduce bias and more easily reach consensus on the demand plan. The demand plan is more credible and trusted. Demand plan accuracy improves as clarity on assumptions helps to drive better plan execution.
Assumption Management is…
a structured way for organizations to identify, document, and track key driving factors that influence demand, and anchor the resulting demand plan numbers on those assumptions.
Assumption Management Considers…
- external factors, outside your control, that influence demand. This includes economic conditions, market condition, governmental action, and competition.
- Internal factors, within your control, that influence demand. This includes sales, marketing, and product management plans and activities.
- The realities of the marketplace and your company’s ability to influence customers to buy your products and services.
An Effective Assumption Management Process…
- is a routine part of a company’s demand planning process.
- Ensures that consensus is reached on assumptions that reflect reality, not wishes.
- Accelerates decision making, as drivers of demand and commercial activities are well understood.
- Provides early warning of problems and gaps that could result in missed sales volume and revenue targets.
- Supports an aggregate planning mindset and Integrated Business Planning.