Part II - Commitment
In the second of a five-part series, Mike Reed, Partner at Oliver Wight, explains the importance of commitment of resources in implementing, sustaining, and evolving Integrated Business Planning (IBP).
In Oliver Wight's experience over 40 years, we have identified three resources key to successful IBP:
- A full-time project leader
- A cross-functional integration team
- Membership of the relevant process step design teams
The choice of the project leader is very important.
This needs to be a person who has wide respect across the company. He or she needs to have great influencing skills as they will have to work at a number of levels in the organisation right up to senior management, and be able to get people "on-board" with the new way of doing things. They will have to be a good project manager - able to organise the integration team and ensure that the project remains on track. We recommend getting the first cycle up and running as quickly as possible - so it is important the key process steps (inputs and outputs) are sorted out early. This will require a fair bit of "push" from the project leader - especially as there are always conflicting priorities!
So the project leader should be a highly respected, "up-and-coming" person within the company. However, such people are usually in high demand. The leadership team will need to make some tough decisions here. This is not a role for an "average" performer - or worse, someone who doesn't have much to do at the moment!
Along with a high quality project leader, there is a need to put the right resources onto the Integration Team.
This should be a cross-functional team sufficient to bring together the different aspects and viewpoints from the major functions within the company - operations, sales & marketing, IT, HR and finance. We recommend the Integration Team includes the leaders of the design teams who will design the key steps of the monthly cycle (Product Management Review, Demand Review, Supply Review and Reconciliation/Management Business Review). Very often these design team leaders will be the people who will end up as the facilitators of these steps - the Product Planning Manager, Demand Manager and Supply Planning Manager, as well as the IBP Process Leader. In reality these people will be participating in the design of their new jobs!
The Integration Team is not full-time. However, the leadership team should plan for the Integration team to spend approximately one day a week on this task for the design phase of the project. Again, given that the people chosen for this task are usually pretty busy, thought needs to be given to how their time will be freed up so that the IBP project gets sufficient momentum.
The third piece of internal resource that is required is the membership of the relevant process step design teams.
There will be four of these, one for each of Product, Demand, Supply and IR/MBR. Usually, the Integration team itself takes on the IR/MBR design. So the other three design teams must be appropriately staffed. We recommend these teams also be cross-functional. They will be headed up by the design team leader - who is also on the Integration Team. Additionally they will need an appropriate selection of people from the relevant area for which they are designing the IBP process step. This is shown in the following table, which also includes a recommended make-up of the Integration Team.
|IBP Process Step
|Major Functional Areas Involved
|Cross-Functional Team Members
|Product Management Review
Supply Planning Technical
|Integrated Reconciliation/Management Business Review(Integration team)
IBP Process Leader
Design team leaders
The Process Step Design teams will need to be able to put aside approximately one day a week for the design period of the project. So, again the leadership team needs to be able to prioritise their other activities to free them up for this important task.
As can be seen from the above, there is quite a lot of internal resource that needs to be committed at the outset of an IBP implementation. This is likely to be difficult for any company, given the business has to keep running in the meantime. However, the benefits are significant. Having the right resource upfront significantly shortens the time required to design and implement. The implementation phase is faster and there is much better buy-in from around the organisation. The Integration and Design Team members become the Experts and Agents of Change that take ownership and drive the new way of doing business.