Sales Forecasting - from Ambiguity to Agile Practice
As we reflect on what agile practice can bring to other parts of the organisation. There seems to be a sense of confusion for many organisations in terms of:
- What might this mean?
- How can we actually do it?
- Where can we start trying this?
- How to ensure we don’t lose control if we want to try this out?
Getting our heads around agile practice in other areas of the organisation can be tough. If we want to alter our behaviours and bring agile practice to other parts of the organisation, we are going to need to explore and manage the existing thinking & behavioural patterns that we are probably not even aware we have – so, time to hunt those blind spots and take a pragmatic approach to trying agile practice in other areas of the organisation.
Ultimately, it’s all about ‘thinking about our thinking’. The good news is, this is something we can all do, yet some find it easier than others. If this interests you, please come and hear more about the case where we used agile practices to create an agile forecasting approach for a sales organisation that sold software development services. The story focuses not on the software side of the equation, but on the Sales-Forecast thinking, behaviours and reporting. This is NOT a story about a CRM system, it is a story of how Retrospectives, Psychological Safety and Behavioural Change brought about a new way of working. The result was significantly enhanced forecasting predictability in a market that had increasing ambiguity within it. This forecasting team transitioned from Ambiguous Forecasting to Agile Forecasting.
Outline/structure of the Session
Step 1: The definition of Psychological Safety and why Google pays a lot of attention to it. We will also signpost where you can explore more if you want to read the research.
Step 2: Show how ‘sandbagging’ can be one of the drivers of Ambiguous Forecasting which ALWAYS damages your business (e.g. staff turnover issues and/or excessive inventory) and how to identify when it is in play.
Step 3: Describe how you can define the scope and game plan to move from Ambiguous Forecasting to Agile Forecasting.
Step 4: Describe the actual process followed by the organisation that successfully practices Agile Forecasting and what business benefits this delivered.
Agile Forecasting requires Psychological Safety and when you combine this with Accountability, you can create the ideal environment for Agile Forecasting. Agile Forecasting provides you with the most accurate data possible to manage your revenue streams. Know how to recognise your best ‘sandbaggers’ and understand that if ‘sandbagging’ is in play, your organisational ‘system’ is most probably the cause!
Learn the transition phases to bring about Agile Forecasting in a few steps. Simple to say, not always simple to do, but we have done this successfully several times before and we have come here to share how we did it.
Executives, Business Leaders and Managers wanting to managed ambiguity using agility
An open mind