Integrated planning

Integrated planning,

Definition of Integrated planning:

  1. Joint planning exercise that ensures participation of all stakeholders and affected departments. Its objective is to examine all economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits, in order to determine most appropriate option and to plan a suitable course of action.

Meaning of Integrated planning & Integrated planning Definition

Simply put, planning can be defined as the process of creating and executing plans. Often these plans are directed and focused and contain established goals and destinations. To integrate is to combine one thing with another so that they form a connected whole. While strategic planning focuses on the future and how to adapt and operational planning focuses on resourcing actions in the short term, integrated planning looks at how an organization can plan across multiple functions, levels, locations, and other natural or artificial divisions. Integrated planning is not solely an effort internal to an organization as it also has the objective of examining external economic, social, political, and environmental costs and benefits. Combining internal and external integration provides the ability to evaluate the best courses of all options and to plan suitable courses of action. It also has multiple social dimensions and depends on the engaged participation of all stakeholders and affected entities.

There are a number of similar and related activities worth noting: Participatory planning – Emerging from the urban planning paradigm, participatory planning emphasizes involving entire community, or communities, in the design, development, strategic, and administrative processes of planning. Comprehensive planning – While now a broad concept, comprehensive planning showed early practice in community development, and sought to merge and inform community goals and action with public policy in the areas of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing. Collaborative planning – Collaborative planning arose in the educational sector to align student performance with teaching and professional practice, both being tied to organizational or school improvement goals. It is based on the practice of teaching and learning and depends on extensive dialogue.

Integrated business planning (IBP) – IBP is a methodology or approach for connecting the planning functions of multiple business units or departments in an organization with a focus on aligning operations, strategy, and financial performance. Integrated strategic change (ISC) – This is an example of the many ways planning intersects with organizational development. ISC is an integrated approach to organizational intervention, sustained execution, planned change, and strategy. ISC adds a temporal component considering the past, present, desired future, and transitions among all three.

While any of these one veins is of interest to the development of integrated planning, none of them fully explain the complexity of the topic nor do they give a prescriptive approach to developing a culture of integrated planning. From my experience, there are a number of key characteristics in evidence in an organization practicing integrated planning. Let me summarize these in three key components.

First, the organization practices awareness to action. This is permeated by strategic thinking based on good analytics and methodical planning practices. Foremost, integrated planning should include sound strategic thinking. If we view strategy as focused behavior over time adapting to changing conditions , it requires that we are continually monitoring and scanning internal and external conditions and that we have the ability to do things differently as these conditions change. Additionally, we need to understand what is happening through analysis and synthesis. Good analytics require the availability of data with integrity, so that the results of the analyses are sound. Given the exponential rate at which data are being generated, most analyses require technical capabilities well beyond paper and pencil to make sense of the inputs, trends, and complex patterns. Most organizations need strategic repositories of data (I’ll write more later about the three kinds of data inventories I recommend). A third component to practicing awareness to action is strong planning capacities. Organizations need to be able to generate plans, constantly seek and achieve alignment, and manage the process of generating actions based on the plans. All of this should be generated with broad engagement of multiple stakeholders and collaborative partnerships and through shared vision, reinforced values, and a common language.

Second, there is a high degree of collective organizational effort. To do so, constituents must be engaged by getting people involved. Considerations are the breadth of engagement – across boundaries, functions, or other groupings – and the depth of engagement by ensuring deep vertical alignment. Supporting engagement and collective effort is constant communication where key information is kept flowing. Here it is important to attend to the frequency and accuracy of communication, the transparency of decision making processes, and continual building of shared awareness within the organization. Finally, collective effort hinges on the ability to make things happen through execution. Good execution allows the organization to collectively pursue priorities in activities that contribute to a shared strategy. Measurement, accountability, and evidence based decision making also help the organization alter and correct course when conditions change or outcomes are not meeting expectations. Good execution shows a high degree of coordination with plans and actions informing each other.

Lastly, a third bucket of integrated planning characteristics has efforts focused on transforming and strengthening rather than maintaining the status quo. Organizations need to be able to innovate to gain or maintain ground in a shifting world. The ability to innovate includes but is not limited to generating ideas, moving to action, and creating value – three key requirements for innovation. One of the most important characteristics of integrated planning is the ability to manage resources well enough to drive appropriate action. This is exhibited by the capacity to free up and reallocate existing resources, generate new funds, and prioritize resources during ever-shifting needs and conditions. Strengthening and transforming organizations with intent is never accomplished without good leadership. The final characteristics I’ll identify for integrated planning relate to leadership’s ability to inspire vision, manage people and relationships, and generate results. With a keen eye focused on adaptive management in planning, using appropriate performance measures, and long-term alignment of organization with its environment, leaders can guide organizations through integrated planning to reach difficult destinations.

What is integrated planning?

Integrated planning supports strategic decision-making by providing a comprehensive view of resources and commitments that ensures the alignment of financial and capital resources with academic priorities. Prior to adopting integrated planning, fragmented planning activities occurred across the U of S, resulting in confusion about the university’s priorities and use of resources. Integrated planning at the University of Saskatchewan has typically occurred in four to five-year cycles.

Several important documents set the stage for the integrated planning process at the U of S.

Integrated planning is a way for the campus community to set strategic priorities for the university together, while better coordinating the use of resources. The University of Saskatchewan undertakes planning to show transparency and accountability in its activities.

Integrated planning will …

be an open process . By open, we mean a process that is known, widely understood and accessible to the general university community. Resource allocation and re-allocation decisions are based on the process and results are widely communicated.

be a comprehensive process . By comprehensive we mean a process that requires participation from all academic and administrative units and which ensures the effective integration of institutional goals with college/unit goals by requiring completion of a common framework or template.

be a structured process . By structured we mean a process which has a published time-line for submissions and for decision-making.

be a powerful process . By powerful we mean a process that results in real decision-making with real resources attached to decisions. We also mean a process that unites us with a common purpose, which identifies shared responsibilities, and which propels the University’s vision and academic priorities forward.

be a consultative process . By consultative we mean a process which provides timely opportunities for the university community to offer advice and guidance and to approve emerging initiatives.

be an action-oriented process . By action-oriented we mean a more robust and principled budget and planning process that results in decisions on the allocation and re-allocation of resources. College and unit plans have consequences.

be a streamlined process . By streamlined we mean a process which reduces duplication and which organizes institutional effort around selected strategic initiatives and directions. We also mean a process that keeps bureaucracy to a minimum.

be a flexible process . By flexible we mean a process that provides a mechanism to respond to emerging opportunities.

be an accountable process . By accountable we mean a process which links decisions to assigned responsibilities, results in decisions, and which can be explained to a variety of communities. We also mean a process which supports the delegation of budget responsibilities to the level at which operational decisions are made and which provides information on resource requirements, institutional data, budget projections and other documentation on a timely basis.

What Does Integrated Planning Really Mean?

What Does Integrated Planning Really Mean?

Imagine you’re playing musical chairs. The music starts and stops and your instinct is to rush to the nearest seat before your competitors beat to you to it—but instead of a circle or a row of chairs, the chairs are scattered and hidden around the building at random. No one knows how many chairs there are, and no one is sure how to reset them before the next round begins. Surely this would be a confusing way to play the game, just as it would be a confusing way to run a business. And yet, many companies do just that, keeping real resource allocation hidden within planning siloes and mission critical data obscured by layers of disconnected IT infrastructure. The result is that long term cross-operational planning becomes impossible, with planners stuck in a reactive loop of constantly responding to roadblocks without the ability to be proactive. Integrated planning has long been touted as cost saving solution for complex businesses, one that specifically addresses the break-fix mentality that mires companies in minute-to-minute logistical snafus, but what is it, exactly, and how does it work?

Strategic, Cross-operational Decision-making

Simply put, integrated planning is a means of facilitating smart decision making and planning across all divisions of a given company. By connecting various planning processes to one another and promoting end-to-end (E2E) visibility, it helps manufacturers to take a holistic view of their operations and to define clearly articulated, company-wide goals. Where traditional planning infrastructure can lead to decision-making siloes and fragmented processes that often work at cross purposes, integrated planning ensures that all key stakeholders are working towards the same goal in full knowledge of each other’s actions and the organization-spanning effects that those actions will have.

Shadow IT and Postmodern ERP

Many companies that worry about Shadow IT (i.e. IT purchased with the input of actual IT professionals or management) have responded by adopting a Postmodern ERP mindset, in which different IT solutions are all integrated into a common, interoperable system that prevents siloes and promotes visibility. Shadow IT, however, is not the only variety of operational disconnect that can occur; many other resource management decisions across the supply chain can become “shadowy,” leading to divergent intra-operational plans and resource allocations that can be difficult to reconcile. In this way, integrated planning is akin to Postmodern ERP, insofar as it works to promote interoperable systems not just with regards to IT, but in terms of strategic, operational, and tactical planning in all their various forms. And, in fact, the kinds of planning solutions under discussion in this post are important pillars of the Postmodern ERP mindset.

Working hand-in-hand with a Postmodern ERP, an integrated approach to planning can help businesses:

  • Gain a holistic understanding of the supply streams, product lifecycles, transport logistics, and the relationships between them; this can lead to the discovery of possible new efficiencies and the ability to foresee bottlenecks in advance.
  • Utilize a continuous planning interface designed around up-to-the-minute information from every point on the value chain, ensuring that planners work towards the same goals with the same understanding of company resource usage.
  • Increase connectivity by way of interoperable applications and systems that promote rather than reduce cross-operational communication.

Advanced Analytics

Supply chain management is obviously much easier when the nature of the entire supply chain is illuminated for all stakeholders within an organization, which is what integrated planning can offer for complex, variant-rich companies that would otherwise be bogged down by siloes and incomplete data. There is however, another key driver of added-value that these planning solutions can provide: advanced analytics. Not only do these advanced planning solutions make it possible to integrate many disparate elements of the supply chain management process, but, through increased operability and E2E visibility, they also help improve data quality and centralization. The result is that planning that was once done with pen and ink or Excel spreadsheets can now be done in an environment that offers advanced analytics support. This too, can help add value in a number of ways:

  • Reduced transport costs through intelligent planning and forecasting
  • Enhanced simulations and “what-if” scenarios
  • Trend analysis and pattern recognition to connect different segments of the planning process (i.e. capacity planning, container usage, routing, etc.) into more seamless workflows.

If by simply adopting an integrated solution for planning, manufacturers can promote Postmodern ERP efforts and bolster connectivity cross-operationally, then combining those efforts with analytics can yield not just stable resource management throughout a company, but true agility and adaptability—both keys to success in the world of Industry 4.0.