Getting Started with Continuous Business Planning

It used to be that the practice of business planning was limited to the beginning or founding of a business, the founder or founders would write a business plan with all of their ideas for what the business would do and how they would serve their customers, but then that was it. Once the business was underway and day-to-day operations distracted from their strategic focus, the business plan that was so vital in the beginning was forgotten and ignored.

Now that has been replaced with the concept of continuous business planning.

In continuous business planning, the business plan continues to be updated on a regular basis. Formerly, businesses were ahead of the curve if they only updated their plan every six to twelve months. But as the pace of the global economy gets faster and faster, annual or semi-annual planning is simply far too slow to keep up.

By constantly updating and improving the business plan, firms are able to react to swift changes in the world market and keep up with their customers demands. Closely related to the Agile development methodology, continuous planning helps companies keep their business plans more accurate and more up to date with the activities, projects, and initiatives that the firm is actually and actively pursuing.

This also gets top management more involved in the business planning cycle, which leads them to be more engaged with employees at all levels of the company. Because the plan is constantly changing and updates can come in from employees at all levels of the company, management has to be more attuned to the activities and projects currently being undertaken.

It is important to ensure that all levels of the organization are on-board and have bought in to the benefits of continuous business planning for your firm to reap the benefits. Have a meeting with all of your stakeholders and show them the benefits of this modern and effective form of business management.