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Article: How to Improve Planning with Modern Applications

Commercial organizations are created with one goal - to maximize profits. To this end, tools for planning and optimizing labor processes are being introduced. The manager’s task includes not only effective personnel management, but also planning the company's sales for the near future.

Today we will talk about what a company’s sales plan is, consider the characteristic features of the procedure, development rules.

Briefly about the main thing

Planning is an effective tool to achieve your goals, successful business.

The development process is accompanied by the preparation of supporting documentation and analysis of the current situation. Life often brings surprises, which are not so easy to find.

It is important to know! An experienced manager is obliged to calculate the reasons for the failure to complete the tasks set, to minimize their destructive impact on the professional activities of the company.

Step-by-step instructions for creating a sales plan are contained in this video:

Features, goals and principles of planning

The task of authorized persons is not so much in predicting the future as in assessing the available resources. Based on them, a preliminary model of the further work of the organization is created.

Sales planning has several goals:

  • development of logistics for the distribution of available resources in priority areas. Coordination of the work of subordinates in the field of optimization of actions performed,
  • assessment of the abilities and performance of persons responsible for sales,
  • control of the overall activity of the organizational structure,
  • creation of effective management methods, development of a strategy for further development. Here you will find out what are the strategies for conflict management in the organization.

It is important to know! The document indicates the amount of goods that must be sold for a certain time period.

A professional manager adheres to the following principles when drawing up a company's sales plan:

  1. Reachability - at the stage of setting goals, it is important to consider the capabilities of the team and the potential of the goods being sold. At the same time, one cannot start from the indicators of the previous period, since the situation on the market depends on many factors: the popularity of the product, its seasonality, the activity of competitive structures, improvement or deterioration of the country's economic indicators. It is important to consider all of the above nuances in the preparation of the document.
  2. Concreteness and measurability - the plan is obliged to operate only with numerical indicators, perhaps here it is unacceptable.
  3. Limited time - the existence of clear deadlines for fulfilling the tasks set stimulates employees to achieve a positive result. Evaluate the capabilities of each manager, otherwise the miscalculation will be recorded on the account of the responsible person.
  4. Resource provision - setting unrealistic deadlines or tasks does not help motivate subordinates (selling 100 TVs in less than a month is an overwhelming burden).
  5. Unity - the sales plan provides for clear cooperation and symbiosis with the rest of the departments of the object in question. The provisions of the document should not conflict with the real situation inside the structural parts of the company.
  6. Continuity - interchangeability of tasks for the sales department is necessary to maintain the efficiency and working "tone" of subordinates.
  7. Flexibility - a plan that does not tolerate correction is bad. At the design stage, the possibility of changing some aspects of the plan should be considered.

It is important to know! It is not enough to draw up a high-quality document; company personnel should have the opportunity to implement their plans in practice.

An example of filling out a sales plan.

Rules for completing tasks

Consideration of the topic of sales planning requires a look from not only the head, but also his subordinates. For them, this is stress and the simultaneous motivation to increase personal effectiveness.

We will announce a few main rules that will achieve a positive result:

  • conduct an inventory of available tools that are potentially suitable for the implementation of the plan. If the manager sees that his capabilities are not enough to complete the tasks, you need to turn to the higher management. What is an inventory of receivables and payables you will find in the publication by reference,
  • use the potential of the "sales funnel." It consists in converting ordinary visitors to the outlet into buyers,
  • segment the most profitable customers and give their service maximum attention. The success of the operation will bring an increase in profit from sales for the current month,
  • work on increasing the average bill - complementary goods will help here, the cost of which allows you not to think about the seriousness or importance of the proposed purchase,
  • inform potential buyers about the company, main areas of activity, product range,
  • calculate the percentage of completion - to do this, divide the actual figures by the planned ones and multiply the value by 100.

Why can’t fulfill the plan

There are many reasons, however, marketing experts are considering several of the most popular options:

  • the presence of gross errors at the planning stage - this includes: incorrect statement of the problem, its unattainability in current conditions,
  • low competence of subordinates - managers do not have sufficient knowledge and skills to sell a product. Conducting staff development courses or monitoring their work, testing will help here. Here you will find out what factors and circumstances affect the increase in labor productivity,
  • insufficient motivation - the introduction of a rating system, bonuses and contests will awaken the hidden potential of employees, make them more proactive. The interest of managers in achieving results is the main task of the manager.

List of steps to create a plan

The document development process itself consists of many steps and operations, the consideration of which will provide the following numbered list:

  1. Goal setting - the manager denotes tasks whose implementation is a priority for staff or a specific manager. The list and reachability of the goal should be consistent with the SMART strategy, which reflects relevance, time span, reachability and measurability.
  2. Analysis of market opportunities - the responsible person analyzes the situation of the macro and mesomedium, the market and the niche occupied by the company. Taking into account most risk factors will significantly increase the survivability and relevance of the plan.
  3. Analysis of indicators for the last month / quarter - the operation will help determine the optimal seasonality of the goods sold, identify additional factors affecting sales figures.
  4. Forecast - compilation of an objective and subjective opinion on the further development of events. The second relies on expert judgment, the first operates on historical reports.
  5. Sales forecast adjustment - comparison of forecasting results and previously defined goals.
  6. Planning for the sale of goods - step-by-step instructions for achieving the desired result, setting tasks according to the scale of importance and priority.
  7. Practical implementation of the plan.
  8. Control and adjustment - maintenance of the plan at the stage of its implementation, smoothing of “sharp corners”, errors made at the development stage.

Characterization of indicators and analysis of the results

Experts identify the following sales indicators characterizing the productivity of staff:

  • quantity of goods sold per hour,
  • average sales
  • the number of items bought by one consumer,
  • conversion speed and quality of service ratio,
  • the ratio of wages and sales.

It is important to know! The above example is relevant for the retail sale of low or mid-range products.

Sample company sales plan.

Any use of materials is allowed only with a hyperlink.

The analysis of the obtained data and results is carried out by entire departments using specialized software and approaches. The procedure involves passing through several stages:

  • characteristics of changes in market conditions,
  • calculating the profitability of regional sales,
  • consideration of relevant information about the sold product,
  • comparison of marketing activity and the results obtained (sales),
  • correction of pricing factors, commercial conditions,
  • modification of the plan and the creation of a backup strategy.

Table 1. Four implementation scenarios

I. Implementation of batch applications

Includes implementation of planning software package.

· Improved workflow and tracking of operations

· Improved ability to respond to changes or repetitive situations

· Moderate improvement in data quality (compared to spreadsheets)

Unless the current situation is completely hopeless, the benefits obtained at this stage appear gradually, and without further improvements, there may be problems with the return on investment.

II. Corporate architecture

This stage of implementation is characterized by the appearance of a series of planning applications integrated into the common IT architecture, both at the level of the entire corporation and of individual departments.

· Moderate process improvement

· Standardization of data models and process management

· Integration capabilities of analytical reporting

In carrying out this stage, there is a risk that it may turn into a project exclusively of the IT department. However, the benefits of overriding the focus of the planning function may be lost. In addition, full integration is an expensive process that requires a significant investment of time and resources.

III. Process Modernization Project

These projects are usually part of a more traditional modernization framework. Their focus is on the current and future situations, gap analysis during forecasting (gap analysis) and development of recommendations for improving processes.

· Analysis provides opportunities and a basis for rethinking the role of the planning function

· Plan developers usually do not mind these projects

Without the appropriate technological capabilities, the advantages obtained at this stage are, at best, step-by-step. This approach helps the organization rethink its plans for the future, but is rarely brought to its logical conclusion.

IV. Integration transformation

These projects include the sharing of advanced technology and fundamental changes in process design. Usually they take several years.

· Maximum benefits in efficiency and productivity

· Significant improvements in comparability of information

· Support for a balanced scorecard and performance management tools

This approach requires the integration of a variety of activities, financial support and certain obligations on the part of senior managers and the serious desire of the whole organization to implement the required changes.

Quadrant 1 Results: Deploying Batch Applications

Software manufacturers have learned to take into account the requirements of the planning function and can provide an incoming increase in efficiency by automating processes and eliminating isolated solutions based on spreadsheets.

Fig. 4. The impact of batch applications on the next steps

planning process improvements

Many organizations choose bundled applications due in part to advertising slogans promising fast and seamless implementation, and in part because of their own desire to achieve the desired results as soon as possible. But without constant work to improve the use of these applications, the further benefits that they can provide may not be realized. In fact, the introduction of batch applications can be the first step towards solving problems within the planning process, but the fact that these applications only lay the foundation, but are far from exhaustive to achieve the expected results in improving productivity and efficiency, should not be ignored.

Companies that focus only on implementing packaged applications to support planning significantly limit themselves in terms of process improvement and efficiency, as well as analytical and predictive capabilities.

The most negative results

Companies that do not consider the long-term prospects of the project run the risk of not getting all the advantages in the field of planning, as well as face resistance to the new solution from users. If this happens, then further benefits in the form of general information, as well as improved analysis and decision-making process can no longer be obtained, and the entire IT project ends in failure.

Companies need to conduct a fundamental audit of the planning process in the context of the overall performance management situation. This is necessary to achieve the ultimate goal: to improve the company's ability to predict the effectiveness of its work and at the same time create conditions for continuous monitoring of effectiveness and appropriate adjustments to its activities.

To do this, the strategy should be closely linked to goals related to efficiency, and real productivity should be easily comparable with the targets. Finally, material incentives should depend on how much work efficiency relates to the plan. This will ensure that the actions will be consistent with the goals. Here are some key questions that will help you understand what kind of organization an organization has for improvement.

Choosing a direction of movement and setting goals

How well do corporations understand the organization’s strategy?

Does the organization understand the factors of business value and the potential financial implications of various scenarios?

What is a balanced set of indicators for setting goals to improve efficiency and incentive system for managers in accordance with all strategic goals?

How well do strategic plans and goals relate to the operational planning process?

Is functional planning and so-called bottom-up planning integrated (for example, sales and financial plans)?

Are functional and individual dashboards, indicators, and definitions related to achieving your goals?

Is the set of reports and facts about performance well organized to provide managers with information on how the company is moving towards achieving its planned and strategic goals?

Do the material incentive structures of organizations and individual employees correlate with strategic goals and planned objectives?

Does the organization have the ability (tools, processes, skills and culture) to quickly respond to changing market conditions (effective and efficient change of forecasts)?

In many companies, the planning process represents an area where the financial system can really demonstrate the concept of a partnership with a business. But improving this process will also require integration with other functions, the use of the latest technology, determination to change the existing order of things and the desire to better link the planning function with the overall management of business performance. This, of course, is not an easy task, but its solution can contribute to a significant strengthening of the role of the financial system in the future.

Company benefit

That is why in most modern companies, each employee draws up an individual development plan. An example of such a document will be presented below. With it, you can implement several tasks at once:

  • the employee begins to more systematically and purposefully engage in his development,
  • coordination of work and development goals is ensured,
  • there are opportunities for control and self-control,
  • specific and general ideas of self-development are transferred to the level of implementation of specific actions,
  • The analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.

Employee Benefits

For an employee, an individual development plan, an example of which he receives at hand, is advantageous as follows:

  • it allows you to timely prepare for any new projects, positions or upcoming changes in the organization,
  • обеспечивается самоорганизация, так как при наличии ИПР гораздо легче вносить в свои рабочие или жизненные планы какие-либо действия и события, помогающие достичь конкретных целей,
  • выделяются приоритеты и расставляются акценты, на которые нужно обратить внимание в процессе развития и обучения.

Due to the systematic use of IPR, it is possible to determine the managerial potential of the company, as well as forecasting the main opportunities for its further development. More experienced employees are also involved in monitoring development and training processes. Knowing an individual development plan, an example of which is issued to each manager, a company can engage in more accurate personnel policy.

Among other things, with the help of IPR, the focus of efforts used within the company's strategy is ensured. Taking part in the compilation of IPR using internal and external consultants, the company provides assistance to managers in prioritizing and placing emphasis during training and development in accordance with the chosen tactics.

How to make it up?

To ensure a real effect, using an individual development plan, an example should be made by a competent specialist with experience and skills in carrying out such work. Basically, compilation includes three main stages.

The employee studies the report on the results of the assessment (if it was carried out), after which she receives and studies the main recommendations related to development from the manager, independently determines development priorities, and, if necessary, consults with internal or external consultants. What to do if it is not possible to independently plan an individual development? An example of such a document can be suggested by a specialist in development and training, which is present in the staff of most large organizations.

The employee is engaged in filling out the table, indicating the priorities of his own development there, and also compiles a map of developmental actions, which clearly indicates when and how he will engage in the development of the necessary skills.

A consultant or manager reviews each individual employee development plan. Examples of such a document are widely available, so it will not be difficult for an employee to compose it independently. After that, the authorized person makes the necessary changes, if necessary.

A ready-made individual employee development plan, examples of which can be found in specialized print media, approved by consultants, is sent to the heads or representatives of the HR department for final approval.

Development areas

Among the main areas of development in IPR, the following are often indicated:

  • Workplace skills development. The employee is engaged in various changes in the work process that may contribute to the improvement of his competence.
  • Performing special tasks or projects. After an individual employee development plan has been drawn up (example above), the employee is entrusted with the implementation of a project that requires an increased level of competence from him.
  • Learning from the experience of other people. More competent employees are monitored, after which a new individual specialist development plan is completed. An example of filling can also be suggested by more experienced colleagues.
  • Search for feedback. An employee discusses with his subordinates and colleagues his own work, considering it from the point of view of his competence.
  • Self-training. An in-depth analysis of their work is carried out, after which the employee independently searches for some more effective solutions that could improve his work in the company.
  • Trainings A person takes part in various training programs.

Thus, this tool is universal. Some people even draw up an individual plan for the development and lifestyle of the child. An example of such a document will tell psychologists, doctors and many other specialists.

What should an example contain?

IPR often includes a certain list of activities necessary for the development of specific skills by a specialist. Depending on the field of activity of a particular organization and its scale, such a list can be extremely diverse and, in addition to other data, include the following:

  • direct training in new skills in your organization, as well as getting them outside,
  • participation in any projects where an employee can gain valuable experience,
  • staff rotation
  • internship
  • mentoring, mentoring and coaching,
  • fulfillment of any additional tasks, tasks and roles,
  • passing optional or mandatory certification.

In the vast majority of cases, development plans do not include any tasks that relate to the achievement of specific KPIs or specific targets.

For beginners, in the overwhelming majority of cases, it is customary to establish plans for a period of approximately six months, and for existing employees, this time period can reach a year. For HiPO or employees with increased potential, such a plan can be drawn up immediately for a period of three to five years.

In the best case, the provision on staff training or some other document should include not only the steps of the career ladder, but also the criteria by which the professional skills and knowledge of a specialist are assessed. Thus, employees together with the leader can assess the current competency and determine what needs to be developed to achieve the next career level.

Development of civil servants

In practice, it has been repeatedly proved that the use of IPR in government structures is an integral element of managing and improving staff performance. Using this tool, a significant increase in the professional level of a specialist is ensured, which is important not only for the employee himself, but also for the government department in which he works.

An individual specialist development plan, an example of which you can see in the article, is a document that describes the main development goals and a certain list of actions necessary for the civil servants to perform. At the same time, the coordination and approval of such documents is somewhat different from the above procedure.

How are they made up?

To begin with, an example of an individual development plan for a leader or employee is compiled. In accordance with the job regulations, it should be developed for approximately three years.

If a person enters the civil service, then the individual development plan indicated by him is approved. This procedure is carried out by the organization’s leadership for three months after the official has been appointed to his post.

When an individual plan is developed for the professional development of a civil servant (an example of a document is available at any enterprise), it should include the following characteristics of a person:

  • education,
  • work experience in their profession,
  • the quality of knowledge, skills and abilities,
  • personal aspirations.

This is only the main list of information that is taken into account when compiling this document. Individual development plans of civil servants, an example of one of which is given in the article, includes an indication of the form, goals, types and duration of additional education, as well as its main direction and expected effect.

How are they approved?

The approval of such documents is carried out by the heads of bodies or individual units, depending on the category to which a particular civil servant belongs.

Compilation of the IPR is carried out in two copies, with one of the forms sent to the personal file of the employee, while the second is handed to him. That is why, when an individual development plan is drawn up, an example of completion should be mandatory so that you do not make any mistakes and the damaged document is not included in your personal file.

To make the employee’s dreams of any titles, academic degrees or internship abroad more real, he must, under the strict guidance of his immediate supervisor, draw up his own development plan for the next three years. Therefore, you can always motivate your employees with potential development within the company, constantly showing that they still have room to grow.

What does it include?

An example of an individual plan for the professional development of a civil servant is, first of all, a concrete list of measures aimed at the managerial and professional qualities of an employee. The main types of such events are as follows:

  • Educational. They are aimed at ensuring that the employee receives some new knowledge that may be useful to him in the performance of his immediate duties.
  • Developing. They are used to improve a person in his professional field and acquire new skills. Thanks to such events, the employee covers new horizons of his work and can perform a wider range of tasks.
  • Fastening. Activities designed to develop skills that the employee already has or has recently received.

It is immediately worth noting that examples of an individual competency employee development plan should be separately compiled for each specialist, since the main task of this document is to determine personal differences between what level of professional competence an officer has at the moment and what is needed from him on higher posts.

The basis for compiling the IPR includes a number of assessment procedures, which also include a personal interview between the boss and the employee himself. In each individual case, its imprint is also imposed by the specifics of the civil servant, as well as his position.

What do you need to know?

In the standard version of the filling-in, the plan for individual development includes three main elements that will be developed by the civil servant: skills, knowledge and skills. The tools that will be used in the implementation of the drawn up individual development plan can have an extremely wide range, and its list directly depends on the results of the assessment of the abilities of a particular specialist.

Quite often, individual plans for professional development include attending various external or internal trainings aimed at continuing education, as well as all sorts of tasks that are mainly of a managerial nature. The main elements of internships, as well as the level of complexity of official tasks delegated to this official, are indicated as a separate item. Basically, they are much more complicated compared to those that they met in the performance of standard duties.

Key Aspects of Compilation

In the process of drawing up an individual plan, not only the employee’s education and his personal goals are taken into account, but also the tasks of the corresponding structural unit. In other words, the knowledge that the employee is going to gain should be relevant to his career. It is worth noting that a public servant has the opportunity to receive additional professional education not only with a partial separation for up to three working days a week, but even with a certain complete separation from the performance of his immediate duties.

The following can be indicated as the main areas of continuing professional education:

  • legal
  • managerial
  • financial planning
  • organizational and economic
  • linguistic
  • informational and analytical.

And all this is just the main list of areas that can be included in the individual plan of the official. For example, some experts may indicate in their plan the need to learn a foreign language, and most of them really need it. There are a number of other activities aimed at the professional development of civil servants, among which the following can be noted:

  • postgraduate studies,
  • Higher education
  • participation in symposia, scientific and practical conferences, round tables and other events.

Among other things, today the desire for self-development is extremely welcomed, which also needs to be taken into account.

The personnel service of a particular department is developing an example of an individual manager development plan. Every year, it must engage in the formation of applications for training for civil servants within the framework of an accessible state order for training, internships or professional retraining. At the same time, a civil servant may indicate that, for example, he is scheduled to study English in the spring, in the summer he will give a lecture at a specialized scientific conference on law, and in the fall he needs to go to Foggy Albion to attend a training related to effective personnel management . It is worth noting that in this case, a public servant spends nothing to obtain the necessary knowledge, and attending such events is fully paid from the state treasury.