You're the CFO of the Ramkin Company, which makes and sells electronic equipment. The firm was originally an independent business, but was acquired by the larger BigTech Inc. ten years ago, and is now operated as a division. BigTech has an elaborate planning system requiring all divisions to produce a strategic plan and an annual operating once a year, a budget each quarter, monthly cash forecasts and several quick forecasts near the end of each quarter.
The forecasts are done primarily by the finance department and don't require much of anyone else's time. However, the strategic plan takes a good deal of executive effort, while budgets and the annual operating plan demand a great deal of management effort at all levels. It's eight AM on a morning in mid-October, and the executive team is about to start a meeting to kick off the preparation of the annual operating plan for the next calendar year. As the meeting convenes, Charlie Gogetter, the VP of Marketing, is clearly upset. He takes the floor and makes the following statement.
"I'm tired of spending all this time on these silly plans! We just finished a Strategic Plan in June that must've taken a month of my time while the western sales region got itself into big trouble. We also did a third quarter budget in June, and a fourth quarter budget in September. Now we're starting another plan that will probably tie up half of my sales managers' time until Christmas. "On top of that it seems whenever we're not planning, we're putting together reviews comparing actual performance to plan. Before we were acquired by BigTech, we hardly ever planned and we did just fine! It's true we're a lot larger and more complex now, but I don't think we can spend this much time planning rather than doing!
"I suggest that the CFO (he gestures toward you) be assigned to throw together something we can submit to BigTech, and that the rest of us get on with our work."
Other members of the group to some extent share Charlie's feelings, and his comments have created some unrest among the executive team about the company's management style. Prepare a response to his statement and proposal. Don't rule out the possibility that BigTech is overdoing planning.

  • CreatedMay 14, 2015
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