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Aligning Long-term Plans with Short-term Forecasts: Maintaining Productivity without Losing Sight of Goals

Determining long-term company goals and short-term planning are not necessarily similar disciplines and can be difficult to align. Still, since short-term plans are the baby steps that lead towards longer term success, it is important to ensure that short-term planning serves the overall direction that an organization wants to go in. In a business environment where conditions are constantly changing, this can prove quite difficult. Truly, 12% of respondents to Aberdeen's 2013 Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting survey indicated that operational forecasts are not aligned with overall business objectives. This indicates that those in charge of corporate strategy are unhappy with the forecasts prepared by operations because they are inconsistent with overall goals. Concurrently, 48% indicated that they have difficulty aligning operational execution with financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting. This indicates that those closer to the front lines do not understand how they are supposed to meet organizational goals in current business conditions. In order for the entire organization to be constantly working towards a common goal, Best-in-Class organizations are better able to align short-term operational plans, budgets, and forecasts with long-term organizational goals and initiatives. This report will illustrate how top performing organizations utilize a group of organizational capabilities and technologies in order to unite long and short-term plans.

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