Why and How to create a Flexible and Agile Business Plan
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Automating your business product planning strategy to create a flexible business plan is critical if you want to keep pace with competitors in an uncertain market. This is where business planning becomes agile. In 2017, a group of software developers published the Agile Manifesto. "Agile" refers to any process that aligns with the concepts of lightweight and flexible business planning. The Agile Manifesto contrasts starkly with traditional "waterfall" systems that have become outdated tools for start-ups in an unstable economy.
Creating an agile financial plan
Although the vision for your business may be set, your business planning must change as the needs of your business evolve. A flexible budget and production goals should be the aim of modern business owners, and this means an agile business plan. Agile planning takes an incremental approach and is not focused on in-depth, long-term planning. Agile plans propose short-term production and financial goals that forecast influences and potential problem-solving strategies. This also makes it possible to implement projects with unclear or changing goals.
What are the benefits of flexible planning
Flexible business goals foster a competitive edge. In short spurts, your progress is faster and measurable. Goals keep pace with industry changes and crises, and data is readily available for the bank when you apply for credit. Agile financial planning ensures your business responds quickly to new technology or trends.
If you're not sure where you want your business to go, or the climate is changeable, there are a few valuable ways to keep your plan agile:
1. Planning for unclear goals
Where do you want to take your business? How do you see that happening? How can an agile business plan help you track and correct your financial planning and production strategy? An agile financial plan will be divided into stages or percentages. This enables you to budget on a project-by-project basis for small, bite-sized financials, and slow or stop the project if you encounter issues.
2. Measurable and repeatable goals
Goals should be ambitious but reasonable. While you need to take risks, they should be carefully considered and move at an effective pace. You may want to create or introduce a new product, followed by additional products, and then several new ranges, in a step-by-step process.
Your business plan should specify timelines for each step. Using the adequate software, you can effectively plot these timelines based on small, incremental goals.
3. Be more responsive
Unlike traditional management systems, an agile plan is more responsive to frequent change and instability. Dividing your goals into smaller ones makes it easier to track income and expenditure, evaluate progress, and continuously refine direction. While the basic framework is there, the ideas are subject to change and can be reworked accordingly.
Opting for agile ERP software systems creates a new, more reliable dynamic within your business that not only saves on costs but also results in real-time, fast data that gives you a competitive edge.