Innovar Ltd Newsletter    

News update on financial planning for business


October 2013




Welcome to a packed October Newsletter. It has been very busy at Innovar since the last Newsletter was sent out in July.

Richard and Paul recently presented at a CIMA seminar at Writtle College in Chelmsford which received very positive feedback, including one attendee who commented that it was the "Best Event Ever". At Anaplan's request Richard has also presented at the prestigious Anaplan Hub 2013 where he delivered a session on the new features and functionality of Anaplan, confirming in no small way his Anaplan Guru status.. Some of the key points from his presentation are in the article below called "Anaplan New Features and Functionality". And Innovar's consultant Catherine Hubbard has walked 100km in aid of Cancer Research. Read more about this great achievement in the article called "Catherine raises over 600 for Cancer Research".

Also in this news letter Paul has shared some of the standard questions he asks a new client. These questions can reveal specific issues that organisations are facing. Take a look at the article and have a go at the questionnaire. You may surprise yourself, then again, you may find you simply confirm what you already knew - but didn't want to admit! 

Finally we have two thought provoking articles that consider driver based planning and breaking up with Excel. The articles bring you up to date on the latest technology and methodologies so you can make sure you do not get left behind by your competitors.  


We hope you find this useful and would welcome any feedback you may have. If you enjoyed reading this then please feel free to share this with your colleagues 


Innovar is the expert planning company. We offer Cognos Planning, BOARD and  Anaplansoftware and implementation services. We provide specialist budgeting and forecasting training and consultancy services and we help solve spreadsheet issues.



In this issue
Just a few Questions
Are you Using Driver Based Planning?
Breaking Up with Excel
Anaplan New Features and Functionality
Catherine raises over £600 for Cancer Research
And finally

Just a few Questions 


When I visit a new client for the first time, I am full of questions. "How do you do this", "who does that" and sometimes "are you happy that it all works"? By the end of the session, I hopefully have a much better understanding of the issues that our client is experiencing and I can begin to formulate a plan for solving those issues.


However, by the end of the session, assuming our client isn't totally frazzled by the wave upon wave of what, who, how many/much and whys, they usually have a very clear idea of where they need to be heading too. They don't usually have to wait for my report to realise where the effort needs to be focused to improve their forecasting and budgeting capabilities. Having been asked the questions, they will be very aware of the issues that we have uncovered together.


Although I don't actually hold a checklist of questions in my hand during those sessions, I do use a basic checklist. I can remember it, but I have actually written it down so if you would like to, you can take a look, fill it out and see what you think are your issues.


Follow this link  and fill in all of the answers that you can. You don't have to submit it, but if you do, I will be more than happy to take a look at the results with you and offer any suggestions that occur to me. More likely, you will see for yourself where you should focus to improve your forecasting and budgeting.



Are you using Driver Based Planning?


If you have been in the following scenario, then the chances are you aren't. You are presenting your forecasts to the executives in the boardroom and you get asked "Where did that number come from?" and "Why did that number change?" The only answer you can provide is "I don't know." This leaves you feeling very awkward and inadequate and will not give confidence in your forecast to the executives.


So how can Driver Based Planning help and what is it all about?



Read Full Article Here 


Breaking Up with Excel 


 At some point in their lives everyone has had the "job" conversation; "How did you get started in that line of work? Did you always want to be an author, editor, TV presenter, model...Planning Consultant?" In my personal experience the conversation always ends with an element of surprise when I reveal that I didn't even study anything remotely finance connected when I was at university. In fact I read English which only adds to their overall sense of bewilderment. However this, believe it or not, brings me to the topic of this discussion. One of the pieces of advice that most English undergraduates come across at some point with regards to their written work is the William Faulkner line, "In writing, you must kill your darlings." 



Read Full Article Here 


Anaplan New Features and Functionality

On October 2-3rd, 250 of us Annaplanners from across Europe congregated at the London Film Museum to hear success stories, learn product direction, to network and to share ideas.

Whilst a majority of sessions were specifically sales focused, there were a number of sessions presenting the new functionality that should be available within the next 6 months.  So here is my Top 7 new Anaplan features and benefits but before I start, let's have a quick recap on what Anaplan is:


Read Full Article Here

Catherine raises over 600 for Cancer Research 


Last month, one of our consultants Catherine Hubbard took part in the Thames Path Challenge. The goal, a 100km walk in less than 24 hours from Putney in London out along the riverside to Henley On Thames.


Food and drink stops at regular intervals along the way helped keep the energy levels up and support from her fellow walkers kept her morale going.  


As you can imagine this event was very tiring and psychoilogically demanding. She had to walk through the night wearing a head torch and holding a glowstick, to keep her on track and stop her falling in the river. 
Catherine tells me that, unsurprisingly, her feet are still troubling her, so if you see her, be careful not to tread on her toes! 


From all here at Innovar we would like to say a very well done to Catherine. This is a tremendous achievement. 

And finally   

"If Plan A doesn't work out: - there's still another 25 letters in the alphabet worth trying."  




Quick Links


Best regards, 



Janice Jones

Office: 0844 870 0083

Mobile: 07884155863


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If you want to improve your forecasting, then why not talk to me and find out if Innovar

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