12numbers | Symbolic Planning
Symbolic Planning is a totally new approach towards efficient and effective business planning. Instead of entering vast amounts of plain numbers you just need to create a so called symbol (an assumption, opinion or or quantifiable information) e.g. "2016 Sales in Asia will raise by +5% compared to 2015" and all related figures will be premaritally linked to the symbol and updated instantly.
Planning, Forecasting, Simulation, Data Entry, Software, Excel, Finance Planning, Marketing Planning
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Symbolic Planning

Running Project

Notice: Partners & Investors wanted

Symbolic Planning is the most ambitious but also most rewarding project I ever have started – and I’ve executed already a lot of big projects. The project is based upon on a innovative and generic methodical concept for business planning and forecasting. It is easy to understand and adaptable by almost every company and professional I know. The concept is most finished and currently recorded in a dedicated PhD thesis.


Photo “Day 267 – Anyone Understand Spreadsheets” by Simon James, licensed under CC

After 5 years of intense research, software development and a lot feedback from the various the targeted user group (managers, controller etc.) and experienced BI market experts, also a fully functional software (alpha status) is available that imposingly demonstrates the Symbolic Planning concept and is also already in use by a handful of brave alpha-test-users. Up to now, I been driving the project in my spare time with the support of a few very engaged contributors.

Now, the project is ready to be taken to the next level, to finalise it and take it to market. So, if you are a serious BI or CPM software or consulting company or a start-up investor and would like to take it or know more, then please leave me message in the contact form. Your welcome…

Introduction to Symbolic Planning

Planning and Forecasting are import and demanding tasks at companies of any size. And in times of globalization, agility and transparency of realistic planning get’s more and more important, if not even essential. To project a present business scenario into a future business scenario (aka planning) is a highly creative and complex task where assumptions, opinions and relevant information of various kind has to be melt together into an action plan, but also a measurable quantitative plan, e.g. a sales plan or P&L plan statement.

The quantitative outcome – a plan – is just a bunch of numbers. When you look at the plan, you have no clue what it really wants tell you. Is a planned 15% sales increase for China super ambitious or is it ways below the possibilities of this market? The pure numbers won’t tell you.

All the important assumptions, opinions and information the plan is based upon are either not available at all – because they were not written down during planning. Or they are available but totally unlinked to the plan itself. Two independent documents, a plan and a text document. If you need to change a basic assumption in your plan, all the related figures have to be adjusted manually. This is very time-consuming and error-prone. Driver-based planning (link) was a good first approach to address and overcome this general issue but it nails you down to it’s concept (the driver tree) and is not suitable for all, most likely the majority of planning purposes. A simple driver tree is often not expressive enough a complex one is very hard to manage and understand for users.

Agile business planning and steering as it should be. Congratulations.

What if we could turn the classic planning approach upside down? Instead of typing dump numbers into entry forms, you could just write down an assumption like this: “2016 Sales in Asia will raise by +5% compared to 2015“. This assumption (it’s called a “Symbol”) will then automatically update all the related financial figures in your planning space and – very important it will stay linked with the planning space. It will not only instantly adjust the sales figures for all your individual Asian customers or sites, but also related figures like the raw material or shipping cost. And now think 3 month later, when you are requested to give a forecast update on your plan. You append “+ $500,000” or ” +2%” to your initial assumption and your done…

more to come…