THE LITTLE (Illustrated) BOOK OF OPERATIONAL FORECASTING
A short introduction to the practice and pitfalls ofcshort term forecasting...and hw to increase its value to the business
Operational forecasting sits at the heart of many businesses because it informs every decision taken to get the right amount of product (or service capacity), in the right place, at the right time.
But is also one of the most misunderstood and undervalued activities.
As a result, most businesses carry enormous amounts of unnecessary inventory while simultaneously failing to offer their customers the level of service that they expect.
At best, the managers in these businesses may suspect there is scope for improvement but have no idea how much process waste ‘weight’ they can lose or how to go about shedding it. At worst, they assume that trying harder and investing in more clever software will automatically take care of the problem because they are blind to the unnecessary kilos they are dragging around.
This book demystifies operational forecasting through a series of bite sized ‘lessons’ supported by simple illustrations, that address the fundamental questions that anyone with a stake in operational forecasting needs to be able to answer:
Why forecast? What do we stand to gain?
What do we need to understand before we start forecasting?
How best to forecast?
What does success look like?
How can we improve?
And the best news of all is the biggest gains come from doing less dumb stuff rather than more clever stuff.
Aimed primarily at forecasting practitioners and anyone responsible for, or reliant on, what they do, this book also is an excellent primer for anyone wanting to understand the principles of good operational forecasting, but not the daunting mathematics.
By making these ideas accessible in a small, easy to read book I am hoping that readers will want to share them with friends and colleagues. Because I have avoided traditional publishers I can provide multiple copies (5 or more) at discounted rates. I can also customise the cover or the content of the books.
For more information about bulk orders or customised copies please contact me directly.
How to Master Business Forecasting
The Hidden Anatomy of Effective Organisations....Using Sytems Thinking to Unlock Nature Secrets
We live in times of unprecedented turbulence and uncertainty and we are losing faith in our ability to organise ourselves to deal with it. The traditional ‘top down’ functional hierarchy doesn’t feel like it works as well as it used to, and new generations of workers increasingly demand something a better organisational experience and career that their predecessors had to settle for.
But when we look for an alternative, we are faced with a miasma of competing claims for different organising principles. Do we need to be purpose led or profit driven? Focussed or flexible? More centralised or decentralised? Hierarchical or networked? Agile, Lean or driven by scale? And should we all be aiming to become ‘teal’ organisations?
This situation is confusing, and it is perilous. It is also unnatural - in a very fundamental sense - because it demonstrates that we have failed to learn nature’s tricks about how organisations can survive and thrive. In any kind of environment. No matter how turbulent and unpredictable.
The remedy prescribed in this book is not a choice between ‘this’ or ‘that, it is about balance. Or more specifically maintaining a set of dynamic balances that continuously shift to tame the complexity faced, and created, by organisations.
This book paints a picture of what these balances are and how they work. It helps readers to describe and make sense of the mess and muddle of organisational life, to design healthy workplaces and to diagnose and cure diseased ones.
It can do this because the book is not a manifesto of hope or wishful thinking. It brings together esoteric knowledge amassed over decades about how systems actually work (or don’t) in a form that is both accessible and practical.
To a curious reader this book is a key to a world of powerful but little understood ideas. For a management practitioner it provides a new perspective on familiar problems and a platform for action. And it helps a leader to grasp the essence of what is and reimagine what could be.