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Interim Executive - Planning

Post Merger Management

National Retail Brokerage

Following a merger to become a top 3 national brokerage firm, the corporate parent required more structured management processes and controls.  The CEO and CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) decided that the CAO would have enterprise-wide responsibility to structure and organize business and operational planning and executive reporting. No centralized planning function existed at the time. I was engaged to serve as Director of Planning as an interim executive. Aside from managing the annual planning process, my role was to develop the function and scope of responsibilities for the position.

 

Rapid Deployment Solutions

  • Created a standardized web-based planning template. 

  • Developed a process to link competitive analysis with corporate, line of business, and IT planning activities to identify common targets of opportunity prior to the budget process 

  • Reviewed all planned initiatives and related investment to designate if they supported achievement of one of five stated strategic objectives

  • Aligned all LOB proposed business and IT initiatives strategic objectives, reducing 700+ requests to 150 aligned requests


Strategic Solutions

  • Leveraged investment opportunities by looking for requests that served multiple Lines of Business

  • Planned and managed a strategic business intelligence initiative to improve management reporting and decision support.

  • Developed a governance model to oversee and integrate decisions to review and invest in data demand management, on-demand reporting access, and standard executive reporting capabilities to support all key constituencies.

  • Ensured that specific business metrics related to strategic objectives were included in the firm's balanced scorecard measurement frameworks.
     

Functional Focus and Impact

  • Corporate Strategy

  • Business and Operational Planning

  • Planning Process Improvement

  • Strategic Investment Portfolio Alignment

  • Investment Allocation

  • Business Intelligence

  • Performance Measurement

  • Decision Support

  • Business Metrics

Results

The standardized process, including templates and reports, simplified operational planning efforts by offering consistent and comparable view of business needs and investment requirements. Investment requests were prioritized based on regulatory and common business requirements. Investments were optimized by reducing one off initiatives and pursuing initiatives that benefited multiple lines of business wherever possible. The automated process and updated reporting capabilities improved managing necessary iterations as initiatives were revised or denied.

After two years as interim Director of Planning, a full time employee was hired, whose skills were consistent with those functional needs identified by performing the function through two cycles.