Prepare Your Business for Uncertainty (and Brexit)2019-02-11T12:50:52+00:00

Produce meaningful planning scenarios

Create any “what-if” scenario for your project portfolio and prepare yourself for whatever the future will hold.

Uncertainty rules, OK.

Uncertainty rules

If there is one thing that we can all agree on, it is that we are currently living through a period of political uncertainty.

This is not just Brexit, though that’s clearly a high-profile example of significant change, it can apply across the whole of the world, with the current discussions on trade agreements.

Whatever your view of Brexit (as a lead example), it appears that it’s hard to reach a consensus on what the future will hold and, given the multitude of options, how the outcome of the various alternatives may affect us. Possibly. Or not…

This, understandably, can lead to a great deal of discomfort. Not only because we’re unclear on the future, but because we don’t know how to prepare for it. We may not like the options before us, but we still owe it to our businesses, colleagues, stakeholders etc. to think about what might happen and our subsequent responses. We may not do business outside our home territory, but the effect of other peoples’ decisions may still affect us significantly.

What alternatives face us?

At first look, too many! These run across the spectrum, from the UK leaving without any deal with Europe, to the UK remaining as part of the EU.

However, not all options will have a significant effect on your business. There’s a good chance that you already know the key drivers to your operations and what the potential impact of those may be.

If you’re a manufacturer of car parts, perhaps you don’t need to take too much notice of the free movement of livestock across mainland Europe. However, if you’re dependent on a seasonal agricultural workforce for your harvest, then planning for who you may need and when, and your fall-back positions, will be important.

What are the alternatives?

Scenario Planning

We will not be able to forecast the future – none of us can do that. However, the value of planning against possible scenarios, lies in reducing our discomfort in the uncertainty in which we find ourselves. We may not be confident that we know what will happen, but we can be confident that we’ve planned for the things that may affect us the most. Whether option A, K or Q actually happens, we know what we’re going to do in each case and the best way for us to respond to it.

Which is, of course, where we can help. Meisterplan enables you to create any number of ‘what-if’ scenarios, which you can duplicate, flex and model in real time.

Meisterplan: Gantt-Chart, Ressourcen-Histogramm und Finanzen in einem Monitor

So, what could I consider modelling in Brexit planning?

Let’s take some examples of possible Brexit factors (though, to reiterate, the effects could apply across many European territories).

Restriction of free movement of labour across borders

  • People decide that they’d like to move, hence availability of skilled resources changes

  • Shortages of key skills, particular those with seasonal variations (e.g. agricultural, food packaging)

  • Choice of locations for higher education

  • Visa/skill requirements

  • Requalification (e.g. HGV driving licences, kitchen staff)

Changes in legislation

  • Are some compliance projects necessary?

  • Will my products need to be different in different places? (e.g. labelling, size, warranty, raw materials)

  • Movement of company HQ’s to manage operations with common laws

Changes in tax

  • Encourage movement of corporate financial HQ’s

  • Planning for different budgets

These examples illustrate the breadth of things that could be included, but barely scratches the surface!

So, what could I model with Meisterplan?

Some examples of potential models:

Availability of skilled staff

  • What workforce is required across all of my forecast demand?

  • What work can I complete, based on my current staff levels or reduced staff levels?

  • What work could I reschedule to match my available capacity?

  • Who do I need to recruit? Do I have people that I could retrain?

Prioritisation of work

  • Regulatory requirements (e.g. product designs, documentation changes etc.)

  • Availability of materials/skills

  • Market-specific requirements

Schedule changes

  • Increased shipping times

  • Delays in regulatory approval

Financial changes

  • Changes in material costs (altered tariffs)

  • Increase/decrease in demand

Operational changes

  • Could/should I move my operations to another location (labour cost, skill availability, reduction in border bureaucracy etc.)?

You’re not too late!

Creating planning scenarios is very straightforward within Meisterplan. This is not a piece of work that will take you weeks to start and months to derive some answers.

  • Loading your key base data (people, projects, finances, locations etc.) is enabled through a standard spreadsheet

  • Create your key planning criteria as custom fields and add scoring values to them, where appropriate

  • Agree a current baseline of your demand, capacity, finances and priorities

  • Create multiple planning scenarios based on your baseline (and other scenarios as you create them), to develop, for example, “best case, worst case, best guess” views of the future

  • Compare/contrast scenarios to agree plans of action in response to each case

  • Update/discard scenarios as events become more certain

Try it out!

Working with us to help you upload your data, we’d expect you to produce meaningful planning scenarios within hours of starting.