Forecasting: Your new business superpower

7a6f8abf3af4af2ab8720782b06c9d77?s=47 Rob
July 20, 2018

Forecasting: Your new business superpower

“You won’t be in control of your business until you can accurately predict it”. One of my early mentors and business advisors must have said that a thousand times over our time together—and it’s true. From project planning, cash flow planning, hiring, to sales—everything starts with forecasting.

Being able to see the future is a business superpower.

I’ll share how to use today’s data to take the mystery out of tomorrow. During this talk we will discuss a systemic approach to business forecasting and how to use reporting to improve the accuracy of our forecasts to take control of our business.

Are you ready to unlock this superpower?

During this talk, Rob will cover:
-Where to start with forecasting
-Improving forecasting through feedback loops
-Predicting cash flow
-Getting buy in from your team

7a6f8abf3af4af2ab8720782b06c9d77?s=128

Rob

July 20, 2018
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Transcript

  1. Rob Harr FORECASTING: YOUR NEW BUSINESS SUPERPOWER @robertharr

  2. HELLO!!!!

  3. None
  4. None
  5. YMMV!

  6. THIS IS NOT A TOOLING TALK!

  7. +

  8. THIS IS NOT A PRICING TALK!

  9. Hourly web work for hire.

  10. So what is this then?

  11. THIS IS A STUDIO OPERATIONS TALK!

  12. None
  13. Operations is the HOW between SALES and PROFIT.

  14. I believe the single biggest win for operations is forecasting.

  15. For us, all of our operations centers around accurate forecasting.

  16. Forecasting: Your new business superpower BACKSTORY

  17. “You won’t be in control of your business until you

    can accurately predict it.” ~Geoff Mandeville
  18. image credit: http://thedealnewsroom.tumblr.com/post/123030031822/quantum-energy-co-founder-you-can-make-money-at

  19. What we think of as magic is what we have

    yet to completely understand.
  20. Forecasting is more of a discipline than it is magic.

  21. None
  22. Optimized for Sustainability and Sleeping at Night

  23. Forecasting: Your new business superpower GETTING STARTED

  24. Three simple steps.

  25. Step 1: Measure Yesterday Step 2: Predict Tomorrow Step 3:

    Grade and Adjust
  26. Step 1: Measure Yesterday

  27. The first step in developing this superpower is to be

    able to measure what happened yesterday.
  28. You have to get this right.

  29. Metrics

  30. Capacity

  31. Utilization

  32. Step 2: Predict Tomorrow

  33. How many hours, on which projects during the week, and

    time out of the office.
  34. This is a team effort.

  35. Forecasting is an operations exercise, not a project management exercise.

  36. Develop a forecasting cadence.

  37. I think weekly works best.

  38. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Timesheets due at 9:30 am

    Forecasting updated before close of business
  39. Step 3: Grade and Adjust

  40. Using letter grades.

  41. Ask good questions.

  42. Accuracy vs Precision TAN GEN T!

  43. It is really that simple…

  44. It is really that simple… Except it’s not.

  45. Bring on the pain.

  46. None
  47. Start with a small group.

  48. Stick with it.

  49. Wearing in the rut.

  50. Celebrate the small wins.

  51. Rolling it out to the team.

  52. Remember the humans.

  53. Transparency

  54. Clearly setting expectations.

  55. What gets measured gets done.

  56. Forecasted Work vs Actual Work

  57. None
  58. None
  59. None
  60. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Timesheets due at 9:30 am

    Forecasting updated before close of business ForecastBot runs at 9:00 am Individual sheets updated
  61. No one will watch things more closely than the humans

    being measured.
  62. Where we are now.

  63. Step 1: Measure Yesterday Step 2: Predict Tomorrow Step 3:

    Grade and Adjust
  64. Forecasting: Your new business superpower LEVERAGING YOUR NEW SUPERPOWER

  65. Forecasting Cashflow

  66. Micro-Cash flow

  67. Micro-Cash flow

  68. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Timesheets due at 9:30 am

    Forecasting updated before close of business ForecastBot runs at 9:00 am Individual sheets updated MicroCash updated
  69. Most of our costs are fairly consistent and predictable.

  70. This may be the single biggest win.

  71. Sales Report

  72. Future Available Capacity

  73. Profitable Projects vs Profitable Portfolio TAN GEN T!

  74. Good forecasting helps with current negotiations.

  75. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Timesheets due at 9:30 am

    Forecasting updated before close of business ForecastBot runs at 9:00 am Individual sheets updated MicroCash updated Weekly sales report
  76. When to Hire

  77. When you can accurately forecast cash and future needs, these

    decisions become much easier.
  78. Winning in business is when our capacity for sales is

    bigger than our capacity to do the work.
  79. Being ready for slower times.

  80. Shovel-Ready Tasks

  81. Q4 2016 Story

  82. Estimating New Projects

  83. Estimating software projects at the beginning is irresponsible and impossible.

  84. Reason 1: Estimating software projects is impossible because: Clients are

    really bad at describing their actual needs.
  85. We are bad at estimating work because we are optimistic.

    Reason 1: Reason 2: Clients are really bad at describing their actual needs. Estimating software projects is impossible because:
  86. We are bad at estimating work because we are optimistic.

    Reason 1: Reason 2: Clients are really bad at describing their actual needs. Business needs change over time. Reason 3: Estimating software projects is impossible because:
  87. But…

  88. We can compare future estimates to projects in the past

    that feel the same.
  89. PM Buddy.

  90. Optimized for Sustainability and Sleeping at Night

  91. THANKS! @robertharr rob@heysparkbox.com