Planning Workbooks and Guides

The workbooks, the Business Planning Guide and the List of Business Planning Questions and Comments are intended as aids to the intrapreneurs, venture leaders and teams to help define, evaluate and plan the conduct of ventures. They consist of annotated check lists of issues that should be considered in the process of developing any new venture. No list can cover all issues that may arise during the development of a venture. However, these represent the best effort at this time. We view these documents to be "ever-green"; frequent revisions are expected as events make new issues apparent.

Planning Overview Guide

This guide provides summaries of the planning workbooks and a discussion of the overall planning process that they are intended to assist. Also included are a list of the business processes and procedures that the workbooks are based on.

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Definition Phase

The definition phase of venture development is the most vital for success. It focus on the definition of the venture and the development plan. The purpose of this phase is to generate a clear development proposal for management.

New Venture Workbook

This workbook is designed to assist in the initial definition of the new venture concept and the scoping of a feasible development plan. It focuses on extending an initial product or market need concept into a full business concept which then can be proposed for development. It is the first and critical step in the venture development process and is intended for the person promoting the concept.

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New Venture Evaluation Workbook

The purpose of this workbook is the evaluation of the new business concept. Much of the information for this workbook comes from the New Venture Workbook and it should be viewed as a companion workbook. It is intended for evaluation purposes, to be used by management with the person promoting the concept. The focus of the workbook is on potential financial performance of the proposed venture and the likelihood of success.

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Analysis Phase

The analysis phase consists of the process of venture redefinition and evaluation. As such, the nature of the venture is expected to change during this phase. The workbooks that have been prepared focus on the continuous redefinition of the business. Redefinition is expected several time during this process.

Product Offering & Quality Workbook

This workbook is designed to assist in clarifying the design of the product and identifying the elements of quality as viewed from the customer perspective. Quality is defined as "meeting or exceeding customers expectations." In this context Quality has to be built into the product and the venture in order that the business will be successful. Early assessment of the capability of the venture to meet the customer expectations is critical to determine feasibility. This workbook is a companion to the Operations and Quality Workbook. That workbook focuses on the delivery of quality. That workbook appears later in the development process because the process is usually not developed sufficiently to allow detailed analysis. Both the workbooks should be filled out as soon as possible to ensure Quality from the beginning.

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Operations Development Workbook

This workbook focuses on the design of the operations for the business. These include the methods of making and delivering the product and services. The workbook includes estimates of sales, costs, and investments. Manpower requirements for the venture are also reviewed. This workbook is intended to assist in the definition of the processes rather than detailing the economic issues.

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Venture Analysis Workbook

This workbook assists the project leader or analyst in preparing trial financial analyses for the new venture. Many of the cost estimates are detailed in the Operations Development Workbook. This workbook should be considered its companion. The workbook focuses on economic evaluation and are intended to be used both by the project leader and management.

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Planning Phase

The planning phase is an advanced development of the venture. Usually approval for the venture has been made. The phase is targeted for preparing the full business plan. The purpose of the workbooks is to assist understanding the full range of issues that need to be considered and to ensure that key issues are not skipped.

Operations & Quality Workbook

This workbook is intended to assist in the development of the operations and to assure Quality. It is the companion to the Product and Quality Workbook. The workbook focuses on the design of the process and the organization to assure effective delivery of a quality product and services to the customer.

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Marketing & Sales Plan Workbook

This workbook focuses on the customer and the actions that we wish him to take in order to be successful. It is mainly directed toward the sales and customer support function. It is intended for the sales and marketing management function as well as the venture leader.

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Product Position, Promotion, & Distribution Workbook

This workbook takes a broad perspective on the marketing functions. It includes concerns on pricing, promotional programs, product specifications, and distribution. It is intended to assist in producing a consistent, effective, and efficient marketing plan. The Marketing & Sales Plan Workbook is a companion which provides customer input.

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Strategic and Competitive Plan Workbook

Previous workbooks focused on the immediate business opportunity. This workbook takes a strategic course, concern with long term competitive position and growth. Competitive pricing policy, global opportunities, technology development, new product opportunities, and manufacturing strategies are reviewed.

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Information Plan Workbook

Information is both necessary to plan a business and to run it. This workbook focuses on both the need for information and the development of systems to run the business and monitor results. Running the business includes effective accounting and budgeting systems. The monitoring systems must allow for effective control. Finally, technical and business research programs need to be established to monitor competition, customer behavior, and apparent market needs.

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E-Marketing Workbook

E-Commerce has special requirements beyond those of standard business operations as well as those common to other channels of communications and distribution. This workbook focuses on developing an e-commerce business and the associated web sites.

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Venturing Phase

The venturing phase of development consists of the actual formation of a commercial business. This involves the sale of product on a regular and contract basis. At this junction the business team must function under a relatively fixed budget and obtain departmental and/or corporate approval.

Marketing Research Workbook

This workbook is design to lead an investigator through the process of developing, testing, executing and analyzing an effective quantitative market survey. It is designed for use by both business management and the marketing research professional.

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Information Systems Planning - Workbook

To be effective the goals of the management information systems organization must be aligned with that of the operating businesses. The purpose of this workbook is to assist in the strategic planning of the information systems organization within a larger business organization. Planning of both decentralized and centralized IS organization are covered.

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Business Planning Guide

This guide is intended to assist venture managers in developing a comprehensive business plan. It is intended to be a check list of elements that could be included in the plan. It is understood that most plans will exclude some items.  However, a review of those items that could be included should prompt the discussion of issues otherwise overlooked.

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List of Business Planning Questions and Comments

This list of questions and comments were derived from the various workbooks.  We have found this list useful for assisting in the planning process but also for senior management auditing.  Good corporate governance requires assurance of due diligence by business management.  This document is useful by provide an extensive list of issues that should be though about during the planning process.

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