From Paul Double:

I run a sales organisation in Europe for a large US B2B software company, and right now we have an opportunity to further collaborate with them, based on a comprehensive and compelling business plan, but apart from what I can Google, I have had no training on writing a good business plan, so would appreciate your feedback on what to include. My perennial issue is one of accurate forecasting, especially in fast and ever changing environments like ours, the world of silicon chips and associated emerging technologies. Again, thoughts on this are welcome.

From Pierre Muller:

Forecasts are a difficult and interesting topics. We are typically managing them by having a dual approach : Top down plan from BU, BOM plan for sales and we try to reconciliate both. This is long painful , and fairly inaccurate … Proposal for updating faster is very similar to Agile project management methods and as definitely some merits. If we are taking about sales forecast, I am not sure we need much more than a good excel file. The problem with this approach is that it is not helping much in trying to push things out and it is more reactive by construct, so more backward looking. Also, you need to understand when you need to perform an update. I am personally wondering about what are the right indicators to define and track. I think a Monte Carlo approach of opportunities and prediction ( including risk and probability of making the volume ) to end up with something that can globally be achieved while we now no one is having a crystal ball. Also, defining index as Maturity readiness/ Technology readiness of the different opportunities might be of help.

From Ricardo Madureira:

Hi Paul, hi all, Interesting to hear about your concern on accurate forecasting. Since a few years that I’m not in the silicon industry (I miss it J). But those concerns are also impacting other areas. World is speeding up. My approach to It (though apparently I cannot convince anyone else to join me) is that we should reduce the effort on accurate predictions and put it on faster reaction. I mean, we currently do everything to avoid change and predict the future, instead of improve our capability to react faster and leaner to the change. About business models, the new trend of interactive business models based on modeling languages can potentially make them much more dynamic and easier to adjust.