The epitome of customer-centric planning.

There are hundreds of customer-centric planning methods in play today.
In fact, there may be more methods than users (at least serious users). But that’s as much a comment on the methods themselves as on corporate willingness to undertake serious customer-centric planning.

Google up “customer-centric planning” and what do you get? A vast array of “planning” methods, virtually all curiously looping back to CRM software. And CRM folks wonder why “CRM” has become a four-letter word in serious business circles?

Customer-centric planning in context

Aligning strategy with customer is the first of three key
alignment steps that together create customer-centricity.

Customer-centric planning is the first and pivotal step in the sequence of actions that turns companies from company-centric to customer-centric. Once strategies align with customer needs, expectations and interests―including not-yet articulated interest―process designers can determine how best to implement the strategies, and then technology can determine how best to enable process. But without customer-centric planning to kick off this sequence, none of it will happen―at least not correctly.

What’s the resistance to customer-centric planning?
Two points of resistance keep companies from properly developing customer-centric strategies:

  • Senior management time required
  • Anticipated outcomes

The thought of spending days in conference rooms or offsite hashing over the same old stuff doesn’t appeal to many planning-level managers. And no wonder! Fortunately for companies wanting to move towards customer-centricity, we’ve solved both problems.

Hyper-Planning changes the outcomes
Have you ever walked into a planning session as a customer, not an executive? If not, you’re in for a shock. The world looks very different from “out there”―as does your company. Hyper-Planning is the most effective planning regimen in use―for developing customer-centric strategies, in part because it turns traditional planning methods upside-down:

Hyper-Planning Traditional Planning
Outside-In (from customer perspective) Inside-out (from company perspective)
First priority adding value to customers First priority adding value to company
Identifies customer goals Starts with financial goals
Carefully sequenced planning process Ad hoc structure
Available data pre-digested Sort through data while planning
Cross-functional planning Executive-only planning
Designed to identify breakout opportunities Focused on incremental change
Starts the process of aligning the company to customers Neither external or internal alignment a factor
Core planning compressed into two days (per division or business unit) May take months (and still not drill down far enough)

Hyper-Planning Shrinks the planning calendar
You might call Hyper-Planning “planned planning.” Being customer-centric ourselves, HYM realized that we had to compact planning to fit our clients’ available time. So we compressed our customer-centric planning approach (perhaps the first such formal approach, initially developed by HYM founder Dick Lee as a graduate course in the late 1980s).

Here’s how we “shrunk the planning calendar.”

  • Research needs met before we start
  • Data converted into digestible information
  • Inputs staged in proper sequence
  • Participants know the planning sequence up front
  • We facilitate the planning sessions (a critical element)
  • Prohibition against defending silo interests
  • “Green light – red light” decision points (super-majority decides to proceed without unanimous consent)
  • “Parking lot” for issues tangential to achieving SCOs (successful customer outcomes)
  • Identifying opportunities the next to last step
  • Identifying high-level “what-needs to change” the final step
  • Outside-in process design takes it from there

Success stories
Companies benefitting from Hyper-Planning’s outstanding outcomes include:

  • 3M Company
  • American Airlines
  • American Express
  • GE
  • Microsoft
  • US Bank
  • Many, many SMEs, some with less than $10MM in annual sales

Learn more
To learn more about Hyper-Planning and how it can move you towards customer-centricity, please contact us.

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