I created this video explainer in August 2012 to mark the 5th anniversary of an ‘Annual Budgeting crisis’.

My client had just 4 weeks to distribute the budget templates to 400 cost centres in a group structure of 4 levels.

They had assumed that all we’ll need to do is to change the titles of the 2007 budgeting model. But so much had changed in the year. The model was built in the previous year based on the reality that existed at that time. And it had, of necessity, taken a few months to develop (carefully!). It had worked well. No errors. No mishaps.

But the architecture was not scalable or future-proof. The management understood what that meant. It won’t be possible to have these templates ready for the deadline without major risk.

I (somehow!) managed to explain a completely new methodolgy to the management team of three, not having met any of them before – I only had 30 mins (and no whiteboard or flip chart it in the room) as I needed to be at rehearsals for a musical I was in at the time ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ (where I played one of the suitors Tom, Dick and Harry. I never knew which. Maybe Tom as I was the first with my shpeel in that scene. lol).

Two of the three managers grasped the idea immediately. The following day, I demonstrated the idea from a working demo, from my work on a previous project for another client from the previous year. The budgeting exercise went smoothly, and I was hired to apply similar spreadsheet re-engineering techniques to other reporting, budgeting and forecasting processes that were similarly troublesome. I was engaged for the next three years. BudgetingHell_20120819_FM_01

Hiran de Silva

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