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Oliver Wight EAME Blog

Part 4 - How to recognise 'real' IBP

21 September 2018

In the fourth and final part of the ‘How to recognise real IBP’ blog series, we reveal the seventh defining characteristic of true Integrated Business Planning – its flexibility, agility and capability for evolving to suit individual organisations, and conclude the series with a handy ‘IBP checklist’. 


Adapt and overcome
What it is: a process which is constantly being developed and evolved by leading organisations which have adopted it to best meet their requirements.
What it is not: a fixed, rigid process designed by academics

IBP has evolved from S&OP over the last 40 years or more, with every IBP cycle teaching organisations more about its ways of working, how its customers work and think, and how its competitors work and think. The organisations which have implemented it have developed the process to increase the scope of functional alignment: model and create readiness for alternative outcomes; drive deployment of strategy; and enhance collaboration across supply chains.



As described in the three earlier blogs, there are several key principles upon which IBP is based, but the secret to success is the application of those key principles for continuous process improvement, based on learnings from each monthly IBP cycle and the organisation’s changing needs.

A stagnant IBP process is one that is slipping backwards. Without a plan to continuously improve process maturity, performance and organisational outcomes, IBP becomes stale and participants lose energy. To drive improvement and create new ways for organisations to create improved outcomes it is essential to constantly evaluate the contribution IBP makes to the effective operation of the organisation, and identify and action improvements to the process, each and every cycle.


The real deal

As Integrated Business Planning has become part of everyday business lexicon, it is important that its true meaning isn’t corrupted. Take a closer look at your business planning process to check you’ve subscribed to the real deal. Using the checklist, you can identify whether your process truly is Integrated Business Planning.



If you’ve gone through this blog series, and found yourself recognising more of the ‘what it is nots’ than the ‘what it is’, then you need to take a step back and reassess your IBP process. However, it’s not a lost cause – IBP is a process of continuous improvement. If you can’t tick ALL the ‘what it is’ boxes, it’s still possible to have an IBP process which that is just continuing along the journey of a continuous improvement.


This extract was based on our white paper: ‘Don’t fall Fake News: A buyers guide to Integrated Business Planning’, which you can download for free here.