The annual budget process for this IT Infrastructure organization lasted over 5 months, was very mechanical, and was hated by the participants. The executive sponsor was looking to overhaul the budget as a management tool and as a collaborative process for establishing vision, goals, and objectives for the year.
A new, simple, front-end process for budget suggestions (called Concept Review) was implemented. All ideas, across the entire organization, came into the process. Management teams reviewed each concept and provided rough estimates, prioritization, and feedback. These were used as the basis of discussion with business sponsors and the broader IT team. Feedback to the contributing party was direct, and coaching and mentoring was provided by senior managers. “Approvals” were determined based on funding availability and requests
- The budget became owned by the department rather than managers.
- All staff members participated in setting the department agenda, with all ideas receiving consideration.
- A consensus was achieved through inclusivity and transparency, which became a differentiating and unique factor of the company and organization.
- Staff felt empowered and closer to management processes. Managers became allies instead of obstacles.
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