Is the Annual Plan Dead?

Victor Barnes

Chief of Connected Planning at Anaplan

Learning Objectives

In the wake of COVID-19, it became apparent that companies were not prepared for the unexpected – in this case, a global pandemic that threw existing business plans right out the window. As we saw last March, so much can change in a matter of days. When companies rely on siloed annual planning, reacting to unexpected changes can lead to wasted time and resources, which have serious financial implications. For CFOs, this has called into question the very idea of an annual business plan. Recent events have crystalized that you can’t create a plan, walk away, and revisit it a year later. It’s time to abandon the annual plan as we’ve known it - businesses must have built-in scenarios to pivot with greater agility to successfully negotiate accelerating change and disruption.



  • CFOs must identify the real-time levers that are going to drive revenue performance, optimize costs, increase cash flow and liquidity, while mitigating risk

  • CFOs need to be bold and take on a leadership role within their organization’s transformation efforts, starting with their department

  • Technological advancements have strong ripple effect when it comes to transformation within a company