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5 steps to getting your business onboard with rolling forecasts

Imagine a ship that sets course based on last month’s weather patterns. No matter what happens, the ship doesn’t deviate from the course, because after all, the forecast predicted calm weather. Now apply that same logic to your forecasts.

These mistakes are all too common

Many organizations make similar mistakes every day. They spend weeks or months laboring over the annual plan or budget, even though by the time it’s finished, the market has changed dramatically and the assumptions are now out of date. They forecast based on historic data and the best guesses of functional business leaders and line managers. They don’t change course, no matter what competitive winds battle them.


of annual targets are obsolete in 4-6 months

- Beyond Budgeting Round Table

Set your course

But there’s a better way to navigate choppy business seas: rolling forecasts. Instead of being an annual exercise, rolling forecasts happen on a regular cadence. Unlike budgets that may have hundreds of line items, rolling forecasts focus on key business drivers. And rather than focusing on the past, rolling forecasts act as early warning systems when you’ve drifted off-course; they help to raise visibility beyond the traditional budgeting “wall” by continually updating your forecast with actuals, you’ll be able to quickly adjust the levers that drive performance.

Why try rolling forecasts?

  • Enable agile responses to changing market conditions
  • Optimize decision-making for better planning
  • Identify future performance gaps
  • Help senior executives manage performance expectations
  • Shorten long planning cycles with a more efficient model
  • Save time which can be directed toward more strategic activities


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