Friday, July 26, 2013

Annual Planning Glossary.

We are now over half way through the year so why waste those quiet summer months when you could be preparing your business plans for 2014. Whilst there are still 5 months to run TMM have heard the first murmurs of 2014 forward planning. So for all others who have to go through this painful process we offer a glossary of the most popular terms and phrases that appear in every annual plan.

Revenue Projection - A single number that has to be at least 20% bigger than the last one. It is guessed the median of a distribution of probability that is so wide it makes the result irrelevant yet will be held as 100% predictive by the MBAs who run the spreadsheets.

Five Year Plan - A hockey stick graph running flat (investment phase) for 3 years with the pick up point selected to be just beyond when the plan author hopes to have landed a better job leaving those behind to cope with the inevitable underperformance.

Revenue Breakdown by Product - Micro-management for those who believe that your markets are predictable enough to set budgets by but not to allocate risk to.

Leveraging the Franchise - Assuming that large volume sophisticated professionals will pay the same margins as your small retail clients, whilst assuming that your retail clients have an appetite for the products the sophisticated professionals use that are banned for retail use anyway by the regulator.

Low Hanging Fruit - All the business that was harvested 20 years ago by your competition.

Niche Market - Only doing one thing averagely well.

New Initiatives - Painting old initiatives a different colour.

Focusing on Core Abilities - Excuse for lack of investment in new initiatives.

Product Development - Hurriedly patching together something that will hopefully mirror the thing that your CEO read was mentioned in your competitor's annual report as having generated them outperformance. Guaranteed to be out of date and not profitable by time of implementation.

Cross-Selling Opportunities - Bothering your colleagues for business (instead of the clients) and blaming them for your failure. Missed Cross-Sell deals are always the other department's fault whilst Cross-Sell success is lauded in management PR memos but in reality results in a bun-fight over internal revenue allocation (if there ever was any).

Account Mapping - A process that involves explaining yet again to management why the world's biggest product users (a list they read in Forbes in the First Class lounge) are not the easiest or most profitable to deal with and are most often competitors rather than clients.

Staff Development Plans - Finding the least expensive and shortest course to send the fewest number of staff on covering a subject that will not give them aspirations or threaten management but can be used as a weapon against underachievers - "And even though we sent you on the self development course".

Human Resource Planning - Processing bodies as efficiently as possible whilst negotiating inconvenient local and international laws. See "Japanese whaling ship".

Team Motivational Planning - Guessing which day of the year will be quietest to buy the team a beer and sandwich.

Run a Tight Ship - Just read "Mutiny on the Bounty" for a fair description of life and inevitable outcome on a "tight ship".

Dependencies - A list to be ignored by management in a year's time once budgets are missed due to lack of whatever was on that list.

Cost Allocation - A very large number that you have no control of that is deducted from your profit centre to be given in its near entirety to the IT department in order to guarantee that your technology remains firmly 15 years behind that employed in your village shop.

Travel Policy - An algorithm (or virus) developed by travel agents as complex as any used in weather forecasting. Run by your institution to generate maximum inconvenience for the traveller at costs far in excess of those available online to the rest of the population whilst somehow managing to report "cost savings" to management.

Performance Measures - Probably the cleverest structured product your institution has ever dreamed up. Fashioned on a Las Vegas slot machine, it beams "Play Me" enticingly in bright lights yet achieving a payout involves getting at least 12 bells in a row.


abee crombie said...


The 5 year plan needs to have a corporate name, like "Initiative 20/20" or something exceedingly cliche. Any you must constantly tout it to analysts so they can make it a basis for their models.

Analytics - Tools you should have been using 10 years ago but since no one in IT and Sales can speak the same language, you finally figured out how to use and make fancy graphs and see real time data.

Revenue Breakdown by product - if you strip away all our crappy brands, the good ones are doing pretty well, even if they are only 20% of sales.

Focus on Shareholder Value We want the stock to go up as well but you have to let us have our stock options otherwise we wouldn't take all these risks.

Competition We dont really worry about the competition because we have differentiated products.

Anonymous said...

Strategy - on a wing and a prayer.

China strategy - not ending up in prison or on the front page of the FT

Scaleability - also known as reach. The hope that if one punter buys it, more will and that you can sell to them all with no investment in marketing or sales people or travel budgets. Holy Grail stuff.

btw your Captcha is the most vicious I have ever seen

Polemic said...

Thanks for the continued suggestions .. And yes the CAPTCHA number/word thing is a nightmare but its blogger driven . if we knew how to downgrade it we would. sorry. The spam filter is pretty officious too. Comments can get lost for months in there

Hotairmail said...

I once fell into it and never came out again.

Anonymous said...

Last I checked Wordpress has a tool that allows you to import your entire blog onto their platform with minimal manual effort, and it is a far, far superior platform for both user and administrator/owner.


Anonymous said...

Not related but TMM, please step up your efforts to recruit an Afria specialist in here. You're late to the game!

abee crombie said...

Forget about the forgotten continent, capital markets there are just too small, save for some USD sov bonds

Whats going on with ASEAN. Charts are looking ugly there..

"Light bulb"

Anonymous said...

C Says
Only because I can't find anything worthwhile to say about a summer market that has not already been said, I was struck by this.

"Former Durex Chief Takes Reins At Foxtons"

I think it would be say to say that in the fullness of time his previous experience in dealing with the concept of a 'fuck-up' will become equally pertinent to his current role.

Leftback said...

Foxtons, being real estate prostitutes, probably need to wear protection at all times, C.

Another great day to do nothing in the capital markets. Add summer Mondays to summer Fridays, FOMC days, etc.. as untradeable sessions.

Shocking to hear that US home prices are not going up exponentially after a $30% increase in monthly 30y mortgage payments since May. Would have expected the "strong" economy and "improving" jobs market to look past that minor detail.

Note the XHB didn't budge, b/c the market had already sold the rumour, which is a bear market dynamic, btw. That sector has rolled over.

Anonymous said...

On an entirely different note. Has any one any reasonable theory for the recent CHFEUR behaviour? It seems to be anti-correlated with JPY and EUR/USD, which I find just weird.

Leftback said...

2s30s is now at a 2 year high, at 333bps. We'll take the other side of that trade here.

Yield Curve Steepest in 2 Years

Anonymous said...

Dull day. Got any Weiner jokes?

Anonymous said...

AW goes to Congress, but can't get past security, since he resigned from the House of Representatives.

"Look, you have to let me in, because I've come here with a member...."

Anonymous said...

AW wanted to post another selfie on Twitter, but it was over-exposed.

Anonymous said...

AW joined a co-rec soccer league, but got pulled off early.

Anonymous said...

C Says
That was a very good piece today from Pettis on future Chinese growth. At least from a macro perspective this has been the writing on the wall for post 2008.
In effect China goes retro Western in terms of managing growth. Now if I was 'Bruce' I would think carefully about what I wanted to be in a position to sell to them based upon consumption rather investment.

Anonymous said...


Some more thoughts on the housing recovery:


Anonymous said...

AW went out to eat the other night. On the menu were jerk chicken, pulled pork and a hand shandy.

Anonymous said...

AW was apprehended by Capitol police for digital flashing and his junk is now under a wrist.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Weiner is the new spokesperson for Spanx.

Anonymous said...

The German language rights for Anthony Weiner's upcoming autobiography "Ein Mann Und Sein Wurst" have been sold to the Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Anonymous said...

AW is to join UK travel firm Cook's, where he will specialize in promoting package tours.

Anonymous said...

AW went to the Weiner family reunion to look for girls, but it was a sausage fest.....

abee crombie said...

Re Housing

Interesting article RM, also fits nicely with Maudlin/Gave Kal's latets (very good read) on an underclass society.

But I still think there is a lot of pent up demand out there and from my few acquaintances around the US, who are all 1st time buyers like myself, we are going to pay up as our wives wont let us hold out too much longer.

30% appreciation going forward, probably not, maybe 2-5%. But prices falling anytime soon, I very much doubt it.

In the nice areas there in NO inventory. Simple story

Leftback said...


Wives, always more socially integrated, and therefore subject to intense peer pressure, once again anxious to buy before being "shut out for ever", on the advice of their realtors. Short-term top approaching....

Anonymous said...

Rampagingruss says:
Wives never worry about price - they just safety and ownership. Not sure if they make good market indicators

Anonymous said...

"There is a recession, I tell you.... it has been here for some time. It has been hiding and (pause for effect).... difficult to detect. But it is about to emerge..... with full force....." (silence)

"Where is my recession?......" (locusts chirping)

"Bring the recession...!!!! " (sound of slow sobbing)

Naantown said...

Best article I've read all year

Anonymous said...

Minutes are DOVISH folks. Tapering is for poofs.