Play by Play - XLerant

Coaches are paid to win, not forecast

If you think planning and budgeting is about producing estimates of what might happen, that takes you in one direction. It’s all about variables and inputs and outputs. Rolling Forecast would appeal to you because it’s all about updating your estimates with updated variables.

But if you believe it’s about goal setting and driving results, that’s a different matter. It’s about WHAT goals you have, HOW you will achieve them and the resources required to achieve them. And when there is a change to some assumption you made, you adjust your tactics… but the goal remains the goal.

Improvise, adapt, andovercome.

Here’s a football analogy (it’s on my mind after remarkably good college bowl game).

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Can you imagine a coach saying “I forecast that we will score 21 points and our opponent will score 7.” And then at the end of the first quarter, say “Based on the actual scores of the first quarter, we forecast that will score only 14 points and our opponent 10.” And then at the start of the 3rd quarter say “Based on first half results, we are forecasted to lose this game.”

He would not be a coach for very long.

Coaches are paid to win, not to forecast scores. And they work hard to do that. They develop a play book, put their players through drills, study their opponents and develop strategies to best them. And more important that, when game day comes and the competing team “surprises them” the coach doesn’t say “Our opponent surprised us with a defense we didn’t anticipate, so we’re now forecasting that we can’t win this game, in fact we will probably lose it by 7 to 10 points.”

The motto of many a winning coach is “improvise, adapt, andovercome.” It’s not “keep reforecasting until the results match your latest estimate.”


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