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Mastering Planning Transformation: a Blueprint for Competitive Advantage

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Published: Reading time: 3 minStijn-Pieter van Houten VP of Industry Solutions
Stijn-Pieter van HoutenVP of Industry Solutions

Embarking on a planning transformation is critical for companies looking to improve operational efficiency and gain a competitive edge. This journey involves more than just adopting new technologies; it requires a comprehensive shift in culture, processes, and organizational mindset. A planning transformation is a complex endeavor, and businesses need to approach it with a detailed approach that addresses the various challenges and ensures organizational readiness for change.

A successful planning transformation needs strong leadership, a clear strategy, and effective execution. Just as a championship-winning sports team requires agility, adaptability, and resilience to succeed, businesses undertaking a planning transformation must be prepared to adjust to changing conditions, adopt new technologies swiftly, and overcome obstacles with resilience. These elements are crucial for a business to navigate the transformation process successfully and achieve lasting competitive advantages.

Key strategies for transformation success

Early value drops and agile implementation
A successful transformation hinges on demonstrating early value and adopting a flexible, agile approach. This strategy involves identifying immediate pain points and addressing them with solutions that can be quickly implemented and iterated upon. By achieving early wins, organizations can build momentum, secure continuous buy-in from stakeholders, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Governance and team structure
Crafting an effective governance model and assembling the right teams are critical to ensuring the transformation's success. This includes forming a deployment team responsible for project management, value realization, and adoption, alongside a process team to design new ways of working and a product team to oversee the planning transformation technology platform. A strong governance model then looks after the template, ensuring consistency and alignment across the organization.

Addressing different levels of maturity
Recognizing and accommodating the varying levels of digital maturity across the organization is crucial. Tailored strategies should be developed to uplift less mature areas while leveraging the strengths of more advanced segments. This approach ensures a cohesive transformation journey that elevates the entire organization.

Continuous value delivery
The methodology should be designed to deliver continuous value, with the first significant impact felt within months of initiation. This principle focuses on addressing urgent needs first, fostering early adoption, and demonstrating the transformation's potential to unlock value swiftly.

The four pillars of success

  • Technology: Implementing innovative solutions that align with organizational goals and continuously evolving the technology stack to stay ahead.
  • Progress: Monitoring and measuring progress against clear metrics, ensuring the transformation remains on track and delivers the expected outcomes.
  • Culture and Behavior: Cultivating a culture that embraces change, encourages experimentation, and supports a transformational mindset.
  • Processes: Streamlining and optimizing processes to align with digital transformation objectives, enhancing efficiency, and driving value.

Finally, effective governance and high-quality data are the bedrock of any successful transformation. Establishing clear decision-making rules, prioritizing initiatives, and managing risks ensure a focused and disciplined approach. Simultaneously, prioritizing data quality and governance enables accurate insights and informed decision-making.


The journey to a successful planning transformation is complex but achievable with the right strategies, leadership, and mindset. By focusing on early value delivery, effective governance, continuous progress, and addressing educational gaps, organizations can navigate the challenges and realize the full potential of their transformation efforts. Like a championship-winning sports team, success comes from strong leadership, strategic planning, and the ability to adapt and overcome challenges, setting the foundation for a future-proof, agile organization.

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The Forrester Wave™ for Collaborative Supply Networks 2022

o9 received the highest possible scores in ten criteria across the Strategy and Current Offering categories.

About the author

Stijn-Pieter van Houten VP of Industry Solutions

Stijn-Pieter van Houten

VP of Industry Solutions

Stijn-Pieter is VP of Industry Solutions at o9 Solutions. He has over 13-year consulting career in Supply Chain Strategy and Transformation and a keen interest in Planning and Control Tower topics.


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