Field Notes

"Hockey Stick" Gotcha

"What-If?" Modeling to Optimize Available Resources

By the umpteenth executive alliance plan review my peer alliance managers and I had grown accustomed to having weeks of careful joint preparation and thoughtful forecasting upended in a blink of an eye. When we would arrive at the summary performance chart of the review - the break-even line graph that showed the alliance to be in the red until month 13 - the attending executives would politely but abruptly interrupt and say, “Thank you for some terrific work. We know that a lot of effort has gone into this plan review. But we’re sorry. The alliance must do more, more quickly and with fewer resources.