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Future Ready: How to Master Business Forecasting Hardcover – 27 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (27 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470747056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470747056
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

If I were to write this book again, I would probably be a little braver in hammering home the main message of the book: that the world is fundamentally unpredictable, so we need to forecast, not in order to prophesy the future, but to anticipate likely outcomes so as better to prepare for them.

The reason for this is that somewhat to my surprise, we find ourselves swimming with a strong tide of opinion within the academic forecasting community. For instance, the International Journal of Forecasting devoted half of their December 2009 issue to the topic of `decision making and planning under low levels of predictability' (it was edited by respected academic Spyros Makridakis and Nassim Taleb of `Black Swan' fame). Our analysis and prescriptions are very much in line with theirs, but with a stronger focus on practical application within organisations. Readers can therefore be confident that what we have to offer is new but also well grounded.

In summary, I am happy with what we have produced; I certainly would have welcomed this book when I was working in business. I am also absolutely confident that it can be improved on, and would welcome feedback from readers, either through the public forum of Amazon readers reviews or private correspondence.

- Steve Morlidge

From the Inside Flap

Written in an engaging and thought provoking style, Future Ready leads the reader to answers to questions such as: What makes a good forecast? What period should a forecast cover? How frequently should it be updated? What information should it contain? What is the best way to produce a forecast? How can you avoid gaming and other forms of data manipulation? How should a forecast be used? How do you ensure that your forecast is reliable? How accurate does it need to be? How should you deal with risk and uncertainty What is the best way to organize a forecast process? Do you need multiple forecasts? What changes should be made to other performance management processes to facilitate good forecasting? Future Ready is an invaluable guide for practicing managers and a source of insight and inspiration to leaders looking for better ways of doing things and to students of the science and craft of management. It is also a source of insight and inspiration to leaders looking for better ways to improve results. "Future Ready is a very timely call to action, challenging readers to rethink the many myths and practical flaws which bedevil their current approaches to forecasting and presenting a clear and radical blueprint for future success." – Paul Baumann, Director of Finance and Investment, NHS London "Studies continue to reveal that CFO teams around the globe have significant gaps in their planning and forecasting capabilities, exacerbated and exposed by the global recession. This book is a solutions–oriented approach to filling that gap." – Jeffrey C. Thomson, President and CEO, Institute of Management Accountants "Provides a clear eyed analysis of an essential business process that many of us don′t understand either as well or as in as much detail as we should. Moves beyond theory to the mechanics of designing and implementing a genuinely useful forecasting system." – Liz Doherty, CFO Brambles Ltd

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Power on 7 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a timely publication for the environment that we find ourselves in today. `Future Ready' presents a fresh approach to forecasting - it manages to pull off the trick of being thought provoking and very practical without having a single mathematical formula in it!

From a business point of view, there is something in this book for everyone - beginning with the visionary corporate "General" right down to the "Grunt" at the front line actually crunching the forecast numbers.

The logical structure of the chapters flows well from looking at `why' through important sections including purpose, time and risk, through to `how' and Morlidge and Player use helpful examples, tips and anecdotes which add to the clarity of his text. The sailing analogy, p.41, of adjusting course in response to the weather might be old (`borrowed' from Plato's The Republic) but it is still a great example!

The writing is objective throughout whilst retaining a style that is easy to follow. For me, the style, is similar Malcolm Gladwell in that he uses good, simple analogies to explain the major issues with forecasting. Those parts are great to read and easy to spot (you know this when you find yourself nodding in agreement) - particularly when dealing with the fear of habit over reason! Perhaps Gladwell's examples are more visual, and therefore easier to get across, but perhaps that is because the authors aim to help people improve rather than just tell a good story.

If there was ever a book to buy your boss in order to "re-educate" him/her with regard to forecasting techniques (particularly if they seem to suffer from "Shoot the Messenger Syndrome"), then this is for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent in showing the building blocks of good forecasting and budgeting processes in large or small organisations.

The authors cover with great clarity the rationale for forecasting, its challenges, definitions and offer useful advice in how to design the forecasting, target setting and budgeting processes of businesses and organisations in different sectors by providing actionable rules and tools.

Recommended for those looking to either re-design or improve their organisations' planning processes.

N.B. Some typos left unchecked but nothing major.
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By Ewan Nicolson on 30 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good. There are better places to get an overview of the practical techniques of forecasting, but this book encourages you to step back and think about why you are forecasting. I found that very helpful, and I ended up changing my approach slightly.
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By Mr Berg on 27 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Interesting book, but where has the Beyond Budgeting movement learned to write? Hope & Fraser, Bogsnes and Morlidge & Player must have been drilled in bombastic writing. This is a pity, due to their very interesting topics.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must read it one day. Obviously it didn't hook me from the start... but then it's not meant to be that kind of book...
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