The Annual Budget Process

Ah there is a chill in the air, and along with autumn arriving so does the annual budgeting process.  For some reason though it is getting delayed this year, and I believe we are waiting for a variety of reasons.

Yet rather than speculate, I would like us to think about this process and determine if we are even ready to launch into the budgeting process in any case.

Back in August I began talking and blogging about the development of the 2011 training plan.  You see your operational plans are the first step in the budgeting process.  Answering questions about what your department and/or function is planning to accomplish sets the stage for creating a budget that facilitates the implementation of the plan.

I ran across a job listing recently for a senior training manager (none of your banks) and in the job description I was taken aback by this requirement.  “Needs to collaboratively develop and execute training within pre-determined budgets.”  I read that and just smiled and the poor soul that would need to step into a new role, and hope the predesessor had planned well and had created a budget that mapped to that plan.

Otherwise you are left to wonder if management hadn’t just used last year’s numbers and copied and pasted them into this year’s budget.  A friend of mine used to refer to her company’s budgeting process as a big dart board, and you threw darts to see how much money you would get. (not really, it just felt that way)

Today’s economy should not be allowing any department to throw darts, or reuse old numbers.  Every department should have a solid operational plan that supports a draft budget.  When the numbers need to be reduced, so does the implementation plan.  Or on those rare occassions when you didn’t ask for enough money, you can actually plan to accomplish more on the plan.

If you have never created a training plan before, I would highly recommend the steps we take in The Training Physical first.  The results will identify priority areas, as well as projects that need completing. 

If you need help with planning and budgeting, let me know!


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