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AFP 2020 Blog

Getting Operations Involved in Forecasting

Aug 3, 2020

By Daniel Clarkson, Financial Planning Specialist, Chesapeake Energy Corporation

As financial professionals, it is our job to guide our companies to the future. The only way we can do this is to show them all possible options and their outcomes. However, this will not do the company much good if we are not accurate in our forecast. While many of us would pride ourselves on knowing our business and what will be successful, it is operations that will have the most firsthand knowledge of exactly what is needed to accomplish this goal.

In an upcoming session at AFP 2020, we will show you how to get operations involved in the forecast process and create a sense of ownership with the individual teams.


With the outbreak of COVID-19, we find ourselves facing new challenges we have never seen before. Not only are we forced to maintain a distance from our colleagues, hampering collaboration, but we are seeing an unprecedent drop in the demand for many products. Not only are individuals holding on to more of their disposal income than before, but there is also a question of how to get many of the products we purchase on a consistent basis.

Now more than ever, we must rely on the information being gathered by our frontline operations team to truly understand how this is impacting business. While many of us have the luxury of working from home, our operations team is on the front line ensuring that the business continues to run like normal. They are adapting as quick as they can to the changes, and if we can understand how they are able to change so quickly, we will be able to map how quickly our business can pivot in the future.

The pandemic has only highlighted the importance of getting additional departments involved in the forecasting process and how easily it can be implemented where you work. We are having to distance ourselves from the coworkers we see on daily basis. Because of this, we are adapting to a more electronic form of meeting and collaboration. One of the most common problems Chesapeake Energy Corporation heard when we were getting teams on board with this process was the difficulty in being able to meet and discuss with operational teams spread out across the globe. But as the pandemic has shown us, no matter where we are, we can still come together to keep our business running.


There is no better time, nor has there been a more critical time, to implement something like this process. We are already developing new ways to collaborate across the globe; there is no better time to start bringing more people into these discussions. Many of your operational teams will see this as an incredibly uncertain time, but we must demonstrate how much of that certainty they control and influence. We must let them know how much we need their help to get through this.

Don’t miss Getting Engagement and Involvement from Operations, part of the FP&A session track at AFP 2020. Register for the virtual conference here.