Want FREE Templates on Organization, Change, & Culture? Download our FREE compilation of 50+ slides. This is an exclusive promotion being run on LinkedIn.







Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Strategic Business Planning for Defense Contractor in North America


There are countless scenarios that require Business Planning. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Business Planning to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

Reading time: 8 minutes

Consider this scenario: A defense contractor in North America is grappling with integrating innovative technologies into its legacy systems to maintain a competitive edge.

The organization's current Business Planning processes are outdated, leading to slow decision-making and inefficiency in responding to rapidly changing defense industry regulations and technological advancements. The contractor seeks to revamp its Business Planning to become more agile and responsive to market demands while ensuring compliance and optimizing resource allocation.



The defense contractor’s situation suggests a couple of initial hypotheses. Firstly, the integration issues may stem from a misalignment between the company’s strategic objectives and its operational capabilities. Secondly, the existing Business Planning processes might not be robust enough to handle the complexity of new technologies and regulatory demands. These hypotheses will guide the initial phase of analysis.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

The organization can benefit from a structured 5-phase methodology that enhances strategic alignment and operational efficiency. Adopting a proven consulting methodology can lead to improved decision-making, resource optimization, and a more agile response to market and regulatory changes.

  1. Assessment of Current State: We begin by comprehensively assessing the current Business Planning processes, identifying gaps in technology integration and strategic alignment. Key questions include: How does the current planning process handle changes in technology and regulations? What are the existing bottlenecks?
  2. Strategic Vision Alignment: In this phase, we ensure the company’s strategic vision is clearly defined and communicated across the organization. We explore: How does the strategic vision incorporate technological innovation? How are new regulations factored into the company's long-term plans?
  3. Process Redesign: We then redesign the Business Planning processes to be more agile. This involves: What are the best practices in process redesign for defense contractors? How can we incorporate flexibility to adapt to new technologies and regulations?
  4. Technology and Compliance Integration: Here, we focus on integrating appropriate technologies and ensuring regulatory compliance. We ask: Which technologies can enhance planning capabilities? How do we ensure compliance is baked into every step?
  5. Implementation and Change Management: Finally, we develop an implementation plan, including change management strategies. We consider: How do we ensure smooth adoption of new processes? What training and support will be necessary?

Learn more about Change Management Agile Business Planning

For effective implementation, take a look at these Business Planning best practices:

How to Write A Business Plan (73-page PDF document)
How to Prepare a Business Plan (81-slide PowerPoint deck)
Business Plan Fundamentals (34-slide PowerPoint deck)
Sample Business Plan (55-page PDF document)
Developing & Presenting Your Business Plan (61-slide PowerPoint deck)
View additional Business Planning best practices

Are you familiar with Flevy? We are you shortcut to immediate value.
Flevy provides business best practices—the same as those produced by top-tier consulting firms and used by Fortune 100 companies. Our best practice business frameworks, financial models, and templates are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience.

Trusted by over 10,000+ Client Organizations
Since 2012, we have provided best practices to over 10,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes, from startups and small businesses to the Fortune 100, in over 130 countries.
AT&T GE Cisco Intel IBM Coke Dell Toyota HP Nike Samsung Microsoft Astrazeneca JP Morgan KPMG Walgreens Walmart 3M Kaiser Oracle SAP Google E&Y Volvo Bosch Merck Fedex Shell Amgen Eli Lilly Roche AIG Abbott Amazon PwC T-Mobile Broadcom Bayer Pearson Titleist ConEd Pfizer NTT Data Schwab

Business Planning Implementation Challenges & Considerations

Executives often inquire about the adaptability of the methodology to their unique organizational structures. The methodology is designed to be flexible, allowing for customization to fit the specific needs of the defense contractor. It is robust enough to handle complex organizational hierarchies while maintaining focus on strategic objectives.

Another consideration is the integration of new technologies within existing systems. The methodology emphasizes a phased approach to technology integration, ensuring that each step is manageable and does not disrupt ongoing operations.

Executives are also concerned about the sustainability of changes. The methodology incorporates continuous improvement mechanisms, ensuring that the Business Planning processes evolve with the industry and regulatory landscapes.

Upon full implementation, the organization is expected to see a more agile Business Planning process, leading to faster decision-making and improved compliance. The organization can expect to achieve a higher level of operational efficiency and resource optimization.

Potential implementation challenges include resistance to change from employees, complexities in technology integration, and maintaining compliance during transition. Each challenge will be addressed through comprehensive change management strategies and careful planning.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Organizational Structure

Business Planning KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


What you measure is what you get. Senior executives understand that their organization's measurement system strongly affects the behavior of managers and employees.
     – Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (creators of the Balanced Scorecard)

  • Decision-Making Time Reduction: To measure the agility of the Business Planning process.
  • Compliance Rate: To ensure all processes meet industry regulations.
  • Resource Utilization Efficiency: To track the optimization of resource allocation.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Implementation Insights

Throughout the implementation, it became clear that clear communication and involvement of all stakeholders was crucial for the success of the new Business Planning processes. According to McKinsey, companies that engage employees in transformation efforts are 3.5 times more likely to succeed in their change initiatives.

Another insight was the importance of establishing a culture of continuous improvement. By regularly reviewing and updating the Business Planning processes, the organization could adapt to new regulatory requirements and technological advancements efficiently.

Business Planning Deliverables

  • Business Planning Framework (PowerPoint)
  • Technology Integration Roadmap (Excel)
  • Compliance Checklist (MS Word)
  • Operational Efficiency Report (PowerPoint)
  • Change Management Playbook (PDF)

Explore more Business Planning deliverables

Business Planning Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Business Planning. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Business Planning subject matter experts.

Business Planning Case Studies

A major aerospace defense company implemented a similar Business Planning methodology, resulting in a 20% reduction in decision-making time and a 30% improvement in compliance with new regulations.

An international defense contractor successfully integrated cutting-edge technologies into its Business Planning processes, leading to a 15% increase in operational efficiency and a significant enhancement in strategic agility.

Explore additional related case studies

Aligning Business Planning with Strategic Vision

Ensuring that the Business Planning process is in alignment with the strategic vision of the company is paramount. It is not uncommon for organizations to find discrepancies between their long-term strategic goals and their annual planning cycles. To address this, a robust framework that links the company's vision to its operational plans is essential. This framework must be revisited regularly to ensure that it adapts to any changes in strategic direction.

A recent study by Bain & Company highlights that companies which regularly refresh their strategic plans to align with their execution capabilities outperform their peers by 40% in terms of revenue and profitability growth. Thus, it is critical to establish a dynamic alignment process that ensures the Business Planning is always contributing to the strategic objectives of the organization.

Technology Integration within Existing Systems

Integrating new technologies into existing systems presents a substantial challenge. The process must be managed carefully to avoid disruption to the business. A phased approach to technology integration is often recommended, starting with a pilot program to test the new systems before a full-scale rollout. This approach allows for the mitigation of risks and provides an opportunity to refine the technology integration plan based on real-world feedback.

According to Deloitte, organizations that take a measured, iterative approach to technology integration are more likely to achieve a 30% higher success rate in their digital transformation efforts. By breaking down the technology integration into manageable stages, the company can ensure a smoother transition and better adoption across the organization.

Learn more about Digital Transformation Disruption

Change Management and Employee Resistance

Change management is a critical element of any transformation initiative, especially when it comes to Business Planning. Employee resistance is often rooted in a lack of understanding of the benefits of the change or fear of the unknown. To combat this, a comprehensive change management strategy should be implemented, focusing on communication, education, and involvement. Employees need to understand how the changes will benefit them and the organization as a whole.

Research from McKinsey & Company indicates that successful change programs are those that focus on the 'people side' of change. In fact, when people are fully invested in the change process, success rates can be higher than 70%. Clear communication, transparent processes, and inclusive planning are all essential components of effective change management.

Continuous Improvement and Business Planning Processes

Continuous improvement is not a one-time event but a cycle that needs to be ingrained in the company's culture. The Business Planning process should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the business environment, including competitive pressures, market dynamics, and regulatory requirements. A culture that values and rewards continuous improvement will facilitate this process and ensure that the organization remains agile and competitive.

A study by PwC showed that organizations with continuous improvement embedded in their culture see a 5% to 6% annual productivity improvement on average. This underscores the importance of not just implementing a new Business Planning process but also nurturing an environment where ongoing optimization is valued and encouraged.

Additional Resources Relevant to Business Planning

Here are additional best practices relevant to Business Planning from the Flevy Marketplace.

Did you know?
The average daily rate of a McKinsey consultant is $6,625 (not including expenses). The average price of a Flevy document is $65.

Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Reduced decision-making time by 30% through the implementation of an agile Business Planning process.
  • Achieved a 100% compliance rate with industry regulations post-implementation, up from 80% before the initiative.
  • Improved resource utilization efficiency by 15%, leading to a more optimized allocation of both human and financial resources.
  • Successfully integrated cutting-edge technologies into existing systems with minimal disruption, evidenced by a 25% increase in operational efficiency.
  • Established a culture of continuous improvement, resulting in a 5% annual productivity increase.
  • Developed and deployed comprehensive change management strategies, significantly reducing employee resistance to new processes.

The initiative to revamp the Business Planning process has been highly successful, demonstrating significant improvements across all key performance indicators (KPIs). The reduction in decision-making time and the achievement of a 100% compliance rate are particularly noteworthy, as they directly contribute to the organization's agility and adherence to regulatory standards. The successful integration of new technologies and the establishment of a continuous improvement culture have positioned the company for sustained competitiveness. However, the initial resistance encountered underscores the importance of effective change management strategies. Alternative actions, such as more extensive pilot programs or phased rollouts, might have mitigated some of the challenges experienced during the technology integration phase.

Based on the outcomes and insights gained, it is recommended that the organization continues to invest in its continuous improvement culture by regularly reviewing and updating its Business Planning processes. Additionally, further efforts should be made to enhance the change management framework, focusing on more proactive employee engagement and education. Exploring advanced technologies that could further streamline operations and decision-making processes should also be a priority. Finally, establishing a dedicated team to monitor regulatory changes and ensure ongoing compliance will be crucial for maintaining the achieved 100% compliance rate.

Source: Strategic Business Planning for Defense Contractor in North America, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

Flevy is the world's largest knowledge base of best practices.


Leverage the Experience of Experts.

Find documents of the same caliber as those used by top-tier consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture.

Download Immediately and Use.

Our PowerPoint presentations, Excel workbooks, and Word documents are completely customizable, including rebrandable.

Save Time, Effort, and Money.

Save yourself and your employees countless hours. Use that time to work on more value-added and fulfilling activities.




Read Customer Testimonials




Additional Flevy Management Insights

Download our FREE Strategy & Transformation Framework Templates

Download our free compilation of 50+ Strategy & Transformation slides and templates. Frameworks include McKinsey 7-S Strategy Model, Balanced Scorecard, Disruptive Innovation, BCG Experience Curve, and many more.