Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting

The following outlines the work-in-progress planning, budgeting and forecasting process at Mattermost.

Planning

Mattermost uses a V2MOM process for planning it business annually and quarterly. Each section of the V2MOM serves a specific purpose:

Vision

  • Concise and precise definition of what we’re out to achieve and how we’re going to get there at a high level

Values

  • These are prioritized criteria independent of methods that define how we’re going to make trade-offs. Example if we have “Technical Beauty” at the top of the list and “Customer Time-to-Value” as second, it means technical beauty is the second highest priority over everything else, but we’re okay sacrificing some amount in exchange for more getting customers successful more quickly.

Methods & Measures

  • The programs, outcomes and single measure we’re going to use to achieve the vision. Each program should typically have one key measure precisely defined. Methods are what we resource against and budget for.

Obstacles

  • These are the specific challenges we really, really worry about. As reviews happen and colleagues inevitably disagree, this is where we note concerns we all see in the plan, and we worry about them together and all the way through our success. These are challenges that should haunt until we have a plan to clear them out.

V2MOM plans cascade across the company with methods of one V2MOM linking to the vision of lower level V2MOMs. Budget and performance assessment center about V2MOMs.

Budgeting

Budget should be tied with Methods and Measures in departmental V2MOMs and be broken down by recurring costs (headcount and systems purchases, which are centrally managed) and non-recurring costs (vendor budget for the fiscal year managed by the department).

Headcount (Count)

  • Specific the number and type of FTE needed to achieve V2MOM outcomes
  • Note: FTE headcount aren’t included in budget as dollars, they are centrally provisioned and managed by People team.
  • Include:
    • Method(s) enabled
    • Role title
    • Level (associate, intermediate/manager, senior/senior manager, principal/director, staff/senior director)
    • Summary of responsibilities
    • Anticipated start date

Systems ($ USD)

  • Budget for any non-headcount investments with recurring costs, most commmonly SaaS investments
  • Include
    • Method(s) enabled
    • System name
    • One-line explanation of business value anticipated
    • What is being purchased (e.g. SKU and seat count)
    • One-time fees, recurring fees
    • Additional costs for expansion (e.g. additional per-user license costs)
    • Any implementation budget costs
    • Anticipated timeline for roll out

Vendor ($ USD)

  • Budget for non-recurring costs, including one-time consulting and vendor fees for the fiscal year.
  • Include
    • Method(s) enabled
    • One-line explanation of business value anticipated
    • Vendor name
    • Source of vendor (past experience, referral, web discovery, etc.)
    • What is being purchased (e.g. Case study writing services)
    • Rate
    • Budget
    • Statement of Work, or link to SOW
    • Anticipated start date and end date

Forecasting and Reporting

After budget approval, reporting on the results of investments and forecasting results of on-going investments happens via Monthly Business Reviews (MBRs) and Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs).