Academy Box Sets

Take the opportunity to gain accreditation in a specific subject. Our Box Sets are groups of related modules that help you focus your learning. The full box set cost includes your accreditation. To complete accreditation, you need to watch all five modules and send an email to accreditation@theforum.social to describe what you have taken from the modules and how you have applied these in your role.
Each Box Set costs £295 +VAT. (Free to anyone on an Assisted Learning Pathway). Click on the descriptions below to book your place now.

Student takeaways

One of our members from Lifeplus completed the Capacity Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting box set these are the headline takeaways:
 - A small impact in your field can have a good effect higher up in the ranks at board level i.e. matching up with a higher strategic objective
 - Planning teams need to collaborate with other areas/organisations, engage stakeholders
 - Increase Operational effectiveness - As a team, we have vastly increased our communication channels 
 - Improve and manage the flow of your data cycle and version control
 - Long Term: Financial and Budget Planning – Operational: Drives capacity, scenario planning, and risk
 - In the middle of a transformation/plan, the challenges are still there, and targets not being met --> this must lead to evolving the approach to capacity and demand
 - Improve the quality of the data, focussing on what/why/how, determine what happened to the customer base
 - Demonstrating Value and ROI – benefits achieved, costs avoided, risks avoided

Data Visualisation

Hosted by Ian Robertson

Explore effective ways of presenting data in a meaningful, interesting and engaging way. Improve the way you inform and persuade your key stakeholders.  
 - Understand why your existing reports don’t excite or engage your stakeholders
 - Learn the basics of data visualisation and how to communicate information
 - Apply “2 key questions” and start the use the tools and resource you need 

The pattern of great presentations

Hosted by Ian Robertson and Alison Conaghan

In this module we look at how techniques from great speakers through history can be used to bring your presentations to live and bring your audience on your journey.

Emotional Engagement & The Power of Stories

Hosted by Ian Robertson

Often facts and data will not get our message across. We need to understand our audience and use emotional engagement techniques to bring our insight to life. In this module we explore some simple emotional engagement techniques to make your communications, presentations and reports more meaningful. We also explore the power of stories in understanding our stakeholders and overcoming their fears and doubts.

The Pyramid Principle for Effective Communication

Hosted on 17th July 2020 by Ian Roberston

Like us our stakeholders have limited time, we rarely read every emails and report we receive end to end, and neither do they. We may have just a few seconds to land our message and get our audience to take action or read on. The pyramid principle is a simple technique to help you structure your communications and reports to quickly answer the “So what?” and land your core message.

Advanced Forecasting Techniques and Analysis Tools

Hosted on 19th June 2020 By David Preece & Ian Robertson

There are many different forecasting techniques and analysis tools available to the modern planner.  This session will introduce delegates to some of the more common ones in use today.
 - Learn about pure Time Series methodologies
 - Understand Standard Deviation and it can be used to improve forecasting
 - See how explanatory modelling can benefit your business

Understanding your Volatility & Flexibility

Hosted on 11th June 2020 by Phil Anderson

The basis of a best practice scheduling strategy is a clear understanding of the volatility of workload and the amount of flexibility to need and can afford.  This module introduces you to theoretical models and calculations to understand your flexibility need.  Learning outcomes include:
 - What does volatility & flexibility mean and the importance of defining these for your business.
 - How to calculate the volatility of demand and amount of flexibility available
 - Understanding different flexibility needs based on different starting positions, e.g. annually and daily, compared to average, compared to budget

Predictability of Events

Hosted on 9th June 2020 by Alison Conaghan

A chance to practice assessing the predictability of events through a classic exercise from The Forum to help you hone your skills in forecasting ad hoc events.

Intro to The Planning Cycle

Hosted on 8th June 2020 by David Preece

Learn the role planning plays in implementing your strategic objectives.  Understand the importance of your role and how you can help others.
 - Understand how the strategic objective is implemented into a forecasting, scheduling and real-time plan.
 - Learn about the importance of effective data checkpoints, change governance and hand-overs
 - Play a part in driving continuous improvement and become the nerve-centre of the business

Introduction to the Insight Cycle

Hosted on 8th June 2020 by Ian Robertson

Our best practice framework for data, analytics & insight, has the Scientific method at its heart and draws inspiration from methods that drove success with the planning framework last year. In this module we;   
 - Explore the scientific method
 - Introduce our new insight cycle
 - Share an exercise to identify the gaps and opportunity in your data, analytics and insight processes.

Forecasting & Predictability

Hosted on 2nd June 2020 by David Preece

A chance to practice assessing the predictability of events through a classic exercise from The Forum to help you hone your skills in forecasting ad hoc events.

Shrinkage Calculations

Hosted on 21st May 2020 by David Preece

Introduction into shrinkage calculations, tiered shrinkage, historical tracking.  Understand the importance of calculating shrinkages so they are optimised for your operation the key differences and impact on your resource requirements
 - What is included in shrinkage?
 - The importance of calculating shrinkage correctly.
 - Which method should you use for planning, budgeting.

The Strategy Pyramid

Hosted on 28th April 2020 by Ian Robertson

Before setting targets and goals it is important that these are aligned to strategies that support your organisational goals. In this module;
 - Understand your organisational goals
 - See how to balance your strategies
 - Learn how to align the right metrics and targets to your strategies

Understanding & Managing Sample Bias

Hosted on 13th December 2019 by Ian Robertson

 - How to Identify Sample Bias & ensure you reduce the likelihood of bias
 - The impact on your data and insight validity from Sample Bias and the potential impact to your business
 - Common Sample Bias issues to look out for

Forecastable Metrics

Hosted on 27th September 2019 by Alison Conaghan

In many organisations forecasting is limited to volumes of contacts or work, but we can do so much more. Whether we are forecasters or analysts, applying these techniques to our other metrics can open up a wealth of opportunities for improvement.
 - Learn how using forecasting techniques can open up new opportunities in your organisation.
 - Hear how innovation awards finalists are putting this into practice.

Introduction to Forecasting (With Lessons From The Best In Class)

Hosted on 15th February 2019 by Phil Anderson

This module provides an introductory understanding of:
 - the fundamental inputs and outputs of the forecasting processes.
 - the role of forecasting within the planning cycle 
 - the characteristics of best in class forecasting teams as evidenced through The Forum's Standards Benchmarking programme

Driving strategy through Forecasting

Hosted on 1st February 2019 by Bob Stella

This course is part of the “strategic analyst” series of webinars, designed to help everyone in analytical roles become a more active contributor to their organisation’s strategic narrative.
In this webinar we will explore:
 -  What is strategy 
 -  Benefits of working at the strategic level 
 -  Making sense of your organisational strategy
 -  Forecasting with you strategy in mind
 -  Influencing strategy through forecasting

Measures of Success in Forecasting

Hosted on 11th January 2019 by Phil Anderson

The setting of an arbitrary blanket target of say +/-5% forecast accuracy highlights that an organisation does not truly understand the nature of forecasting. Explore the key responsibilities of forecasting and how to take a holistic view when setting measures of success. Learning outcomes include:
 - What does good look like? Explore the key characteristics of an ideal forecast and key considerations to develop understanding and learning.
 - Define your purpose. Understand how forecasting can support your business strategy and impact it can have on customers and colleagues.
 - Creating the right measures. Understand different perspectives and develop a holistic framework of success measures.