Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

How does your organisation budget?

Hi All,

 

I am part of a project which is looking to help organisations move towards streamlined, transparent and agile budgeting processes.

 

We would love to hear the views of the Holacracy community on this topic, especially:

  • What approach does your company currently employ in the budgeting / financial resource allocation processes?
  • Which tools (software or otherwise) are used to support this?
  • What are the tensions or deficiencies of this current state?
  • What toolset functionality might be useful to help move your organisation further along the maturity path in the budgeting space?

Please do share any other thoughts or experiences in this area, it would be great to get a discussion going.

 

Many thanks,
James

5 Replies
Ruben @ Springest
10/24/2015
  • Approach: circle Lead Links request budget per project from a role Budgets & Resources that we created because we felt the general fall back to the super circle LL was too implicit / unclear. On top of that there are some predefined / rolling budgets
  • Tools: Some are documented in Asana under the relevant projects, some are in our Google Apps sheets coupled with the rest of our forecasting
  • Tensions: none since they would be solved immediately in governance (which most circles do weekly here). There has been tension about regularly requesting budgets, fixed by predefining them. I think we could do a better job of coupling budgets to roles, this is currently partly implicit.
  • Toolset: can you give an example, not sure I understand the question.
James Williams
10/27/2015

Hi Ruben,

 

Many thanks for your reply.

 

In terms of desirable toolset functionality - this would be any particular tool or system feature not present in your current setup, which may help resolve any tensions in this area e.g. managing requests, recurring budgets, explicitly linking budgets to roles.

 

You also mentioned predefined/rolling budgets - are these defined over a specific period?

 

 

 

Ruben @ Springest
10/29/2015

Ah, yeah I can imagine a tool to view allocated budgets might be nice, but for us this is not important / often enough to warrant a tool.

 

Yeah some budgets are per year or month.

Catherine Beaudoin
11/01/2016

Hi James,

First I am sorry for my english, I am from Québec and my English is not perfect!

I am new here and your subject took my attention since I fill a Budget and Finances roll in my organization and we are now thinking about a new way to present our Financial information and budgets.

We are thinking about budgets and accounting by Circles in a way knowing the costs (and revenues if there are) in each Circles. Our actual accounthing system definitely doesn't allow that without a lot of manual process but since we plan to change it next spring, we would like start thinking about what we could do with a brand new system. So I am interested to hear what is done in other Organizations, particularly about cost allocations by roles or Circles.

So I you are intested to share, I would like to hear where you are in your project now and if some organizations you work with use that kind of accouting and budget by Circles or roles?

Thank you

Catherine

 

James Williams
11/02/2016

Hi Catherine,

No problem - your English is great!

We have found that budgeting is often one of the last bastions of command and control even within Holacratic organisations. The current approaches and supporting tools encourage rigid centralisation of information (and decision-making).

We are currently working with a number of Holacratic organisations, helping them to manage budgets across roles and circles. Our platform allows a high degree of autonomy and flexibility for each role, whilst giving real-time visibility across the organisation. It integrates with common accounting packages as well as fully supporting the Holacracy management model. I'm conscious that this doesn't turn into a pitch so I'll try to give the following general advice about budgeting for a Holacratic environment:

  • Access to current data for each role holder is a must for full budgeting autonomy. A role can never make the best independent decisions if they don't have access to the relevant information in a form they understand.
  • Cross-organisation visibility is key. Be sure to keep all relevant roles and circles in the loop with decisions regarding financial allocations, forecast spend/income and performance (budget vs. actuals). Some organisations have formal governance procedures around this, for example with approvals through Lead Links, others rely on visibility to track issues.

 

I hope this helps! I'd also be very happy to connect directly and learn more about what you are trying to achieve.

Thanks,

James