Forecasting at Work

Weekly discussion – Forecasting at Work

As might be expected, forecasting “at work” does not exist outside the realm of organizational politics.  Based on the assigned reading, as well as your own experiences, what are some of the negative consequences of “politics” on forecasting?  In what ways can forecasters (and management) reduce the negative consequences of organizational politics on the forecasting function?

To writer:   Write 2 responses to those 2 student’s posts below. DO NOT simply repeat
what students said. I need an opinion on how they covered the topic above,
and whether you agree or disagree with something in their posts.
1 page, single spacing, about 360 words (180 for each).
Lecture PowerPoint presentation attached for references.

Student 1:
                                                                                                               (Jonathan)

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So for this week I will talk about a personal experience that I am currently dealing with at work. Office politics are the worst and I hate them, they do not lead to anything but frustration and a headache. In this case, we have a new “boss”. He is one of those bosses that knows it all and it’s his way or the highway. Currently he is instituting substantial changes that are ruining the way we have done our assessments and forecasts and is making the scope of our work much broader ( thus less accurate) than it has ever been. This is caused by two things, a massive ego, and his own political views rather than the data and the facts.  He is using his office “political clout” to start converting my peers to his way of thinking and it is ruining everything and not only is it causing our work to be of lesser quality, but it is causing everyone to dread work and begin looking for new employment.
Forecasts are only as good as what you put into them and what you hope to gain from them. If you make your parameters too wide then your range of results will be much less accurate. If you allow personal belief to jeopardize fact then your assessment is worthless.  In my case, my job is to determine whether an investment is safe / good or bad.  This can be done based on the facts of the case and real data or you can do it my bosses way and say well its from China, so it has to be bad, find me a reason its bad, when this is not always the case.
Moral of the story, don’t let ego and personal beliefs, political views, or office clout infect your project if you want a forecast from a solid, accurate, and true model. Currently my boss is breaking three rules 1. Stay out of politics, Keep your opinions out of the forecast, and being professional ( hes ruining our credibility to the community and the committee) .

Student 2:                                                                                                                           (Daniel Feehan)

Organizational politics can be a major problem in the forecasting business.  Forecasting is a way to predict what may happen in the future, and is a major factor in things such as budgeting and gaining investors.  It can be a very useful tool, or a scary insight into the future of the company.  In the article by Lapide, he talks about how one bad forecast created a hostile work environment.  He talks about friends becoming strangers and these strangers fought as individuals to prove their worth to keep their job, instead of working as a team for a common goal.  “Politics” in forecasting can be dangerous and cause adversity in the workplace.  The best to avoid these consequences is to remain professional.  Forecasting organizations are doing their jobs appropriately, and just because the numbers show a potential drop doesn’t mean the end of the world.  Employees need to be reminded to remain focused on their group effort, and potentially defy the forecast.  It’s also important for forecast companies to remain unbiased and independent.  This will maintain the least amount of bias in a forecast, show true numbers, and keep organizational politics low.  Credibility can be more helpful than accuracy in some forecasts.

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