Making the Most of Synario
The Planning Process
Synario implementation is an exciting time to discover how your organization will become more agile and adaptable now that you have left labor-intensive spreadsheets behind. Our team is here to help guide you through the transition process, during implementation and beyond, so you can maximize your Synario software investment. In our experience, however, reaping the real value of Synario requires clients to devise a plan for regularly using the platform.
Long-term success with Synario requires key stakeholders to leverage the platform and fit it into the planning process. At times, modeling activities can fall by the wayside, especially when clients have competing priorities. However, we have found that logging in and updating the model monthly or quarterly, instead of annually, can have tremendous benefits. It helps ensure that users remember how to use the platform and consistently model the most accurate and up-to-date budget assumptions. To help instill the quarterly use of your Synario model, the calendar links on the right will automatically set up a quarterly recurring event to update your Synario model.
Additionally, if organizations are planning for upcoming projects, it's essential to adjust the model's assumptions to account for new variables that may impact your overall financial position.
For example, one Synario client instilled the use of Synario to analyze and inform the annual budget setting process. This client utilized Synario’s powerful scenario analysis tools to show how his organization would fair over multiple economic scenarios, given various budgetary changes. The client’s stakeholders found this process so informative that they permanently ingrained the use of Synario into their yearly budget-setting processes.
Synario is a flexible modeling software, meaning you can update or change the underlying data as often as necessary. Whether you update the model to incorporate new budget constraints or need to adjust assumptions based on newly released industry data, Synario can quickly accommodate model changes at any level.
Rolling Out to Colleagues
With any new product, it’s also crucial to receive buy-in from colleagues, as this will help ensure your organization as a whole is ready to embrace the platform. After implementation, clients should schedule meetings with internal stakeholders to better understand their organization’s diverse planning needs. In our experience, this process often results in a list of suggested improvements or considerations to enhance the model. Synario can help manage, prioritize, and determine the best funding strategies for varied project lists, as well as create a plan for incorporating changes over the months and years to come.
We find that clients who engage stakeholders from around their organization in candid discussions about their department/division’s stretch goals experience the most organizational buy-in.
For example, Endicott College, a Synario client since early 2020, used Synario to incorporate cross-department projects, initiatives, and goals into its financial model. The College’s president charged the finance team with understanding whether the various growth-focused projects and initiatives were feasible and, if so, how to fund them. Because Endicott College’s financial model incorporated a variety of stakeholder goals, Synario became an invaluable tool in helping the finance team prioritize and solve their most pressing challenges.
After the prioritization and funding analysis was complete, the College’s cross-department stakeholders quickly approved the capital plan. Endicott College’s finance team successfully balanced the College’s growth goals with its financial obligations using Synario.
Set Quarterly and Annual Goals
The end of implementation is also a great time to set goals and establish parameters for use. Who are the project sponsors and key stakeholders that will make this successful for years to come? Incorporate SMART methodology and the prioritized list of changes to understand how this will change over time.
Linked below is a downloadable Planning Process Template that contains both a sample and a blank outline. The process template includes both data and Synario-based activity in the sample outline to facilitate a large-scale audit and budget setting exercise. Hopefully, the sample template helps you formalize actions you can take to get the most out of your Synario financial model.
Building a New View of the Future
As you meet with organizational leaders and stakeholders, your Synario model will grow to answer more questions and challenges. One Synario client found that they went from working only with the budget and treasury offices to working with eleven different entities and divisions across their organization over a ten-year timeframe.
This client’s financial model began by trying to better coordinate capital resources for future capital projects. The finance team responsible for the Synario model realized that Synario could help them with other modeling challenges and began gathering stakeholder input to answer new questions. Now their Synario model provides insight into the five topics on the following page:
Various divisions and departments rely on the analysis and insight that these five modeling topics produce in Synario. Although it may take time to obtain stakeholder buy-in, it is a critical step in getting the most out of your modeling investment with Synario.
Regular use of the platform every quarter, coupled with the inclusion of a wide variety of stakeholder projects and goals, will help you get the most out of modeling in Synario.