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Are you aspiring to become a Certified Management Accountant
(CMA) and looking to enhance your skills in financial management and planning?
In this article, we will explore how operational strategies generate reliable forecasts
making you a performing CMA.

What Are Operational Strategies?

An operational strategy involves a set of decisions that
guide the long-term capabilities and contributions of an organization toward
achieving its general corporate strategy. These decisions should align with
both short and long-term goals, aiding the implementation of effective and
lasting business strategies.

Specifically, customer-driven operational strategies
work on identifying and updating consumer markets from the outside in.
In other words, the products and/or services developed by a company are based
on the consumer’s preferences and behaviors rather than the internal actor’s
desires or intuitions.

Accordingly, building an effective customer-driven
operational strategy is at the heart of any company aiming to generate reliable
forecasts, thus building financial stability.

What does an operational strategy require, and who has
the expertise to build and implement it?

Here are 5 crucial steps to any effective operational

5 Crucial Steps to Any Effective Operational Strategy

Data Analysis

Scenario Planning


Continuous Improvement


1- Data Analysis

We can’t but stress this primary step!

The ability to analyze and interpret thorough data is a
fundamental step in any operational strategy aiming to generate reliable
forecasts. From the same token, CMAs are expected to excel in analyzing
financial data, identifying trends, and making informed predictions based on
quantitative insights.

2- Scenario Planning

Now the data is analyzed, it’s time to have it

Building scenario plans is one of the ways to account for
uncertainties when building or following an operational strategy. From new,
growing, degrading or at-risk markets, scenario plans contextualize the previously
analyzed data ensuring management bases their decisions on customer-centric revenue
predictions. Effective risk management is a core competency of CMAs, making
them the go-to hires for companies willing to take risks all while ensuring
financial stability to their organizations.

3- Cross-functional

Because teamwork makes the dream work!

Collaboration between finance, strategy, marketing, and
other departments is crucial for accurate forecasting. With that purpose in
mind, CMAs work closely with various teams to gather relevant data and insights,
making them the best fit for operational strategy building and implementation.

4- Continuous

But, how not to jump to conclusions?

While analyzing and contextualizing customer data is
essential to any operational strategy, if not properly conducted, falsified
assumptions can be made over irrelevant or outdated information. CMAs, however,
embrace a continuous learning mindset and are committed to ongoing improvement
in forecasting strategies as evidenced by the CMA certification’s requirement
to stay current with industry trends.

5- Communication

The tying knot!

What’s the purpose of analyzing, planning, improving, and
collaborating if the communication is refracted? In fact, the tying knot of any
operational strategy is how effectively its actors communicate, and with its
absence, all steps fail and fall short. CMAs are trained and equipped with excellent
communication skills capable of communicating financial information to
stakeholders in a comprehensible and jargon-free manner, thus optimizing the decision-making

Final Take

Incorporating the previously
outlined operational strategies into your skill set not only enhances your
forecasting abilities but also aligns seamlessly with the competencies expected
of a CMA. By mastering these strategies, you can confidently navigate the
challenges of financial management
, contributing effectively to your
organization’s success and your personal growth as a CMA!

       Get Ready for your CMA Journey with Morgan

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