Guest Blogger: Len Tashman previews Spring 2012 issue of Foresight


Pet lovers do the most incredible things. My friend Grace told me she trained her pet rabbit to walk on a leash. I said, "That's amazing Grace -- I never heard of such a thing!!! I thought rabbits could only hop."

Rest assured there are no dogs (cats or rabbits either) among the articles in the Spring 2012 issue of Foresight.

Editor Len Tashman's Preview of Foresight

This Spring 2012 edition of Foresight marks our 25th issue since the journal’s inception in the summer of 2005. It’s also the 10th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences to Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman was ecognized for his pathbreaking insights on the not-always-rational ways in which we make our predictions and reach our decisions. Now, in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman presents the capstone of his work and its implications for improving our performance as analysts and forecasters. Reviewer Paul Goodwin concludes that any forecaster who uses judgment in his or her methods will benefit from reading it.

Robert Fildes and Paul Goodwin offer Foresight readers a set of Guiding Principles for the Forecasting Support System. FSS refers to the process-hardware-software infrastructure that produces the operational forecast and permits managerial adjustments to statistical forecasts. These guiding principles offer a valuable checklist for firms seeking to evaluate and upgrade their software solutions, as well as fortifying organizational support for the forecasting function.

How often do you see an article that reveals our missteps as forecasters?* Well, Foresight’s Joe and Simon Sez column in this issue attempts to backfill this gaping void with the dynamic duo’s admission of Our Best Worst Forecasting Mistakes. “Inadequate reporting” is one, “Failure to create benchmarks of success” another, with “Assuming that the raw data were correct” adding insult to injury. But the very best may be “Failure to prepare stakeholders for change.”

Our section on Forecasting Principles and Methods includes three articles. Roy Batchelor examines the benefits and foibles of Prediction from Patterns. Past occurrences of an event often serve as analogies for forecasting the impact of the new occurrence. The reliability of the analogy, Roy tells us, lies in the proper balance of data interpretation and good judgment. But applying only one of these without the other can result in a “bad pattern.”

Scott Armstrong follows with a discussion of the Moneyball Factor in predicting personnel performance for hiring decisions. Many of you have read the book or seen the movie. Scott liked the message, expands on it, and tells us about his attempts to convince organizations that it’s a message worthy of their consideration.

Rogelio Oliva and Noel Watson wrap up this section with their commentary on Steve Morlidge’s “The Forecasting Process: Guiding Principles.” Their focus is on the sources of organizational bias, and they offer their recommendations for Designing the Forecasting Process to Manage Bias.

Foresight's S&OP Editor Bob Stahl teams up with former APICs president Joe Shedlawski to reveal a major S&OP “catch-22” (“damned if you do and damned if you don’t”). Their article is Executive S&OP: Overcoming the “Catch-22” of Implementation. If top management is involved with S&OP implementation from the start, the changes successful  implementation requires may cause organizational and executive discomfort; but failing to involve top management  undermines chances of the project’s success. The authors present a convincing path out of the dilemma.

Our 25th issue concludes with Roy Pearson’s latest Forecasting Intelligence column, Forecasting for Fun Outside Your Cubicle. It’s about having some fun at the Forecasting World Events website while at the same time “helping the nation’s intelligence community to advance the science of forecasting.”


*If you like "Our Best Worst Forecsting Mistakes," you might also be interested in:


About Author

Mike Gilliland

Product Marketing Manager

Michael Gilliland is a longtime business forecasting practitioner and formerly a Product Marketing Manager for SAS Forecasting. He is on the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Forecasters, and is Associate Editor of their practitioner journal Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting. Mike is author of The Business Forecasting Deal (Wiley, 2010) and former editor of the free e-book Forecasting with SAS: Special Collection (SAS Press, 2020). He is principal editor of Business Forecasting: Practical Problems and Solutions (Wiley, 2015) and Business Forecasting: The Emerging Role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Wiley, 2021). In 2017 Mike received the Institute of Business Forecasting's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2021 his paper "FVA: A Reality Check on Forecasting Practices" was inducted into the Foresight Hall of Fame. Mike initiated The Business Forecasting Deal blog in 2009 to help expose the seamy underbelly of forecasting practice, and to provide practical solutions to its most vexing problems.

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