No Budgeting

Performance Management without Traditional Budgeting

GPS based on traditional budgeting principles - give it a shot!

by Wolf-Gerrit Benkendorff

Test the new GPS for your car! It uses the practice proven principles of traditional budgeting and thus offers an unforgettable driving experience. Below, I will explain to you why the Traditional Budgeting System (Abbr.: «TBS») is significantly superior to conventional GPS devices.

Prior to the drive

A conventional GPS and the new TBS have a few things in common:

You have to enter the destination in both devices, before you start driving. After that, the system determines a route (planning) and calculates the expected travel time and the distance to the destination (km budget, time budget). Of course, the current traffic situation is factored in the calculation of travel time and distance.

Prior to the drive the TBS offers three important extra features:

Instead of suggesting alternative routes, which differ in travel time and distance (e.g. you can deliberately choose a longer travel time and distance in order to avoid traffic jams, and thus reduce the risk of delays), the TBS suggest only one route. This gives the driver a comforting feeling. If there are apparently no alternative routes, then you can be sure to have chosen the correct route (“safety function”).

The TBS wants to exceed the driver‘s expectations. This is why the driver will always reach his destination before the calculated time. For this purpose, the TBS uses an internal time buffer, which is added to the estimated travel time („buffer function”).

The driver has the opportunity to manually override the travel time (which is conservative due to the time buffer), suggested by the TBS (“stretch function”). If the stretch function is activated, the TBS simultaneously deactivates the automatic check that the traffic rules are being observed.

The first quarter of the distance is accomplished

During the drive, conventional GPS devices continuously update the remaining travel time to the destination, based on new traffic information (forecast).

Here, the TBS can score with a few extra functions as well:

After a quarter of the road is accomplished (forecast 1), the TBS generally transmits the information to the driver, that his route is as planned and that he will reach his destination at the exact time (“reassurance function”). At the same time, the TBS internally calculates the real estimated arrival time. If the driver is slower than planned, the TBS speculates that this delay can be made up for in the remaining three quarters of the route (“hope function”). If the driver is faster than planned, then the time saving is added to the internal time buffer.

Traffic jam – a new route is calculated

If the forecast shows bigger interferences (traffic jams, road closures, etc.), conventional GPS devices calculate alternative routes (replanning) to the destination. If an alternative route is selected, the driver will be constantly informed about the remaining travel time to the destination (forecast) on this new route.

Again, the TBS facilitates the driver’s life:

A distinction between forecast (estimated arrival time on the current route) and replanning (changing the current route) is not made. Only the remaining travel time and distance to the destination is updated. Reasons for the update (interferences on the current route or a change of the route) are intentionally not communicated to the driver (“simplification function”).

The TBS provides the driver constantly with information about to what extent there is a deviation in travel time and distance in respect of the initial route planning. No matter if he still drives on this route or not. By adjusting the speed and changing the route, the driver can try to correct these deviations. That is why any information about the remaining travel time to the destination is less important for the TBS. Hence, this is displayed considerably more seldom.

The destination is in sight

After about three quarters of the route (forecast 3) the TBS terminates the internal time buffer (positive or negative) and informs the driver about the actual estimated arrival time (“surprise function”). This saves the driver the additional effort (e.g. to move or reschedule arranged appointments at the destination), because the remaining travel time is too short for adjustment measures.


Conventional GPS devices are characterized by a rather simple functionality: The remaining travel time and distance to the destination is continuously updated based on detailed traffic information. If the forecast shows bigger interferences, a replanning is triggered. Whereas the TBS creates a unique driving experience due to its numerous additional features (“stretch”, “buffer”, “reassurance”, “surprise”, etc.), and hence it justifies a significantly higher purchase price. Have a good trip!