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To Make Zero-Based Budgeting Work, Change Behavior

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To Make Zero-Based Budgeting Work, Change Behavior

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Do recent upheavals present an opportunity for your company to implement zero-based budgeting?

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Visionary
  • Concrete Examples


Where are your resources going, and does spending support your company’s most important priorities? If you were able to free up some funds, what new projects or technologies could you invest in? How can you make all employees committed to cost-saving measures and more accountable for budgeting decisions? These are some of the questions that companies can answer using ZBB, or zero-based budgeting. In this special report, the Boston Consulting Group provides a guide for implementing ZBB.


Like any upheaval, COVID-19 opened the opportunity for long-term, positive changes. This extends to budgeting.

The COVID-19 crisis has created volatility and uncertainty that might last long after the pandemic has faded into the background. With any luck, there will also be positive long-term consequences. One may be a reduction in the costs of doing business. Virtual events and reduced travel have led to substantial savings for many businesses. Companies that want to maintain these savings and harness new ways of thinking might start with zero-based budgeting.

ZBB is more a budgeting philosophy than it is a budgeting method, and the post-COVID world offers a ripe landscape for new philosophies. People are thriving while working at home. Salespeople are rethinking whether they need to make so many, or indeed any, in-person sales calls. Make nothing off-limits when it comes to the new...

About the Authors

Karin von Funck, Mark Austin, Donat Wunderlich and Christina Schenk are professionals with the Boston Consulting Group.

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