This one big mistake can wreck your Finance Transformation

Finance Transformation wants to add value but shouldn't do it by focusing on cost savings

Finance Transformation programmes will often include something like the following line in their business case: “Capacity created by automation and process efficiency will be reinvested in value-adding activity.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, as an aspiration, it’s got a lot going for it. The trouble is, no one…

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Budgeting for Projects – the Case for Change

Budgeting creates problems for business change projects. Change projects are often something of an anomaly for Finance when it comes to expenditure control and resource allocation. At least that’s the way that it’s felt. The problem, however, is really budgetary control. When I was doing management reporting for functional expenditure areas, that’s what I used…

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Innovation and Finance Part 2 – Another Brick in the Wall

We don't need no innovation?

This is my second article looking at the relationship of Finance with innovation. Last time I shared a few thoughts on how Finance can support strategic business innovation, which benefits customers and provides competitive advantage. This time I want to turn my attention to innovation within Finance, affecting what we do on a day to…

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Innovation and Finance Part 1 – Customer Focus

How can Finance support but control innovation in business

Two innovation problems for Finance When we think about the attitude of Finance towards innovation, there are two key questions: What should our attitude be towards business innovation? And, What should our attitude be towards internal innovation within Finance? It’s going to take me two posts to deal with these questions. But, before I kick…

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7 Things Finance Can Do to Make Business Projects Successful

Finance and projects

I’ve worked in many businesses, and only two of them had what I would have judged to be a proper grip on change projects. In the other ones, senior Finance people would sometimes talk disparagingly about certain projects, and almost ‘tut’ with disapproval in seeing projects underdelivering and overrunning on time and costs. I never…

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The 4 ‘i’s of Stakeholder management

Stakeholder management skills

Stakeholder management (or stakeholder engagement) is one of the skills that you need in increasing measure as you develop in your business career. It’s a strange term, I think, because it sounds like terminology. Do you know what I mean? The thing is, stakeholder engagement is not just one skill. It’s a group of skills,…

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Working in Finance During a Business Transfer

business transfer and integration projects

Over the years, I’ve worked for three businesses that have been sold while I worked for them. I’ve also worked on acquisition integration programmes. Business transfer is a complex and challenging time. So, I thought I’d share some thoughts that may be helpful if you find yourself managing a team in Finance when you discover…

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The Purpose-Driven CFO Part 5: Don’t Waste Money Doing Projects

Understanding why you do things makes a difference

Another post relating to business projects!? It must be on my mind or something! Perhaps because I’ve just signed up to take my PRINCE2 exams. I don’t know! Be that as it may, I have got to the point in my Purpose-Driven CFO series on LinkedIn where I’m considering the purpose-driven angle applied to projects. Why…

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There’s No Such Thing as an IT Project

IT projects involve business change as well as code

“There’s no such thing as an IT project. All projects in business are business projects.” That was a tweet I put out a while back. And it drew a response from a young programmer. “By the same logic, there’s no such thing as a construction project either. Erecting a new office building is pure business,”…

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Projects – know why THEN plan what!

project rationale

With any project, you need to be clear why you want to do it before specifying what it is exactly that you want to do. So just waking up one day and saying, “we’re going move transaction processing to China”, is not a really great idea even if you can demonstrate that it reduces costs.…

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