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How World-Class Finance Leaders Create World-Class Finance Teams

Part 2 - Steps You Must Take To Get There


Article taken from "Building a World Class Finance Organization" Presentation by Mark Blaufuss CFO, Metaldyne 

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Adopt a culture of continuous improvement


1. Assess the finance organization

Assessment Tips

* If someone cannot explain it to you, they don’t understand it

* Ask who uses the report or information that is being produced

  • What is it used for?
  • What decisions are made on the report/information?

* Look for manual intervention

* Challenge how effective reviews are

  • How often are adjustments made
  • How many follow-up items are done

* Take people off the distribution

* Ask “what would you change?” 


2. Develop an action plan

1. Determine specific goals

2. Create action steps and champions for each goal

3. Establish timing and deliverables

Tips on Improvement Plans

* Leverage assessment template/work

* Be realistic – people have day jobs

* Avoid ambiguous items – “Improve efficiency”

* Involve the team early and often in the plan - Buy-in and alignment of where the organization is going

* Mix in short term and long term goals - Quick wins

* Establish scheduled progress updates - Celebrate successes to keep momentum


3. Implementation of the plan

1. Arm champions for success

  • Empowerment
  • Resources

2. Monitor progress

  • Establish monitoring tool
  • Set consistent schedule of update meetings
  • Include problem solving/resolution opportunities

3. Be supportive

  • “Pile on” to support requests for information/attendance at meetings
  • Be personal
  • Avoid emails – talk to people in person wherever possible 



4. Evaluation and Re-Assessment

1. Compare actual results to goals

  • Understand drivers to variances

2. Determine the need to keep the item on the plan

  • More improvement to be garnered?
  • Cost/benefit of further improvement

3. Re-assessment

  • Update initial assessment
  • New circumstances/challenges
  • Stakeholder input

If you missed Part 1 Click Here

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