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How we help the CFO

The CFO has one of the most important jobs in any organization, the stewardship of every dollar going in and coming out

The CFO needs the right tools and processes to stay on top of every investment and ensure that every expenditure is contributing everything it can to the overall success of the business. 

CFO Role Summary

Strategic Portfolio Management is critical to the CFO’s ability to perform their work.  In particular the following strategic imperatives must always be top of mind for the CFO:

  • Strategy execution: The derivation of execution from strategy
  • Continuous planning: The adoption of continuous and adaptive planning
  • Outcome management: The application of consistent outcome management
  • Financial transparency: The ability to generate cost transparency
  • Controlling all types of work: The ability to gain visibility across all work

CFO requires a complete view of everything.

Without visibility across every piece of work the CFO simply can’t tell how money is being spent, making cost transparency an impossible dream.  Regardless of whether work is being delivered using agile, waterfall or ad-hoc methods, regardless of whether the business is delivering products, projects, programs or capabilities, the CFO has to be able to see everything that’s happening and how much money is being spent.

Understanding not just what, but why.

The CFO must also see how all work ties back to strategy.  It’s not enough to know where money is going, the CFO must understand why. CFOs use capital planning tools to connect the cost of every expenditure with the strategic investments that are designed to move the business forward.  And because that relationship is fluid and constantly evolving, the CFO must also ensure that the business has adopted a continuous and adaptive planning approach that ensures the work being done is always optimally aligned with the purpose of that work.

Managing outcomes

Finally, the CFO uses benefits realization software to ensure that effective outcome management is in place that defines the expected benefits and the metrics to be used to confirm performance.  While not all of these metrics will directly tie back to financials, the CFO cannot effectively validate ROI without this in place.

The CFO cannot do this alone.  They must have strong relationships with the CIO and with line of business executives.  These are the individuals who will be driving the various investments in technology and business capability and it is critical to ensure that the people driving the work are aligned with the CFO to ensure those investments are delivering the right strategic returns.

For the same reason the CFO must work closely with the strategy realization office (SRO) to ensure that the investments and returns on those investments remain tightly aligned with the organizational strategic priorities.  It’s not enough to generate a return, you have to generate the right return.