Optimising financial processes

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Predictions & Contradictions: Alignment


Despite the agreement on the value of globally integrated, “end to end” processes, for many mature global businesses there is an ‘elephant in the room’. While we all ‘talk a good game’ there are still genuine barriers. Effectively aligning sub-processes that are managed and operated by functions that have differing views of their own value, remains a massive change management challenge. The functional stovepipes of yesterday reinforce the siloed thinking, and functional leaders with different target outcomes and performance measures can be part of the problem. I had my eyes opened to an additional ‘drag’ on change momentum in this area recently, when I was reminded that the offshoring wave had moved much transactional effort to low cost locations, reinforcing the view that these activities were also low value. So ironically, the fact that our ‘strategic’ high cost activities are not co-located with the perceived ‘transactional activities’ has actually been a limiting factor in progress. Alignment is essential for effective end-to-end processes, which themselves are critical for genuine transformation. So, the ‘chicken and egg’ problem is alive and well!