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Optimising financial processes

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Silo Busting, Friction Fixing, Winning Hearts & Minds, End-to-End . . .


The greatest barrier to driving value through business operations is the elimination of “silos” in the organization.

“Silo busting” – the single biggest challenge AND the single biggest opportunity!

This just landed as a top survey finding in the 2024 Benchmarking Report from SSON Research & Analytics.

“End to End” processes represent a key strategy to drive real value & P&L impact for the business.

Reading this coincided with another thought provoking article in Management Today, entitled “Why it’s harder to get work done in your organisation than it should be – and how to fix it” by Antonia Garrett Peel reviewing the work of organisational psychologist and professor of management science and engineering, Bob Sutton, and fellow Stanford professor Hayagreeva “Huggy” Rao.

The article talks about process ‘friction’, defined as “the forces that make it harder, slower, more complicated, or downright impossible to get things done in organisations”. This resonated with our discussions on “end to end” processes.

There is some excellent (and amusing) commentary on the “Us and Them” thinking that can contribute to the “friction” between “silos”.

In breaking down silos there is a critical need for end-to-end process “orchestrators” with the personality and ability to win hearts & minds and develop a strong coalition across all stakeholder groups. Maybe, as we discussed in a similar context yesterday, you need a sense of humour too!

“End to end” thinking needs to focus on the key business outcomes that affect the customer and the purpose of the organization.

It also needs to consider which elements of the process and work actually needs to be done, and which can be eliminated as pure “friction”.

After elimination comes optimisation and standardization. What needs to optimized and how?

Process, Data, Technology and People.

Organization, leading and lagging indicators of performance, and how rewards and remuneration are structured. They need to support the common goals and not create or sustain the behaviors and habits that reinforce the “friction” described above.

Both these brief articles are worth a read. You may need to sign in but they are both free of charge.

You can get the SSON 2024 Benchmarking Report here . . . 

You can read the Management Today article “Why it’s harder to get work done in your organisation than it should be“ here . . . 

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