This is a blog post from our partner Workday Adaptive Planning. It highlights recent research from the Association for Finance Professionals (AFP).
Change and disruption are inevitable, and to tackle them, finance must intentionally build agile practices into its work. That’s according to the Association of Finance Professionals (AFP) in its financial planning and analysis (FP&A) report, underwritten by Workday, Finance Agility: Change Is Part of the Plan. For organizations that strive to become more agile, it’s imperative to embrace a new model of business agility, in which planning and execution converge into an entirely new discipline—an ongoing, closed feedback loop of planning, execution, measurement, and adjustment.
The AFP guide outlines three key areas to focus on for addressing change as it happens. Read on to learn how your organization can navigate the path to business agility.
Accelerate or Inhibit Agility in the Organization
The term agility implies a mindset open to change, the ability to rapidly assess the environment, and the capability for action that effects change. The importance of agility is often seen in adapting capabilities of working toward goals. Over time, agile companies outperform because they have a better capability to change internally in a world that is in a constant state of flux.
Finance owns the fiscal calendar with its agenda and rhythms and wields massive influence in defining:
- How people spend their time in the planning cycles.
- Metrics of success.
- Depth of analysis into the business and related conversations.
- Level of risk the organization is willing to take.
This goes far beyond just delivering the numbers, so FP&A must consider whether its processes and performance management systems add to agility (and cash flow) or detract from it.
Become a Dynamic, Learning Organization
Anti-agile traits include staff mistrust, turnover, and unengaged employees who simply follow routines. FP&A needs to define and create the agile culture it wants that is open to challenge. These steps can help:
- 1. Develop psychological safety on the team.
- 2. Develop good leaders.
- 3. Engender a team ethos of continual improvement.
Be Good Backstage to Be Good Onstage
Being agile and able to handle the unpredictable requires that you handle routine work. FP&A’s ability to deliver its services and insights on stage to business customers requires:
- A reliable, scalable infrastructure operating backstage.
- A platform that allows FP&A to accomplish the work.
- Access to good data with minimal curation.
To put these ideas into practice and develop a strong, resilient organization that can achieve its goals, even in the face of change, download the 2023 AFP FP&A Guide: Finance Agility: Change Is Part of the Plan, underwritten by Workday.
Read the full blog post on the Workday blog.