Over the last 10 years, I have had the pleasure of working on some of the biggest finance transformations in the UK; covering the largest build a bank in British history, the merger of two of the biggest insurance businesses in the UK/Europe as well as a number of smaller outsourcing programmes, systems upgrades and restructures.
What has been interesting about working on these programmes is that they all have slightly different staffing requirements. Most have been successful but not one programme has had the same resource plans.
What resources do you need?
The first thing to consider is that no finance transformation is the same.
Finance transformation for one business might be creating a new target operating model. For another it may be a new systems implementation and for another, it may be a redesign or consolidation of a general ledger.
Furthermore, each has its different challenges. Cost and budget, people, culture, technology, BAU operations, available external resources, organisation size to name a few.
Whatever the required change, the most important thing and common theme for all successful transformations is the people. The quality of people on your programme will determine if your transformation is going to be successful or not. Where these individuals come from is another question and this is where things can get difficult.
With all transformations, there are budgets.
For some this can be a big factor when considering the people brought onto a programme. I believe permanent members of staff should be the first consideration. This is important for up-skilling, motivation and cost.
Having said that what about fixed term contractors? Aside from permanent members of staff, FTCs are the 2nd cheapest option for clients to hire. This however can present a few issues; time to hire, level of skillset, availability of resource and the on-boarding process.
What about consultancies and contractors?
Other considerations you would expect on most transformations are contractors and consultancies.
Contractor vs. Consultant is something that I see debated quite often across any business embarking on a transformation.
Consultancies can offer SME knowledge within days, allow risk mitigation and the ability to ramp up and down on projects.
However, consultancies are very expensive and you can sometimes encounter a consultant that isn’t necessarily at the right skill level.
From a contract perspective, you can normally cut your cost but get a much more experienced SME with an excellent track record within the industry. Contractor programmes can be set up to provide knowledge transfer which means they aren’t just doing the “day job”, they are offering a genuine consultative approach.
Some things to consider with contract resource may include time to hire, the on-boarding process and the output of the contractor once on-board.
The perfect mix?
One common theme for most finance transformations is a healthy mix of all three types of resources; permanent, contract and consultancy.
Each one of these 3 pillars offers different positives and can be the successful ingredients to deliver strategic finance improvements.
There is no question that finance transformations are difficult, however if resourced correctly they can provide businesses with sustainable growth for years to come!
Have you been involved in a finance transformation? What was your ‘perfect mix’ of staff?
Click here if you’d like to find out more about how Sanderson can aid in your finance transformations. If you’d like to contact James, you can find his details below.
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