Our traditional tools and processes for performance measurement are more akin to Charles Dickens than
the 21st century, and thus more appropriate for the Victoria and Albert Museum than a fast and flexible
organisation. We need to look at what we can do immediately and the changes we need to work on in the next six months.

Immediate changes

The finance team has to become a partner in your organisation’s survival which will mean reducing time
in many of the numbing activities which ‘lock us up’ producing reports, too late and of little value. Producing meaningful weekly snapshots and dashboards instead of numbing monthly financial reports Many management reports are not management tools; they are merely memoranda of information. Too many of our reports are issued well after the horse has bolted, eg monthly. They should encourage timely action in the right direction, by reporting on those activities the board, the management and the staff need to focus on.

Many monthly finance reports, prepared by the finance team, are never read. They include endless detail, often
a result of having a common template for all subsidiaries, regardless of size. The result is a consolidated pack with a four to five page essay, consolidated numbers and a copy of each subsidiary’s submission. I once saw a 140 page pack!

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