What is the mission and vision for your organization? A simple enough question, yet the answer can be a complicated one. Without the complete visibility of all operations within your organization, it becomes nearly impossible to answer.

Of course, this is where enterprise performance management comes into play. Monitoring the specific financial activities and providing a complete financial analysis is not only a job requirement, but a prerequisite to planning for an organizational shift in operations. A new direction starts with the capabilities of the finance function.

CFO suggests three ‘need-to-knows’ for any finance executive looking at a change in operation, as wells as what they can expect to see in the near future.

ThinkstockPhotos-493210352Know Your Role

Your company has committed to a major “transformation” for the future. Now you are asking yourself, “What does this mean, and where do I, as the CFO, come in?” Relax, at least you understand that finance will play a bigger role than anticipated in helping drive the change.

As chief financial officer, you have the opportunity to guide a culture shift. You will need to analyze your organization’s problems and prioritize the appropriate actions. A new focus on your enterprise performance management process is the first step. Prepare for unexpected surprises and challenges, and consider revising your traditional ways of thinking.

Read: The CFO’s Role in Business Transformation

ThinkstockPhotos-484911240Know Your Players

When it comes to your employees’ performance, where does your organization spend most of its time? Too often, the answer is, “debating performance management processes or systems.”

Instead of asking yourself, “Should we evaluate performance once a year or more often? Should we rank employees, rate them, or eschew any ratings at all? Should we include information from a “360-degree” circle of superiors, co-workers, peers and even customers?” ask, “What is your return on improved performance?”

Read: Trouble with the Curve: Performance-Management ROI

ThinkstockPhotos-466582229Know the System

Thanks to advances in technology and a wider choice of products, enterprise performance management software is increasingly powerful and easier to use; predictive analytics capability is more prevalent; and cloud versions are more common. Mobility is a new feature, and compatibility with spreadsheets is a new virtue.

New software enables CFOs and other managers in the enterprise to draw on data from internal and, sometimes, external sources to plan and improve corporate performance. First though, you need to know which system best fits your organization.

Read: High Performance

ThinkstockPhotos-493448087A Look Toward the Future

Planning and execution of any major transformation is nary an overnight triumph. Global, competitive, and digital business evolution obligates the CFO function to continuously adapt. Any plans for the future will stretch further than one year, and are closer to five- or ten-year engagements.

Looking ahead, what will the CFO role of 2020 look like, and what different skills and traits might finance chiefs need to add to their toolboxes in order to excel?

Read: What Will the CFO Role Look Like in 2020?

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