Definitions

... with emphasis on Strategic Planning and FP&A

Sonar: Competitive advantage through Technology and smart thinking. Active and Passive navigation in low visibility or uncertain conditions. Seeking safe passage towards Strategic Objectives; Early warning of potential obstacles, threats; 360-degree; 24/7; Functional, not decorative;  Filter out noise to identify relevant signals; Highly specialised; Complete team alignment

 

Analysis: The step by step process of breaking a complex set of data into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it.

 

Analytics: The activity of discovering and collecting data and using that data to generate insights that inform fact-based decision making.

 

Business Partnering: "The development of successful, long term, strategic relationships between customers and suppliers, based on achieving best practice and sustainable competitive advantage" (T. Lendrum, 1997). Finance professionals can leverage their skills, tools and processes to bring financial insight into the day to day activities of their non-finance colleagues, enriching them understanding their impact on overall business performance, whilst helping finance maintain real-time, first-hand commercial insight into the challenges and achievements of the underlying business.

 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications are used by businesses to capture and manage all the information and processes that relate to their current and future customers. It integrates all the various different systems and applications used, helping businesses to more effectively understand the customer, maintain or improve the overall customer experience, decrease customer management costs, attract new customers and increase profitability.

 

EPM (Enterprise Performance Management): EPM brings together the various databases, business intelligence applications and financial performance management applications used in business performance management. From a finance perspective, this includes strategic and business planning, budgeting, forecasting and management reporting. Integrating and automating these components and their sub-processes should lead to significant synergies and efficiencies when compared to standalone applications.

 

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources. ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including product planning, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

 

FP&A: Financial Planning and Analysis: The specialist function or individual within the finance organisation and a business partner to the broader organisation, tasked with the development and stewardship of the end-to-end processes of Strategic Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting, combined with the downstream rigour of Management Information Analysis and Reporting.

 

KPI (Key Performance Indicator): The financial and non-financial indicators by which the performance of a particular activity will be  that measured. KPIs need to be measurable and a business must be able to influence them. There are 1000's of potential measures to choose from, ranging from customer count metrics, satisfaction surveys, headcount, resources consumed, profit achieved, market share, brand awareness measures, returns on invested resources etc. Key to success is choosing and measuring KPIs that are directly relevant to strategic objectives, can be influenced, and are understandable to both internal and external audience.

 

LEAN enterprise & accounting: LEAN enterprise is a business management tool that focuses on reducing waste from production processes. Lean accounting is an offshoot of LEAN enterprise that seeks to eliminate waste from a company's capital resources by applying LEAN principles to the company's financial functions. Its underlying principle is to reduce time spent on wasteful activities, free up capacity, speed up process and eliminate errors, making the process clear and understandable and results simple and visual.

 

Stakeholder Management: is a structured approach taken to ensure that the delivery of any project, program or activity engages with and takes into account the needs and concerns or all impacted parties. A stakeholder can be any individual, group or organisation that is (or could be perceived to be) affected by an activity or program. Effective stakeholder management ensures positive relationships are created and maintained, managing all affected parties expectations and delivering upon agreed objectives.

 

Strategic Plan(ning): A forward looking management activity used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working towards common goals, assessing and adjusting as required the organization's direction in response to a changing environment. It is a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future.

 

Strategic Plan: A documented communication outlining a businesses Strategic Objectives, Actions to be undertaken to achieve those objectives, Ownership of those actions, milestone Targets, Measures of Success, and Time to Achieve.

 

Strategic Objective: The desired end-state of a campaign / activity / strategy.

 

Strategic Targets: The measures by which a strategy will be measured or judged to have succeeded, including both financial and non-financial measures.

 

Technology: Wiki: "(from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand”) is the collection of tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures used by humans. Technologies significantly affect humans ability to control and adapt to their natural environments".

 

Value added: In monetary terms, 'value added' is the sum of the unit profit arising from the provision of a product or service less all associated costs. Beyond pure financials, value added refers to going beyond the minimum standards expected by providing additional features, services or 'something more', even if this adds additional cost to the item or service.