As a finance leader, you understand the importance of collaboration in positioning FP&A as a true business partner.
However, siloed structures can hinder information and process flow, blocking effective collaboration across departments. Ultimately, this stifles your FP&A team's potential and costs valuable time.
In this article, I'll share strategic approaches to break down these barriers and help teams stay in sync across processes.
Read till the end for a teaser of Pigment’s Automations feature to foster better collaboration.
The Impacts of Siloed Processes on Your FP&A Team
As your organization grows, the structure can become siloed, impeding the growth of your FP&A team.
46% of respondents shared that siloed business processes were harming or actively preventing good decision-making, in a recent study by Forrester and Airtable. This is in addition to the hours lost to specifically data silos—experienced by 79% of respondents.
Silos, whether in processes or access to data, restrict access to essential information and impede effective communication, resulting in delayed decision-making and missed opportunities.
For example, imagine your team struggles to obtain real-time sales data from the sales department. You’d face inaccurate financial forecasts and hampered ability to make informed strategic decisions.
Recognizing the detrimental impact of siloed structures on your FP&A team, it becomes imperative to dismantle these barriers and foster a collaborative and streamlined approach to financial planning and analysis.
So how can you move past silos? Here are a few ideas.
Tap into cross-functional collaboration for better financial models
Collaboration is not just a buzzword; it's an opportunity for the FP&A team to go beyond reporting to play a key role in how the organization makes better decisions.
By embracing cross-functional collaboration, your team can tap into the collective expertise of individuals from different departments, such as sales, marketing, and operations, to drive financial excellence.
For instance, collaborating with the marketing team allows you to gain insights into market trends, customer behavior, and promotional campaigns. By incorporating this information into your financial models, you can accurately forecast sales and identify potential growth opportunities.
Cross-functional collaboration sparks innovation, enhances problem-solving, improves decision-making, increases productivity, and boosts job satisfaction.
Pro tip: learn how Finance drives better sales forecasts, for more concrete examples of cross-functional collaboration.
Establish open communication channels between departments
Smooth and open communication between departments is vital for effective collaboration. Establishing open communication channels enhances teamwork, minimizes conflicts, and facilitates better decision-making.
Imagine leveraging collaborative software and regular cross-departmental meetings to discuss budget allocation with the marketing and operations teams. This open communication allows you to align financial resources with marketing initiatives and operational needs, ensuring optimal allocation and maximizing ROI.
By creating a single space for multiple departments (both technical and business users) to collaborate, you can increase productivity and boost transparency.
Ultimately, open communication increases team morale and confidence in decisions taken.
Developing a shared vision and common goals
How do you achieve clarity and a unified direction towards an org-wide financial objective?
Cross-functional teams can, for example, establish a shared vision of achieving sustainable revenue growth through cost optimization and new market penetration.
Establishing common goals breaks down the larger vision into tangible targets, making it easier to track progress and celebrate achievements.
Take another example: setting a common goal of reducing operational costs by 10% in the next fiscal year encourages collaboration between your FP&A team and the operations department to identify cost-saving opportunities and track cost reduction initiatives.
This process of developing a shared vision and common goals strengthens cooperation, enhances team performance, and increases the likelihood of surpassing financial targets.
Implementing best practices for collaborating across departments
Especially in the uncertain landscape we’re currently in, effective collaboration between finance teams and executives is paramount.
A shared planning platform for CEOs, CFOs, and financial analysts promotes openness and cooperation in your organization.
With immediate access to data and analytics, you and your team can discuss and influence executive decisions based on current information. This supports decision-making in line with company goals and helps your FP&A team play a key role in guiding the organization's direction.
This holistic approach to decision-making ensures that all aspects of the business are considered, leading to a more robust financial strategy.
Consequently, your FP&A team becomes more credible and influential, offering insights that lead to the company's financial success and long-term strategy. Involving all stakeholders in the process empowers your team and strengthens the overall coherence of the organization's objectives.
You can practice this by establishing open lines of communication, organizing cross-functional training sessions, and fostering knowledge-sharing initiatives with departments like supply chain or procurement. This can greatly enhance your grasp of cost drivers, inventory management, and supplier relationships.
Building a culture of accountability and mutual respect
Accountability and mutual respect are essential for collaboration and financial success, forming a foundation that other strategies cannot function without. Accountability encourages individuals to own their actions, building transparency and trust in your FP&A team. Likewise, mutual respect fosters a positive workplace where everyone's input is valued.
Setting clear performance expectations and supporting open feedback channels boost individual responsibility and motivate your team to provide precise and timely financial analysis. Regularly reviewing progress and acknowledging achievements reinforces this culture of responsibility. By setting an example and holding yourself accountable, you inspire others to follow suit.
Developing a culture of accountability and mutual respect leads to a more efficient workplace, improved job satisfaction, and ultimately drives your team's success. This approach not only strengthens your team's performance but also contributes to the overall growth and stability of the organization.
Pigment’s Automations feature is your shortcut to stronger cross-functional collaboration
By breaking down departmental barriers and fostering cross-functional collaboration, you empower your team to make informed financial decisions, drive growth, and create lasting value.
Collaboration isn't just about working together—it's about unlocking the collective intelligence and expertise of your organization to achieve financial excellence.
The easiest way to achieve this is with Pigment’s new automations feature. You can set up specific notifications in a workflow when a condition is triggered, automatically inform team members of changing metric values, and push for timely action.
Ready to make collaboration second nature? Learn how to unlock effortless collaboration, with Comments, Automations, and more in Pigment.