The fifth Seattle FP&A Board, which was sponsored by SAP and Robert Half, was devoted to the subject of FP&A Team Building. As FP&A leaders work towards a more effective business partnership, they require effective teams to achieve this goal. But what comprises effective teams? And what roles must people play? This was the topic of the discussion.
As the meeting kicked off, participants were asked to introduce themselves and provide one word that described effective FP&A. The responses were written on a flip chart and shown on the first page of the meeting notes. The following are of note with regard to this discussion:
- Partnership was the word that was mentioned the most
- Strategic was also mentioned on a few occasions, especially in the follow-up discussion
After participants provided their input on FP&A attributes, Larysa Melnychuk, Founder of the International FP&A Board, led a discussion on “Five Critical FP&A Team Roles” – architect, data scientist, analyst, storyteller and influencer. She discussed each and related them back to the attributes defined on the flip chart. The following points were made as part of this discussion:
- These roles can be shared across different team members
- People that are good analysts and story tellers are difficult to find
- Ideally, leaders should be able to play / lead all of these roles
- One point was made that it might be better to call these skills or competencies, rather than roles
FP&A Team Building
Participants broke out into three groups to discuss the steps required to build an FP&A team. Each group developed and presented a list of actions / steps that this would entail. While the groups took different approaches, there were a few comments points between them. This included:
- Developing an overall vision or game plan
- Defining what success looks like
- Defining required skills and gaps
- Defining processes and needs
- The need for diversity
Other actions delved into recruiting, onboarding new staff and maintaining the team. The following points were made in this regard:
- Personality testing and fit
- The need to partner with HR / recruiting
- Development plans
Other steps can be seen in each of the charts that were prepared by individual groups.
The general consensus among participants was that FP&A team building is a topic that is relevant to their current roles and that the content provided was helpful.