by Rob Joseph, Director, BeaconCFO Plus

Understanding the Agile CFO

As we move further into 2022, we are exploring the demands and expectations of a successful CFO for a small- to medium-sized business. What does success look like, and what are some of the key characteristics a CFO must possess? 

One of the first traits to come to mind, particularly in light of the past two years, is agility

The most common definition of agility is the ability to pivot quickly, adapt, and act during rapidly changing circumstances. The second definition refers to agile project management, used in software development. provides a helpful definition: “Agile project management is a collaborative, iterative project management approach that incorporates continuous testing and responsiveness to change.” The key word here is collaborative.

In this type of framework: 

  • Feedback can be acted upon quickly.
  • Responsive changes can be made at each stage of the process.
  • Teams can work quickly and collaboratively.

Agile project management dates back to the 1990s when software developers ran into roadblocks with traditional management techniques—a lack of flexibility, no room for deviations, bureaucratic procedures, and so on—and began to develop a better system that would allow for greater adaptability and responsiveness, in short, agility.

CFOs today must be familiar with this type of project management software (think Asana, Microsoft Teams, and—to a certain extent—Slack), as well as general agile management techniques. A team must get—and stay—aligned, be highly collaborative, and work closely at every stage of the process. I often held a morning standup meeting with my teams that was no more than 20 minutes.

A CFO must also use the principles of being a Scrum Master to develop and implement plans and projects. What, you ask, is a Scrum Master?

Let’s back up: The Scrum Guide™ was written in 2010 to help people understand Scrum, a lightweight software framework designed for use by people, teams, and organizations. If you are unfamiliar with Scrum, you can start by reading the guide and perhaps even taking a Professional Scrum Master™ training course

Another popular management system is Kanban, a visual project management tool. This is a tool I used to develop major building project contracts both here in the United States and in the Middle East. Kanban is a more flexible, visual system, while Scrum is more structured, emphasizing teamwork and accountability. Both platforms help unite teams around shared goals, make bottlenecks in your processes more visible, and improve your efficiency.

An agile CFO will embrace these tools for the benefit of the organization they serve.

Become a More Agile Business With BeaconCFO Plus

Speak With a Virtual CFO

When you work with an outsourced CFO at BeaconCFO Plus, your CFO will help you look more closely at these agile management tools to determine whether one is a good fit for your business. He or she will also help you implement the tool and guide your team in becoming a more aligned, collaborative entity working toward shared goals. 

Reach out to us today to schedule your complimentary consultation and learn more about our outsourced CFO services

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