CFOs: Do You Possess The Project Management Skills To Get Hired?
Posted by Marco Rolla
You found the finance jobs of your dreams, but you know you face stiff competition. The decision makers in the talent recruitment and hiring process examine CFO candidates for many skill sets, so you need to find the right ones to really wow the powers that be. These five project management skills help you stand out in a flood of applicants and land your prized position.
Create Achievable Strategic Objectives
As a CFO, you may frequently deal with the financial impact of poor project performance. You may also work with organizations that lack strategic insight into realistic objectives for their projects. They demand too many goals without enough time allotted, leave teams without the talent necessary to accomplish tasks or fail to consider the project's usefulness to the end users. You can reduce poor performance throughout the company by focusing on achievable strategic objectives designed to align with the business' goals and needs.
You can't address issues with your company's financial management without making changes, but CFOs rarely account for change management when disrupting the status quo. Your employees don't know why their expense accounts got cut or a new policy changed if you don't keep them in the loop. High-level strategic visions won't get your front-line employees on board with significant changes, but explaining the direct benefits for their position, department or team gets their attention.
Identifying Project Overruns
Every CFO dreads hearing about a project that's over budget and well beyond its deadline. CFOs without project management skills attempt to fix the problem without understanding the exact reasons why the original budget didn't work out. The factors influencing project costs vary significantly, but project management experience helps you pinpoint the problem. Common overrun causes include an expanded project scope, altered or impossible deadlines and project specifications failing to meet end goal requirements. New business processes, better project management and expanded talent pools turn poor performing teams into cost efficient champions.
A good project manager looks five steps ahead to help guide the team to a successful finish. You use analytics solutions, reports and other information to increase your visibility into the financial health of your organization. Your forward thinking mindset let you rapidly adapt to new challenges, major changes in the financial industry and other market disruptions. Many industries face major changes due to digital transformation. Old processes and technology give way to entirely new ways of doing business. Without business agility, you lose a major competitive advantage.
Strong Interpersonal Skills
Project managers need excellent communication skills, from keeping stakeholders up to date on the project's progress to delivering constructive criticism to their teams. These interpersonal skills guide you through your CFO position by improving transparency with key decision makers, increasing your chance for buy-in from other C-suite executives and connecting with employees at all organizational levels.
Project management skills grow with you as you climb up the career ladder. You may be managing the finances of an entire organization, but this experience often scales up to meet the challenge. Your first step to securing the CFO job of your dreams is getting your foot in the door. These PM skills equip you with a diverse set of talents designed to create your best possible first impression.