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5 behaviours for effective business partnering Logo cgma

  Samantha White |   Free |   AICPA and CIMA |   01 Jun 2016 |   CGMA Magazine

Good business partners can facilitate the development of insights in collaboration with business managers. This article discusses the traits that make a great partner.

Topics covered:
  • Management accounting: People: Collaboration & partnering, Intermediate

4 Comments/Reflections

Thozama Tshisa

Thozama Tshisa Apr 2020

The business partnering is the role i want to play in the business that i am part of., it is the main reason i embarked on CIMA studies, the CIMA membership has equipped with the skills needed to be an effective business partner.

The articles touches on such traits that a business partner should have as:
  • The courage to speak up and to challenge managers, 
  • The possession of influencing, relationship-building, and communication skills
  • Persistence
  • Understanding of the business
  • The ability to translate the numbers into a business story
These skills enables one to be to engage in conversation:
  • The business model
  • Horizon scanning
  • Performance measure
  • Data sources
As i continue my journey in the finance field, i will on sharpening my skills in these areas to be able to better support the organisation i am part of.
Timothy Hardy

Timothy Hardy Aug 2018

This article particularly resonates with me as my former role as Programme Controller for a GBP 300m digital change programme across 10k engineers at Network Rail demanded effective business partnering in order for the project to achieve its financial and business objectives. Point 5 is particularly powerful and can really separate those with solid theoretical knowledge and understanding to an effective partner in business decision making. In my view it is only at this point you are adding explicit company or organisational value. This in essence is rooted in advanced communication skills, a theme which effectively runs through 1-3 also. Recognising and researching the background of the programme or business director also really helps with the ability to effectively translate as they tend to have a particular skew towards a particular discipline, whether engineering, change management or indeed finance. It is also of paramount important not to forget the basics; horizon scanning and inventive KPIs can be really effective, but you cant lose sight of rock solid budget adoption, management and associated corporate governance that is baked into BAU business process. Again linking back to the communication theme it is then about displaying the risk based metrics that not only represent finance, but also delivery and timeline performance with safety/environmental KPIs that form the basis of regular project or programme performance measurement in order to take corrective action and provide forward guidance on favourable or adverse factors that drive todays decision making. All of which serves to reduce risk and probability of succesful programme delivery.
Matthew Jackson

Matthew Jackson Jul 2018

Kamfwa Mulenga

Kamfwa Mulenga Jan 2017

I could readily identify with the need to be able to translate the numbers into a business story. All too often we Accountants take it for granted that everyone understands what our presentation of numbers mean. I have come to learn that numbers should be well summarized with the usage of graphs, charts and colour when presenting to non-finance professionals. The implications and interpretations of those numbers are of prime importance.