Cost and Profitability Management
Value Management - Organizations often struggle with defining and quantifying the value that they create. This is particularly true for internal business support functions. The nature of these functional areas is such that the activities and processes being performed are often hard to measure from a “value add” perspective and it is difficult to link any value being created to the resources providing the value. Aside from the nature of business support functions, value itself is difficult define - it is inherently customer focused which makes objective measurement difficult; it changes over time; and the same output is often perceived very differently by different customers. There appears to be no single, universal answer to the question of quantifying value for a business support function. The nature of an organization (size, complexity, domain, etc.), how it organizes its support functions, and even its culture will affect how it defines and measures value. However, a well-defined value framework could provide a focal point and tool that can be used by all organizations to help define value while accounting for organizational uniqueness.
The group’s objective is to assist member organizations in understanding and quantifying the value business support functions bring to an organization. This will be achieved through the development of a framework that will enable member organizations to consistently define the value business support functions bring to an organization and thereby allow cost / value trade-offs to be quantified and considered. The starting point to this is The Value Analysis Process publication by CAM-I on June 2019. The methodology and application have been used by two CAM-I member organizations with more organizations to apply it shortly. Demonstrating the Value in Business Support Functions is led by the CAM-I UK chapter with support from US.
Defining Value for Services – The group will re-examine a 2014 CAM-I deliverable focused on quantifying value for service-based organizations. Historically, target costing and value analysis is more easily applied to the manufacturing of a product. Services can present nuanced challenges in quantifying the processes performed and the importance to the customer. The group will review project member’s value mapping experience to-date and further explore gaps in the existing body of knowledge around quantifying value. The group will expand on individual member case studies to include the surveying of wider member organizations. Results will inform training and/or a report deliverable that members can use when implementing at their organizations
Marginal Cost – Marginal cost is a simple term to define but can be difficult to calculate within complex and large organizations. Many member companies need to have a clear understanding of marginal costs at granular levels across product/service lines. This information is used to support product pricing and marketing decisions. Current methodologies result in miscalculation of these costs resulting in incorrect business decisions. Through a member company use case, the group will work on a framework to define marginal costs that can be replicated across similar organizations.
Cost Management & Target Costing Maturity Curve – CAM-I has contributed significantly to the field of Cost Management & Target Costing but how can new member organizations self-assess where they are in terms of maturity and what next steps to take to improve their organization? The group will use the existing body of knowledge to create a maturity curve explaining the accomplishments along the maturity curve.
Integrated Risk and Value Management Special Interest Group
To be in business is to face a constant stream of potential risks that can disrupt daily activity and put the future of the organization in jeopardy. However, what if the organization were able to assess their potential risks for enterprise value? Robust organizations know how to take on measured risks that boost returns to stakeholders. If handled properly, it may even be possible to increase stakeholders’ perceived value when taking on incremental risk. The goal of the Integrated Risk and Value Management interest group at CAM-I is to explore this risk-value continuum, modifying existing thought and proactively to enable organizations to maximize value by optimizing risk.
Performance Management Interest Group
Recognizing that organizations face many conflicting priorities to effective strategy execution, the PM Interest Group has developed the CAM-I Performance Management Framework (PMF).
The CAM-I PMF helps organizations to determine:
- WHAT initiatives to focus on to improve performance
- WHERE to best deploy scarce resources
- HOW to measure improvement to validate success
PMF is a holistic methodology that identifies and improves core business capabilities that influence any organization’s performance. To assist in strategy execution and improve performance, the framework:
- Conducts an organizational readiness assessment
- Identifies maturity gaps in business capabilities
- Recommends specific techniques to close maturity gaps
- Directionally suggests appropriate measures to track improvement
- Creates a performance focused culture by identifying key initiatives that will make a significant impact on improving performance
Recent publication (jointly with CPA Canada): The CAM-I Performance Management Framework Executive Overview – How to Evaluate and Improve Organizational Performance
Forecasting for Procurement of Complex Acquisition and Support Projects Interest Group
(Using Defence procurement as a case study)
Many organisations have large budgets to procure new capabilities and support existing capabilities.
The lifespan of these acquisition/build and support/run projects can run from a single year to 25 years and beyond in some cases.
Often these projects have a reputation for cost and time overruns, and variability of forecasting that present a major challenge to the Finance function in trying to manage the overall budget in any given financial time period.
The finance function has to apply its own professional judgement to try and ensure the summation of these projects does not result in a sub-optimal utilisation of the budget so that taxpayers/shareholders money is not wasted.
The aim of this project is to, using as a case study the MOD project, leverage knowledge across the defence sector end to end, including industry partners, international defence organisations and bodies that review Defence budgets, to identify common root cause problems. The intention is to also leverage the wider CAM-I network to highlight common issues and learning to aid the overall objective of improving the stability and quality of financial management and forecasting for such projects.
The interest group will then move on to proposing solutions by identifying skills, knowledge, tools and techniques that could be applied to eliminate unnecessary barriers to effective financial management.
Some of the solutions could be “quick wins” exploiting better communication of existing knowledge and information end to end through looking at the problems form different perspectives. The outcome should be to improve the quality of financial management, provide better stability to forecasting, and that we maximise the capacity and capability available to our Armed Forces in a timely manner from the budget available.