Skip to toolbar
  

Mantra

Hands-on support to solve complex business challenges
  

In a nutshell

Business process transformation
  

Availability

Temporarily unavailable
  

Location

Tonbridge, United Kingdom
  

Languages

  • English
  • French
  

Top 5 Strengths

  • Positively Disruptive
  • Outcome Focused
  • Highly Reliable
  

Skills

  

Interviewed By


  

HM Expert Since

Wednesday February 13, 2019
  

About Chris

I am an experienced Management Consultant and Interim Executive, working with clients to design and implement new Target Operating Models and Business Process Transformation. I bring 13 years experience in Big 4 management consultancy followed by 15 years as global MD in IT and BPO. I have run a successful independent consultancy since 2016.

I am a Chartered Accountant, Six Sigma Black Belt, and MIIM.

My sector experience in IT and Business Processes enables me to work effectively across multiple industries. I have specialist expertise in Financial Services, Business Services and In/Outsourcing.

Once or twice a year I do a month's pro-bono consulting with charities and NGOs in developing countries, typically helping to implement finance processes and systems.

I am a trustee of 3 UK charities, with expertise in fund-raising. As a member of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants, I enjoy doing occasional executive coaching and pro-bono consultancy for UK charities.
  

Current Role Details

I work as an independent management consultant. I have (March 2020) started a one year contract leading finance transformation at an INGO in the international development sector.
  

Chris's Valuable Contributions

(Case Studies)

BUSINESS PROCESS TRANSFORMATION FOR A COMMERCIAL BANK (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
The bank had a silo-based operational model which impeded process efficiency, transparency and compliance. The COO was keen to explore and then implement tools which would enhance the end to end management of key operational processes, enhancing teamwork and collaboration and reducing cost and risk.

Once the assignment got underway, many of the CXO team saw the opportunity to use elements of the solution to enhance performance in their own areas of responsibility. The Head of Risk wanted to capitalise on the project by aligning it with enhancements he was making to Operational Risk Management. The CEO then saw the opportunity to create a procedure whereby all processes in the bank had accountable owners who would be responsible for ensuring that processes were compliant and documentation was up to date.

Task
I sold and delivered a proof of concept assignment to implement modern process management workflow software (ProcessMaker) across one of the bank's key end-to-end processes. After the successful delivery of the POC I was retained to design and implement new processes, utilising the workflow software, across multiple key processes in the bank over a 15 month period. Full engagement with operational users was a pre-requisite so as to get their buy-in, as the processes under review were absolutely critical to the day to day delivery of service to customers. The scope of the project then extended to cover the requirements of the CEO and the Head of Risk.

Action
On behalf of the COO I promoted the benefits of improved processes and the workflow tool across multiple stakeholders in the bank, then captured existing processes, identified improvements through process redesign, and then configured the tool to run each of the new processes. I produced user manuals and operational support processes.

I then identified ways in which the new tool could align with the emerging needs of the Head of Risk , building in features which would enhance Operational Risk Management in the bank.

The third area of work involved me assessing the status of 400 of the bank's processes and procedures. Were they up to date, and did the documentation match the reality of what was happening on the ground? Who actually was taking ownership responsibility for each process, both from a compliance perspective and also in terms of identifying and advocating future process improvements? This involved creating a taxonomy to align individual processes into twelve major process areas, which made process management much easier for the CXO team to get their arms around. I then designed and implemented a process, using the workflow tool, whereby process owners would be automatically called on to update and attest the documentation that related to the processes and procedures for which they were responsible.

Results
The bank has been able to make a major step change in the way it delivers its services, with better collaboration across departments, improved process efficiency, reduced errors, greater transparency of workloads, and enhanced compliance and workflow audit trails.

The work has underpinned a much stronger culture of process ownership, which gives assurance to CXOs, Board members, Auditors and Regulators that approved processes and policies are being followed correctly by staff across all parts of the bank.

The bank's IT team has been trained up in the workflow tool so that they can continue to deploy it across additional areas of the bank in the future.



REVIEW OF MISSION CRITICAL SYSTEMS, LEADING TO ENHANCED BUSINESS AND IT STRATEGIES (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
The organisation had spun off its IT software department over a decade ago, and this IT company was now serving multiple customers in the same industry. The organisation was a corporate shareholder in the IT company and the service contract was complex. It had not been reviewed for many years, and the Chairman of the Board required an independent review to see if the contract was fit for purpose, properly assess the risks, and determine if the systems being supplied still met the needs of the organisation at the right price and with a credible roadmap for future enhancements.

Task
Review the contract and the wider performance of the organisation's IT function to ensure the contract was still fit for purpose and the systems being supplied met current and likely future needs at the right price. Identify risks and mitigating actions. Make the case for improvement opportunities and then assist in designing and implementing them.

Action
Detailed commercial review of the terms and conditions of the contract, together with interviews with the organisation's IT team and operational users of the system. Improved the awareness of the executive team around the detailed terms of the contract. Assessed quality and future development roadmap of the system against market peers. Created recommendations for improving contract governance and agreed these with the CEO and CFO. A major issue became apparent that the organisation did not have an IT strategy against which to assess the systems it was using. Created an IT strategy for the organisation's CEO, which in turn led to the refinement of the business strategy to maximise the quality of customer experience, and the redesign of core business processes to meet business objectives. Provided a roadmap on future improvement and development measures and priorities


Results
The contract did prove to be good value and the mission critical systems being supplied proved to be fit for purpose and benchmarked well against the market. The increased knowledge of what was in the contract, and the fact the it was fit for purpose, gave the Board members vital assurance in their discussions with auditors and regulators. Quick wins were identified and implemented in improving the governance arrangements around the contract, which has resulted in improved ways of working with the supplier which are of mutual benefit.

The by-product of the review was probably of even greater value to the client, namely the impetus to create a proper IT strategy which in turn led to questions about, and then the enhancement of, the business strategy. This provided greater focus on the importance of the quality of the customer experience that the organisation was delivering, and the need to change business processes to deliver the desired customer experience. The final phase of the assignment delivered a roadmap for future improvements.

The organisation now has increased confidence in both its business and IT strategy, and a roadmap for future improvements. A new permanent Head of IT has been
recruited to deliver in the IT strategy.





MENTORING OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
The Founder / Chief Executive of a medium sized UK charity was facing significant pains that were coming from the expansion of the charity's activities. The main issue was the upcoming relocation of the charity's centre of operations to a new location 150 miles away, resulting in the need to build new landlord and donor relationships and recruit new staff with niche skills. The second major issue was the need to work with the Chairman to drive cohesion and a common direction on the Board which had been expanded with the appointment of additional new trustees.

Task
The task was to mentor the very busy CEO to understand and review priorities, implementation plans, issues and risks, and to identify risk mitigation actions, and to suggest ideas that I could bring to the table based on my extensive external experience. The second task was to work with the CEO to try to get under the skin of why the trustees might not be working as a cohesive team, thinking about goals and personalities, and the tools that the CEO had at her disposal to address the situation.

Action
The mentoring took place for ten days across an elapsed time of six months. It started with the CEO articulating her vision for the charity, the journey it had been on and the future journey on which she wanted to take it. We did a detailed SWOT and capability analysis together to understand the skills and styles that had brought success to date, and potential additional skills and changes to styles that would be necessary to underpin the future journey. We did a detailed review of the relocation plans and progress, identifying issues that needed to be addressed quickly. One was that the CEO needed to build a stronger personal network in the county where the charity was relocating to, and I was able to help in that through introducing contacts in my own personal network. Another was the need to build public awareness around the benefits of the relocation. A third area was to do a deep dive into the perceived motivations of each trustee, and assess how the CEO could harness those motivations to a common agenda.

Results
The Charity has gone from strength to strength, and the CEO is fully energised around its ongoing growth and the service it provides. The relocation went well, without impacting the ongoing service delivery, and the fact that we had spent time identifying and mitigating potential risks was a contributor to this success. The trustees are supportive and working as a cohesive team.



FINANCE TRANSFORMATION INCLUDING SHARED SERVICES (Reveal More  OR   View Full Page)


Situation
A major international banking group was embarked on a move to global product management, and this would take precedence over the traditional structure of managing by geographic legal entity.

This brought real pressure on the finance teams, which were wholly aligned to the legal entity structure. Addressing this brought an opportunity not only to restructure the finance function, but also to implement best of breed new finance processes across the organisation.

Task
As a chartered accountant with significant experience in business process transformation and good industry knowledge of the banking sector, I was asked to co-lead (with the client's own Financial Controller) a team of 6 management consultants and 4 client staff to design and deliver two regional shared service centres, a business partnering model, and best of breed new finance processes across the bank. The design phase was to take 3 months and the implementation phase 15 months, with an increasing transfer of knowledge to reduce the dependency on consultants after the new shared service centres had gone live.

Action
Gained a rapid understanding of the baseline position, in terms of costs, people, activities and processes, systems used, current service levels and regulatory requirements. Designed a new model based on shared service and business partnering concepts, and a high level implementation plan. These were then formed into a business case, and we input significant effort in getting buy-in from multiple stakeholders across the bank. The CEO gave the project his personal endorsement. On approval of the business case we commenced the set-up of the new service centres (50 staff were recruited in each of two locations) and worked with the bank's HR team to manage the redeployment or exit of staff in the locations we were closing. This included getting the support of due-to-leave staff to support the transfer of knowledge to the newly recruited teams. In parallel we reviewed existing finance processes across each subsidiary of the bank to identify best-of-breed for adoption across the whole bank, reflecting also the input of external best practice.

Results
The two new service centres went live on time and to budget, delivering on both the qualitative as well as quantitative benefits that were set out in the business case. There were no major financial control issues occurring during the transition, and on completion the finance function was well positioned to support the CEO's strategy by providing financial analysis and business partner support to the new global product management teams. By adopting the shared service model., the bank was able to reach its goals much more cost effectively than if it had tried to deliver the same outputs from the legacy legal entity based finance teams.



  

Roles & Results

COMMERCIAL BANK - Consultant

(Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Enhance team collaboration in the delivery of customer services through the design and delivery of new end-to-end processes based on modern workflow software
Delivery and Achievements
Bank now has effective process management capabilities supported by efficient tools, enhancing collaboration and compliance and reducing cost and risk.


BUILDING SOCIETY - Consultant

(Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Review of commercial arrangements with supplier of core banking system, review of IT strategy, review of Business strategy
Delivery and Achievements
Assured the Board that current contract with supplier was delivering value. Identified quick win improvements in contract governance. Delivered an IT strategy / roadmap and enhanced Business strategy


GLOBAL BANK - Consultant

(Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Design and implementation of shared services for the global finance function
Delivery and Achievements
Created two regional service centres and transformed finance processes to underpin CEO's new growth strategy.


UK CHARITY - Mentor to CEO

(Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Mentor to CEO at a time of operations relocation and significant expansion
Delivery and Achievements
10 days mentoring over six months to identify and address reasons for growth pains and relocation risks. Relocation has been a success and the Board is now fully aligned with the CEO's strategy.


  

Industry Experience

  

Regional Experience

  

Articles

What do you put on the back of your business card?
I am really interested in if and how HiveMind members use the space on the back of a business card....

Finance Transformation - are we nearly there yet?
Consulting support to CFOs, helping them to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their Finance function, is proving to be...




Chris Sutton

Profile picture of Chris Sutton

@chris-_sutton

active 1 week ago