Global Business Finance

College design, development and implementation


December 2017


Claus Thorne Madsen

Design, development and implementation of a global Business Finance College to improve the business finance competencies of more than 500 Finance Business Partners located at offices across five continents.


The client – a global service provider – employs more than 500 Finance Business Partners globally and continuously receives feedback on their performance from the relevant business stakeholders.

Due to tough competition and increasing cost pressure, the client’s CFO had to make a strategic decision about the future of these finance professionals. Retaining the current number of Finance Business Partners could only be justified if their collective performance was significantly improved. This would require a culture change and a significant investment in a global approach to Business Finance as well as an extensive training programme to upgrade the competencies of the Finance Business Partners.

Having a firm belief in the value of Business Finance, the CFO chose the embark on a multi-year journey of capability building.

Business finance and finance operations


Implement Consulting Group was brought on to assist the client in the start-to-end process of designing, developing and implementing a global Business Finance training programme. In a collaborative effort spanning over 1.5 years, a joint team developed a comprehensive and tailor-made Business Finance College, including:

  • A customised Business Finance Framework, including:
    • An overarching vision for the Business Finance function, i.e. a Business Finance value proposition
    • An outline of important areas of the Business Finance impact across the client’s value chain
    • An elaborate list of potential Business Finance activities for each part of the value chain (across six activity dimensions)
    • A comprehensive competency model for the Finance Business Partner role (across 12 key competencies)
  • Bite-sized e-learning modules with training sessions building on the new competency model
  • Personalised learning journeys for each participant
  • Educational videos, explaining the Business Finance framework
  • A 4-day face-to-face training programme encompassing all elements of the competency model with training sessions conducted globally
  • Coaching sessions for all participants
  • On-the-job training exercises and cases for all participants
  • Business stakeholder feedback surveys giving input to the individual Finance Business Partners
  • Tracking of individual participant progression
  • Graduation and diploma for the participants completing the 5-6-month learning journey


Approximately 500 Finance Business Partners were trained in Business Finance competencies as part of the Business Finance College. By using these competencies, the Finance Business Partners managed to improve their average performance score (scored by their business stakeholders). Also, the Finance Business Partners managed to impact the profitability of the business through a range of business challenges that were addressed and solved as part of the programme.

Additionally, the project created impact through:
  • Aligning the understanding and expectations of Business Finance across the company
  • Upgrading the Business Finance competencies of both leaders and their teams
  • Initiating multiple new projects driven by Finance Business Partners to create value across the company