Why should accountants learn Scrum techniques?

It’s interesting for me to reflect on why I decided to learn about Scrum. It was 2015 and I was a fresh AGSM MBA graduate, who got a tap on the shoulder by my then mentor Lourdes Duggineni, who asked me the question every person who completes a major goal in their life should ask themselves:

So, what’s next?

That question led me on a journey of solving some pretty complex problems and discovering a world I would never have thought existed – the world of Agile. 

Historically, as Accountants, we rarely got the opportunity to work differently, to think outside “last year’s file” or challenge the status quo. Because, our world hasn’t changed for circa 500 hundred years. Sure, we’ve had digital transformations, investments in new accounting systems and automation. However, the way we think and hence, work – hasn’t fundamentally changed from tradition. There hasn’t been much of a reason to do so in the past. 

But here is the thing – if you pick up any accounting magazine (I strongly recommend Acuity, but I’m a CA, so a tad biased), read the Financial Review or watch any innovation programs like That Startup Show, which is my personal favourite talking about innovation today – you will see that if we don’t change the way we work right now, we will be outdated. 

So, why Agile? And why specifically Scrum?

Scrum is a framework which allows you to solve complex problems. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to do stand-ups in plank positions or spend hours on retrospectives. This is a way of working you use when you need to solve a complex problem – something you haven’t done before like dealing with a pandemic, roll out of a new accounting tool or the more common – the roll out of a brand new accounting standard. 

This is a framework which reduces your risk, while increasing the value of your deliverable. It allows you to mobilise fast, bring in who you need fast and then just as fast go back to your BAU through using Kanban. 

Now if you look to our Tech, Marketing and HR counterparts – they have been on the Agile journey for many more years than us and have reaped the benefits of this way of working for a lot longer. As we don’t speak their lingo (and they don’t speak ours), how can we possibly claim to be the Business Finance Partners we are trying to position ourselves as? 

It’s time to fix this. In the next few months, in partnership with Chartered Accountants ANZ, AxisAgile and Project Accounting Australia will be running a series of workshops, which will open your mind to frameworks like Cynefin, Kanban, Scrum and business Agility. These will be limited to 15 people per virtual workshop on a first come first serve basis. 

To not miss out on this limited opportunity, click here to register