Every enterprise needs one; here’s why
Ask a dozen different financial advisors to define practice management and you’re guaranteed to get a dozen similar but different definitions. Some will define it through the lens of marketing and client acquisition. Others will focus on the client service experience. And a few will frame it in terms of the ability to streamline and systematize processes and procedures.
Without a clear universal definition, however, it’s pretty much impossible to successfully operationalize your enterprise’s practice management. After all, how can you direct what you can’t define? At ClientWise, we ascribe to the following definition of practice management:
“The optimization of a firm’s processes, procedures, services or solutions that empowers increased growth, decreased risk and/or greater value for both clients and owners.”
This is the benchmark we used when developing the seven essential areas of our ClientWise Professional Advisory Model™ (PAM): Organizing Priorities; Client Engagement; Client Acquisition Strategy; Marketing Approach; Team Development; Professional Advocate Network; and Business and Operations Management. After years of extensive research and working with top performers across the country, we discovered that these are the practice management elements most critical to achieving success.
Role and responsibilities
Given the fairly wide scope of practice management, clearly no one person can handle all aspects of directing your firm’s efforts around every related effort, but you do need to have a single Practice Management Champion (PMC) – someone who’s charged with staying focused on the big picture and “keeping the trains running on schedule.”
While the specific responsibilities of this individual will inevitably vary from enterprise to enterprise, they will likely encompass many (if not most) of the following duties:
- Facilitating 360○ communication and prioritization between firm leaders and team members
- Managing the team’s continuous performance management process
- Monitoring professional development plans and progress
- Overseeing compensation plan execution and annual review/revisions
- Defining OKRs and keeping the team on track with timelines and deliverables
- Leveraging software and technology to create reporting structures that provide leaders and team members with data needed to achieve desired outcomes
- Developing coordinated execution plans for new initiatives
- Managing business plan updates and communication of the plan
- Managing budget process and timeline; analyzing budget performance and recommending adjustments
- Identifying and addressing gaps in team workflow process; managing workflow documentation
- Ensuring execution on leadership’s plan to deliver one meaningful team development event (educational, entertainment, team bonding, team appreciation, holiday celebration)
- Scheduling annual team retreat and presenting agenda to leadership team
- Attending monthly PMC webinars and quarterly workshops hosted by ClientWise
Your PMC is the key individual who will oversee the guiding practice management principles of your enterprise – making sure that the actions you and your employees take are all in service of one or more of the foundational goals of driving growth, mitigating risk or enhancing practice value. So, choose him or her wisely and empower them to keep your business focused on what matters most. Download and task them with this exercise - the ClientWise Professional Advisory Model (PAM)™ and Keep-Stop-Start Exercise™
Coaching Questions from this article:
- Who is the individual within your firm who would be best suited to serve as your organization’s Practice Management Champion?
- Given the current state of your business, what are the 3-5 greatest practice management opportunities and/or concerns that you would like to address?
- What steps can you take to empower your PMC to make meaningful organizational changes going forward?
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