Ready for IFRS17: Set your programme and people up for success

17 March 2021

by Katie Paton Director, PwC United Kingdom

Email +44 (0)7739 874071

A successful IFRS17 implementation requires organisation-wide changes, including for your people. These three questions will help set you up for success.

  1. Does your programme have a clear vision and defined roles?
  2. How does your programme structure incorporate new ways of working?
  3. How will you ensure your finance function is fit for dry runs, for transition, to manage parallel running and reduce disruption to BAU?

Does your programme have a clear vision and defined roles?

IFRS17 changes affect your organisation, operating model, ways of working and your people. It is crucial that your programme is set up for success.

The first factor to success is vision - a clear goal and success criteria. Whether you are making incremental changes or undertaking a finance function transformation, you need a common understanding of what you are looking to achieve.

Next, decision making. Change programmes fail when decisions are made on behalf of the business and as a result, unravel amid business as usual (BAU) working. Consider your key stakeholders and be transparent on what you need from them, and where the business need to input into the design.

Finally, communication. Ensure everyone understands what the programme is looking to achieve, their role and where to go for help. This is especially important with teams working virtually - some people may feel more siloed than usual so establish open lines of communication.     

How does your programme structure incorporate new ways of working?

Once implemented, previously siloed teams will need to collaborate and work together across the IFRS17 reporting cycle. Look at how the transition itself can support knowledge sharing between teams.

This may feel challenging while we are still operating in a virtual world. Your people may be feeling significant change fatigue with lost face-to-face contact hard to replicate. Plan virtual engagement activities to break down silos and drive productivity, as well act as a springboard for knowledge sharing. Consider how your people feel; support networks across teams can also improve adoption of the change.

How will you ensure your finance function is fit for dry runs, for transition, to manage parallel running and reduce disruption?

Managing change alongside the day job is difficult and individuals need to feel supported. As with any change programme, be clear on the key priorities and communicate these to your people. Be certain of the outcomes you are looking to achieve across critical BAU activity and programme ‘dry runs’ to prepare the organisation for parallel reporting. This will require the following:

  • Be clear on roles and responsibilities - look out for potential single points of failure for running and managing BAU, and drive responsibility for managing the outcomes of ‘dry runs’.
  • Manage your resourcing pool effectively - look at dependencies around individuals required to run BAU who are key to the project. You may require additional resources and capacity in the short to medium term to support them.
  • Drive knowledge transfers - use dry runs as a way to drive knowledge transfers between the project and your teams, as well as between teams; get them involved at early stages to get up to speed.
  • Get ‘Test and Learn’ slots in the diary - agree how you want to get feedback and update processes after the dry run.
  • Celebrate success - it won’t be perfect, focus on what has been achieved and what the next actions are.
  • Listen - provide a platform to voice feedback and escalate any issues.

The organisational changes needed for IFRS17 can revolutionise your ways of working and drive collaboration. Make the most of the remaining time to get your business ready and set up your change programme for success.

We are here to help - please get in touch if you would like to discuss further.

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by Katie Paton Director, PwC United Kingdom

Email +44 (0)7739 874071

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