In all my years of working experience in IT, as a project manager and now as CIO, I have found that the best CFOs I’ve ever worked with can be very difficult sometimes, but at the same time, they can also be the best ally you have. Let me explain.
This is because when they are being difficult, they are doing it for a very good reason: they know how to ask all the right questions to make sure that the financial, compliance and legal bases are covered (where the company doesn’t have legal counsel to fall back on), and to make sure that all the operating costs and project costs are correctly planned and estimated.
Once you can take your project proposal to the CFO and answer all their questions, they will be on your side when you take it to the CEO or steering committee for review and approval.
Having the CFO on your side is a very strong endorsement to management that your project has been planned meticulously and covered from all angles. They are like your second set of “radar” in case anything can go wrong (and every project will have things you couldn’t anticipate for.)
This rotating door at SMRT with their CFOs, with an ex-army CEO, really only shows how clueless the CEO and his masters are. This is a case of “people want to help you but you are just too incompetent to be helped.”
Can you imagine, if we actually went to war with this clown in charge, someone who cannot work with his “senior officers”, what the outcome will be?