Advisory deliverers mostly positive results, driven by our focus on being client-centric, developing our people and embracing new technologies.
Our vision is to create value for our firm, our people, and our clients across Africa by delivering strategy-led, asset-backed solutions. Despite tough economic conditions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we realised this by delivering quality and value to our clients, achieving excellent people engagement, and delivering excellent performance and improved profitability across our business.
The COVID-19 pandemic posed the most significant threat to our business this year, but we adapted extremely well to the change in circumstances. We have focused on helping our teams work together and by prioritising clear and transparent communication with all stakeholders — clients, partners, and staff — we have managed to maintain the momentum of the business through all levels of the national lockdown.
We’re especially proud of how our employees have responded to the additional support. Their feedback tells us that our communication, guidance and supervision, technology, and behaviours have enabled them to remain steady, engaged, productive and positive during this difficult time. By continuing to put our purpose and values at the centre of everything we do, we will ensure the sustainability of our practice beyond COVID-19.
The quality of our work across the full range of our services is a key focus, not only in terms of how best to test, measure and enhance quality, but also the levels of investment needed to ensure our quality is at the level we and our stakeholders expect. An example of how we manage quality is our convening Project Acceptance Panels for high risk and high value projects. These assess not only the risk, commercial and strategic aspects of a project, but also our ability to deliver quality and adhere to our brand values. Another example is a quality review programme, which includes in-flight reviews conducted during the project lifecycle to proactively manage quality and identify risks to be mitigated. In the year ahead we plan to further strengthen our in-flight review process, while also closely monitoring our risk and quality performance indicators.
This year we focused on three key areas:
In the coming year we aim to further embed our Connected Execution strategy to mature the operating model and realise the benefits of a connected network of firms that realises tangible value for our clients.
We have been applying our minds to improving profitability by increasing revenue and improving engagement margins in order to increase Advisory’s contribution to the firm’s overall financial performance. We have also lowered the cost to deliver through improved partner and staff utilisation.
The year ahead will see us focusing on maturing operational excellence through increased consistency and discipline in the way we manage the business to create investment capacity and drive profitable growth.
We have continued on our digital transformation journey to enable the business to bring greater value and a better experience to our people and clients.
This coming year, Advisory will be launching a cross-business operating systems (xBOS) reporting dashboard to present information for the entire Advisory engagement life cycle. xBOS Reporting is an integrated platform that brings together data from all our underlying BOS systems — Salesforce, Oracle and Workday — to deliver near real-time reporting on a host of performance metrics
Read more about our digital transformation.
The last year has been dominated by the action we’ve taken to support and communicate with our staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation starts to normalise, we’re focusing on proactive performance management, retention of top talent and making sure our people have the right skills and tools to work optimally. We are also refining our efforts to achieve our transformation and inclusion targets by recruiting through community initiatives such as the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, mentioned earlier.
Find out more about how we are inspiring our people.
Building on the momentum of our social response to COVID-19 and our contribution to the Business for South Africa initiative, we are committed to continue sharing our expertise to bring about positive social change. We also plan to continue connecting our staff with initiatives that create meaningful societal impact in the three areas:
Read more about how we’re living our societal purpose.