CFOs and Tech Special Feature part 1: Fedgroup CFO balancing work and home

Fedgroup CFO Sheldon Friedericksen says that technology gives him the power to balance competing interests.

Today, technology is deeply entrenched in almost all aspects of our lives. Planning a trip? Use a GPS app to plot the route, or check in for your flights on your phone. Going for a run? Fire up your wearable activity tracker. Delivering the monthly reporting? Take a deep dive into your figures with analytics and visualization software.

Kate Ferreira asked five CFOs about the most useful applications or types of technologies in their lives, both professionally and personally, and discovered it's not all about the newest, latest, and greatest tech on the planet, but rather how these tools and innovations are integrating into their days, unlocking insight, and - figuratively and literally - keeping the lights on.

CFO or Fedgroup Sheldon Friedericksen agrees that the power of technology in both spheres - work and home - or his life, allow him the flexibility to balance these seemingly competing interests. "Technology in my personal life enable my career, especially in times of tight deadlines and in the role of being a key stakeholder in the business," he says.

Advances and new technologies (such as video calling and collaborating on screen sharing on Skype calls) has also greatly expanded the reach of existing tech. “This allows me to work remotely, not miss out on time or events with my family, and still collaborate on work required with colleagues at the office. Conversely, I can still be a part of moments with my family through video calling, while working and meeting those deadlines. ”

His key software for task management, or 'life organization', include tools like Asana or Trello - both of which use list-based interfaces to organize projects, and helps him to ensure there is nothing he's left undone or any aspect of planning that is going unnoticed.

In his professional life, he also relies on gamification and “dashboarding of key metrics in the business”. Gamification is the application of game-type elements (like points, competition between people and teams, and clear rules of engagement) to non-gaming activities, including functions and process in the workplace.

At Fedgroup, gamification is used both from “a financial performance perspective,” he explains, as well as within, “operational factors that have risk implications for the business.”

“We have gamified our entire business, with a virtual world representing the successes and failures of our business, based on the performance and strategic targets that we have created as a company within each functional area. The virtual world suffers if these targets are not achieved, and it flourishes when these targets are achieved, ”says Sheldon.

“We have linked this to short-term incentives for individuals, teams and the company as a whole. This ensures that at any point, in real time, I can get a snapshot of the business, see where assistance may be required, and where risks may be that require management action. This allows me to act proactively, ensuring that the risk is managed before it actually emerges. ”

Read more: CFOs and Tech Special Feature part 2: Afrimat CFO on running your life and work globally