First Steps to Developing a Shared Services Strategy
By Erin Sherman
What is shared services–and how can I get started with leveraging a shared-services business model in my organization? If you are asking yourself these questions, you are not alone.
At The Clearing, we work with leaders who struggle to determine whether shared services would benefit their organization, and, if so, how to realize those benefits. Some have heard buzz about shared services following the General Services Administration’s recent formation of the Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement and the issuance of the President’s Management Agenda. Others are looking for cost-savings opportunities.
Shared services is a business model that allows organizations to focus on their core services by transitioning the delivery of non-core services to business partners. Many companies and government agencies that leverage shared services are realizing savings, creating efficiencies, and increasing the quality of services.
Through our work at The Clearing, we’ve found that the first step to developing a shared-services strategy is to establish a shared perspective of the current state of service delivery for your organization. This often includes interviewing stakeholders, developing a list of current services, reviewing service performance metrics, and conducting market research. You can also take The Clearing’s Shared Services Readiness Assessment to help determine your organization’s readiness to adopt a shared-services business model.
It is important to keep in mind that the shared-services model is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. If your goal is to create efficiencies, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every non-mission-focused service should become a shared service. Instead, it is critical to be intentional about which services are transitioned to a shared-services business model and which services are retained.
Therefore, it is important for leaders to establish a shared intent by aligning around which services are ready for migration to a shared-services business model. It is beneficial to determine the fewest, most important services to prioritize for the initial shift to shared services. Additionally, as leaders prepare for the transition, implementing effective communication, risk management, and governance processes are critical so stakeholders can anticipate and overcome barriers to success.
Only when leaders have a shared perspective of their current state and a shared intent regarding which services to transition to a shared-services business model should they take action to implement their strategy.
Interested in discussing how you can develop a shared services strategy for your organization? Continue the conversation by contacting us.