As Shared Services continue to evolve, inevitably it’s the early adopters have had to learn the hardest lessons. Albeit lessons that will now allow Shared Services to be both more efficient and effective for others.
And the lessons from those for whom it has gone wrong are even more instructional than those from the few organisations that have had a smooth run.
The process of researching our report, The future of Shared Services in the Public Sector, revealed eight key points that anyone looking to implement Shared Services should keep in mind.
- Shared Services need to be aligned with the needs of its users, with a customer-first mindset and consumer grade experience
- Any initiative should focus on continuous improvement and the value that can be added, not just a focus on cost savings.
- Identify early what the benefits for the organisation will be and leadership capability needed to deliver this.
- Value the strategic importance within the SSC and develop and recruit experts to support it
- Invest in the technology to simplify transactions and create a personalised content
- Standardise processes and procedures to include a degree of flex to tailor to the service users
- Embrace the PaaS and SaaS to enable an agile organisation that can change and adapt quickly with the support of a Shared Service Centre
- Robots and AI will have an increasing role in how they interact with service users. Their ability to learn will expand and provide data to support both short-term agile and longer-term strategic actions.
This places new demands on leaders who will need to be able to:
- Create alignment around Shared Services
- Build and manage relevant capability – including customer-centricity
- Broker relationships through the SSC and the organisation’s core business
- Analyse data, gain insight to develop a strategic direction for the SCC
- Develop brand and culture for the SSC
- Monitor the benefits post-transformation
- Focus on ROI and not cost and clarify how success will be measured
All this and more is covered in more detail in our report The future of Shared Services in the Public Sector, including an explanation of the difference between Shared Service Centres and Centralisation.
Although written specifically for the Public Sector, there are lessons of value to any leader looking to introduce Shared Services.