Shared Services programs are increasingly expected to produce business value beyond labor arbitrage and other cost and efficiency metrics. To meet this challenge, forward-looking Business Services organizations are taking the lead in enterprise transformation. They are identifying and delivering disruptive process improvements, tapping into “horizontal” change opportunities, and extending best practice capabilities into enterprise services. Despite best efforts many business service organizations fail to reach this level of enterprise-wide impact. Short falls may result from ineffective transition management, limited focus on change management and stakeholder engagement, and lack of cultural transformation. Business services organizations that succeed in not only driving cost and efficiency improvements but also in producing business value utilize these four best practices.
First, they plan to be transformative. They develop and present an enriched business case, demonstrating strategic value and earning leadership support and buy-in. In addition to financial benefits, they present a change plan to enable innovation, drive continuous improvement, expand operating model options, develop new capabilities, and provide new talent.
Second, they develop and execute a fully integrated Transition Management program. To do this they document in scope end-to-end processes and determine which roles and activities should stay close to the business, be outsourced, or be located in shared services centers. Services leadership participates in deciding which functions and processes are transitioned to the Centers. They advocate for more end-to-end processes to be moved in rather than individual roles or activities. Critical to success is here is effective Knowledge Transfer, supported by transition management processes and tools. Leading Business Services teams have a well-developed Transition Playbook, specifying all aspects of program governance, knowledge capture, training, knowledge management, and go-live activities. Best teams conduct post go-live surveys and evaluations to make operational adjustments as needed.
Third, they effectively (over)communicate with key stakeholders about the program. Success requires anticipating resistance and proactively dealing with it early and head on. Avoid placating adversaries, delaying resolution until consequences are unavoidable. If possible, find win-wins to get past obstacles. Business Services leaders must communicate value in terms that resonate with each stakeholder. Top programs capture and communicate success stories broadly and regularly, building enterprise-wide consensus for change.
Fourth, they build a sustainable culture that is vibrant and welcoming. Ineffective transitions tend to drag along cultural baggage from the transitioning activity. Shared Services organizations need transformative cultures to produce strategic business value. They must foster employee engagement, innovation, diversity, empowerment, and accountability to attract and keep the “A team.” These mutually reinforcing cultural elements are essential, especially as the number of Millennials grows as a percentage of the overall workforce. A legacy culture can derail even the best of strategies and change plans. As they say…”culture eats strategy for lunch.”
Executing well in these four crucial areas will increase the likelihood of success. By managing change, defining and creating the desired culture, and effectively transferring knowledge, you can meet or exceed your goals and create strategic business value.
John Cassimatis | President & Co-Founder | TayganPoint | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Hunt | Senior Consultant | TayganPoint | email@example.com
Join us at this year’s Shared Services & Outsourcing Week in Orlando FL,
where TayganPoint President and Co-Founder, John Cassimatis,
will be hosting a round table on this topic.
We hope to see you there.