Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 - 13:11
Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 12:58
On October 6, 2010 the Technology CEO Council (TCC), chaired by IBM Chairman Sam Palmisano, met White House officials to present a plan to save the federal government $1 trillion over a 10-year period. One of these initiatives was a move to cross-agency Shared Services for mission support activities. Using the definition of an opportunity as a framework, this blog outlines how one can determine if a Shared Services opportunity is valid or not.
When I first started consulting, I learned that four things needed to be in place to have a valid business opportunity. These four things are:
- A business problem—The customer has a problem that is causing pain.
- A triggering event—Something has happened or will definitely happen in the future that motivates the customer to act.
- Funding—The customer has or will have the money necessary to pay for services, software, and/or hardware that will solve the problem.
- A solution—A proven, efficient, and effective solution exists that can solve the problem.
So how does this apply to Shared Services? The rest of this blog will outline each aspect of an opportunity and demonstrate how they relate to a Federal Shared Services opportunity.
Government organizations realize that they are spending too much for typical business functions such as finance, human resources, procurement, and information technology. Their technology is outdated and not shared between departments. Customers—in this case, employees—are dissatisfied with the services provided because processes take too long, are too dependent on paper, and lack employee self-service options that could help them avoid having to repeatedly enter common background information, such as names and addresses. Compounding these issues, a strong governance process has not been implemented, resulting in senior managers being involved with day-to-day tasks rather than focusing on more strategic activities such as policy-making and strategy development.
You only have to pay a bit of attention to today’s events to understand that the U.S. Government is spending beyond its means and needs to take significant money-saving actions. The Obama administration is under tremendous pressure to make government more efficient and effective—and to cut our nation’s debt and deficit. On October 6, 2010 the Technology CEO Council (TCC), chaired by IBM Chairman Sam Palmisano, met with White House officials to present a plan to save the Federal government $1 trillion over a 10-year period.
The ultimate promise of Shared Services is that it offers significant savings through more efficient and effective staffing, technology implementation, and process streamlining. Four U.K. government case studies suggest that agencies can achieve 20–30% savings by moving to a Shared Services model. But these are future savings. A Federal agency needs to have seed money of roughly $150–200K in order to begin its transformation to a Shared Services model. My experience with the Department of Defense indicates that money not spent at the end of the fiscal year typically provides enough funding to start these projects.
A Shared Services solution typically involves taking repetitive and common processes such as payroll, purchasing, budgeting, hiring, onboarding, benefits management, and learning out of the separate Business Units and moving them into a Shared Services Center (SSC), freeing up the Business Units to spend more time performing higher-value-added tasks. This transition allows the SSC to achieve improved efficiencies and economies of scale while providing a high level of service to the enterprise. Typical SSCs have a dedicated management team, applying a vigorous governance process and leveraging modern systems and technology. The majority of Fortune 500 companies have successfully deployed SSCs.
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Mr. Ron Sticinski is a Senior Project Manager, Learning Professional, and Technology Consultant in the Global Business Services Group of IBM Global Services. He has extensive experience working with the IBM software stack including IBM WebSphere Application and Portal Servers, FileNet, and Lotus Sametime. Mr. Sticinski has worked closely with clients in the Department of Defense as well as commercial clients from a variety of industries.
He is a Certified Consultant and Learning Professional at IBM, a Project Management Professional®, and a Registered Professional Engineer with the state of Virginia. .
Ron Sticinski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Adam Jelic has over 18 years of Business Transformation and Information Technology experience. He has deep expertise across several industries including financial, industrial, communications, and the public sector. Mr. Jelic has led large and complex programs including Strategic Business planning, Shared Services, Enterprise Infrastructure, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and Customer Relationship Management.
He has an excellent track record of delivering successful programs for Fortune 50 firms and government agencies in the United States and Canada.
Adam Jelic (email@example.com)