Shared Services: Managing People in the Shared Services Equation


Shared Services: Managing People in the Shared Services Equation

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 - 10:51
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 10:46
As agencies consider the value of moving to a Shared Services model and away from the burden of maintaining their own IT, finance, legal, human resources, or procurement operations, a critical consideration is the management of people.

To achieve the potential cost savings and operational efficiencies desired, organizations must establish both an organizational structure and a governance structure that collectively support this new service delivery model.

Organizational Structure

When moving to a Shared Services model, it is imperative to establish an organizational structure that addresses clear roles and responsibilities for both the agency and the Shared Services Provider (SSP). The selected organizational structure should include multiple key considerations as described in the table below.

Key Organizational Structure Considerations in a Shared Services Model

Governance Structure

While an organizational structure provides clarity regarding allocation of specialized skills and accountability, the agency must also establish a governance structure. Agencies with decentralized or non-standardized operations must standardize service delivery as a component of moving to Shared Services. It is imperative for the agency to clearly define policy and process owners, as well as establish formal agreements to ensure the services received from the SSP meet performance standards. These Service Level Agreements (SLAs) should include:

  • Defined performance metrics such as service levels and expected response times, which will enable the SSP to set performance expectations for their workforce
  • Specific activities that the SSP will perform, including timeframes and work locations
  • Defined people, organizational structures, skills, and training required to perform the activities, and established clarity around how processes will support the delivery organization (agency)

Descriptions of services provided by the SSP should offer sufficient detail to enable alignment between the Shared Services performance measures and the agency’s strategic plan and objectives. The process of creating of a clear and detailed SLA alone adds value by increasing the two-way communication between the agency and SSP—its establishment becomes a shared effort necessary to understand what the agency’s business units have to do in order to make the end-to-end Shared Services processes work.

Coming up next

Join us next time as we discuss how to address change management when moving to a Shared Services model.

Heather NoftallHeather Noftall is a Senior Managing Consultant with more than seven years experience focusing on human resources (HR) and workforce strategies. Ms. Noftall supports public sector clients across a range of human capital management areas, including competency design and assessment, workforce and staffing analyses, and organization change management.

Heather Noftall (





Adam Jelic 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 (