Shared Services - The Keys to Success

June 1, 1999
One of the latest buzzwords in HR is "shared services." Watson Wyatt defines shared services as the "standardization of common administrative functions and transactional processes within an organization." Call centers and intranets are prime examples.

According to Watson Wyatt, here are the keys to success of shared services, extrapolated from several blue chip companies that have gone this route:

1. Develop a compelling vision and business case. You must understand what you're trying to accomplish and why. This will help shore up support from your organization.

2. Define your architecture and build a robust technology platform. Make sure you integrate the components of employee data management, knowledge base management, self-service employee access and "back-end" sourcing solutions into your services delivery architecture. Make sure your technology can handle the shared services--now and in the future.

3. Do the process work. Understand your core processes and redefine them to fit your new services delivery model.

4. Take an integrated approach. A shared services model will impact your organization in three areas: people, process and technology. The role of each must be addressed.

5. Manage and meet expectations. As with everything else in HR, you need to measure and communicate results. Keep a scorecard of progress.

SOURCE: "Shared Services in Human Resources," Watson Wyatt, 1999.