The National Academy of Public Administration has posted key takeaways from a conference it recently held on shared services. These are:
“Absence of the “voice of the customer” is a consistent failure in the implementation of shared services. Most shared services experiences were top down, with little or no consideration of the needs of the ultimate consumers.
“Size matters. Small agency needs (EEOC) are much different than large agency needs (DHS), but there is frequently no distinction made when implementing inter-agency shared services plans.
“Mission requirements come first. Any shared services plans that negatively affect mission capabilities are a non-starter. Examples include hiring highly technical talent at an S&T agency or impinging on DoD armed services HR functions.
“The different “flavors” of shared services are not known to consumers of shared services. The three categories of shared services in the PMA were new to most participants and it is evident that an education effort is required.
“The PMA is seen as a positive way to implement shared services. A long-term effort to implement shared services that is consistent with the goal of modernizing federal government processes was perceived as a good rationale for shared services.
“There are “quick wins” that could be accomplished in the very short term. These included burn centers, shuttle services, etc.”