Accenture's report earlier this month did a good job in advancing the debate about shared services. By comparison, Deloitte's latest shared services insights disappoint. It's a commendable report - but it kind of misses the point.
Overlook the waffle and the sloppy thinking: Accenture's report does nail the essential truth - that a service management framework is vital for sustainable success:
There needs to be a “system around the system” that includes the people, discipline in procedures, communications, service expectations, performance measurement and key cross-functional processes, such as continuous improvement and client relationship management. It’s this broader shared services system around the system— which Accenture calls the service management framework—that sets shared services organizations that have achieved high performance apart from those with a sub-optimized centralized service delivery model. The service management framework is the keystone...
I've argued elsewhere that Accenture needs to go further and recognize that the service management framework for shared services, in its best developed and most valuable form, is the business process management platform at the heart of the enterprise.
But, that qualification aside, the idea of the service management framework is a crucial advance and deserves to be adopted. It provides the context by which we can understand that Deloitte's latest list of worthy insights - on the importance of change management, IT alignment, governance and enhanced controls - are in fact all inter-related. And jointly soluble, once we frame this correctly.
13 Oct 2011 Placing A Big Bet On Global Shared Services
07 Oct 2011 Accenture: What's Holding Back Shared Services