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Keywords: shared services, finance shared servies, starting shared services, centralizing finance, centralising finance, transition to shared services, pilot programs
Blog Post | 6 December 2012
Author: Sarah Feurey
In triathlons, it’s not just about the performance in the pool, on the bike and on the run – it’s also about having efficient transitions. Analogous to shared services, the transition is an extremely important element of ensuring the success of your shared services.
Earlier this year, I attempted my first sprint triathlon. While I had spent hours swimming, cycling and running to get in shape, I hadn’t really given the transitions much thought. On the day I ended up flustered in the transition, digging around my kit bag and double checking if I forgot things. As a result I was about 2.5 minutes slower than average in the first transition. If you consider how hard it is to cut 2.5 minutes off your time in the other stages of the event, it’s a frustrating way to lose time – but a good lesson for next time.
When moving to a shared service model or centralizing functions – the transition is crucial. Just like in a triathlon, a poor transition can cancel out the benefits of all the other hard work you have been doing to prepare.
In preparing the move to shared services, you will spend lots of time building the business case, gaining buy-in, designing processes and road-mapping the project. Don’t underestimate how difficult the transition might be.
People will need to get used to new ways of working – so they will need to understand why the changes are happening, what exactly is going to happen, and when, and what they should do if things go wrong. Exercises such as pilot programs, roadshows, training sessions alongside sufficient resource and excellent communication can help you ensure success in transition, and in the long run.
Better preparation, run-throughs and trials can help ensure you don’t undo your hard work.
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