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Several themes coalesced during the Summit that can serve as guidance to government shared services practitioners as they continue on their path to public service transformation.
Public sector and education leaders experiencing the immediate pressure of a fiscal crisis and the effects of major global economic and social changes are increasingly turning to shared services to drive reform. As their government shared services models have matured, they are realizing the public service transformation benefits of significant cost reductions, as well as improved processing time, increased transparency and a new focus on customer service.
But even as government shared services gains broader understanding and acceptance, common issues arise that can hamper further progress. The Public Sector and Education Shared Services Summit was developed by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and Leadership for a Networked World in collaboration with Accenture to bring together senior public, private, and education sector shared services practitioners to jointly address these public service transformation issues.
This executive summary highlights key Summit themes, sessions, workshops and lessons learned by those who participated in this incredible learning opportunity.
Public sector and education leaders today feel the strain of fiscal crisis and the long-term impact of a worldwide economic and social shift. These global dynamics are compounded by challenges closer to home—opportunities presented by aging populations and retirement, the emergence and demands of the “Millennial Generation,” and robust new forms of technology and networks like social media and cloud computing. This has sparked a wave of reform based on more efficient, effective and transparent government, and collaboration through government shared services has been a pathway to public service transformation.
The Summit theme for 2012, Pathways to Transformation, was developed to address this reformation. During the event, five areas of public service transformation were examined through case studies, shared experiences, peer-to-peer problem-solving sessions and workshops:
Gaining stakeholder support – What does it take to get a diverse array of stakeholders’ support?
Financing the operation and enterprise – How do you secure the funds to get off the ground or expand? How do you determine the right pricing models?
Managing services lines – How do you build and pace a service portfolio to maximize the impact on return on investment?
Collaborating across boundaries – How can you coordinate, merge, contract or create a new entity across jurisdictional and organizational lines?
Measuring and managing performance – What are the metrics and analytic capabilities needed to measure, manage and communicate results to build and sustain high-performance shared services?
Summit sessions were focused on three key audiences—the Federal Government, State and Local Government, and Higher Education. Their stories demonstrated government shared services challenges and public service transformation successes.
Keynote speaker Teri Takai, CIO of the US Department of Defense, described her personal journey to achieve strong government shared services leadership. “Teri’s Top Ten” lessons learned included engaging stakeholders early, finding ways to deliver tomorrow’s solutions with today’s people, and avoiding the “Grand Plan.”
Bill Kuntz, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), shared his organization’s journey through public service transformation, including the visioning, launching and growing stages of government shared services. By engaging TDLR employees early in the process, the agency was able to standardize its shared services successfully for new client agencies, resulting in $20.4 million saved in cumulative fee reductions since 2004.
Indiana University’s Jim Kennedy discussed his experience preparing the University for shared services transformation. The lessons he learned include the importance of effective and ongoing communication, gaining employee buy-in, training and keeping up morale.
The 2012 Public Sector and Education Shared Services Summit brought together senior public, private and education sector executives to learn from each other’s experiences. As these leaders are moving forward with government shared services as a strategic imperative, they shared their challenges and some of their most successful strategies and tactics along their progression to public service transformation.
As leaders move forward with government shared services as a strategic imperative, their strategies and tactics of implementation highlight the different Pathways to Transformation. Participants left the Summit with new ideas to apply, as well as some new challenges to explore on their journey to public service transformation.
October 25, 2012
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