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To achieve high performance by delivering better service to its citizens at reduced cost, the Queensland Government teamed with Accenture to transfer its HR functions to a shared services model. This has freed up administrative resources for programs that support its social and economic priority areas.
The government of Queensland, Australia, is one of the organizations at the leading edge of enhancing citizen value. In February 2003, the government began a wide-ranging initiative, creating shared services centers to support a number of back-office functions—including finance, procurement and human resources. The goal was to add efficiency to back-office functions and redirect resources from these largely administrative activities to programs that support the government's priorities.
As part of this larger initiative, the Queensland Government undertook an HR business solutions project in which common business processes and systems were implemented to support recruitment, workforce management, HR and payroll information, performance planning and development, and workplace health and safety.
Accenture's expertise in this area is embodied by the Accenture Public Sector Value (PSV) Model, which is a diagnostic tool that helps public managers quantify and steer their organizations' ability to deliver outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
Accenture was selected from an open market tender by a government panel.
Accenture's initial role was to develop detailed business requirements for new HR systems that would support Queensland's complete "hire-to-retire" HR processes. To do this, the Accenture team worked closely with five separate agencies to draft detailed business requirements for the new system. Accenture subsequently undertook an extensive consultation process with all 28 agencies to validate and gather additional requirements unique to each agency. These requirements were then synthesized to create an exhaustive list of requirements, each of which was prioritized as mandatory, highly desirable or desirable.
Once the detailed requirements of the new system were finalized, the Queensland Government solicited bids from a short list of technology vendors. From those proposals, the government selected a bundle of applications including SAP, Workbrain, RecruitASP and Saba.
Once it had selected this suite of products, the Queensland Government engaged Accenture to undertake the implementation planning phase of the project. Accenture was also selected as the Government's partner for this implementation phase, including solution design, build, test and rollout. The pilot implementation for HR functionality was rolled out to the first agency in March 2007, with subsequent implementations set to be deployed over the next two years.
The sheer scope of this project is impressive. In fact, Accenture estimates that it represents the biggest government SAP implementation to ever occur in the Southern Hemisphere. The initiative is enabling Queensland Government to make its desired shift to the shared services model—and reduce its costs in the process. In fact, the initiative is expected to deliver an annual savings of approximately $80 million in operating costs, largely from increased efficiencies and the standardization of HR processes.
This saved money will be reinvested in ways that will tangibly and visibly improve the services the Government offers its customers—the citizens of the state—in critical areas such as health, education and justice. Beyond such quantifiable benefits, the initiative is expected to improve employee performance management, create a more positive and professional working environment and enable the HR function to more easily accommodate its changing demands. Taken together, these advances will help Queensland move ever closer to its goal of high-performance government.
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