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Seven ways to get more value now

At Deloitte, we’ve helped some of the world’s leading companies in their efforts to deploy shared services. Here are some key lessons that we’ve learned along the way.

 Start at the top . Be sure you have clear and visible support from your organisation’s top executives. Without that strong direction, business units won’t work together and some individuals will sit on the sidelines waiting for it to all go away.

 Choose a strong leader. Deploying shared services is not for the faint of heart. In addition to significant operational challenges, you can expect a lot of resistance. It takes a strong leader to keep a shared services project on track. Choose someone who’s willing to push.

 Share the responsibility. A shared services initiative is a team effort that requires full participation from the business units, the implementation team and the new shared services function. Hold these groups accountable to foster cooperation.

 Over-communicate and over-train . Resistance to change is the single biggest obstacle for any shared services initiative. Help people overcome fear by keeping them informed. Provide top-notch training.

 Make the case. Create a rigorous business case for shared services— and keep it up to date. A strong business case establishes the project’s benefits and helps the team manage risk. It also provides a baseline for measuring progress and success.

 Focus on service quality . A good shared services model is efficient, so cost reduction is rarely a problem. When business units worry, it’s about service quality and responsiveness. To alleviate these concerns, make service delivery the top priority.

 Establish clear roles and responsibilities. The process connections between a shared services center and local operations can cause confusion at first, so it’s imperative to define roles and responsibilities early.

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