When I wake up in the morning, my first thought generally is: oh no, not this again. But many of you will wake up pondering: is it time to think seriously about shared services?
Well, an excellent tool has arrived to help you probe this very possibility – and it’s free!
Launched by Socitm and Eduserv, a not-for-profit partner for public and third sector organisations, the Readiness Assessment for a Shared service Programme (RASP) is now live – and it can help you better prepare for your potential IT shared service programmes.
The free-to-use strategic planning tool can help you to understand your organisation’s readiness to collaborate with others in a shared service programme – and can also be used as a ‘health-check’ or to assess the inclusion of a new partner in an existing shared service.
Conceived by independent digital consultant Jos Creese, and developed in partnership with Socitm, RASP has been created with the input and insight of around 50 senior level decision makers from local authorities who have been involved in delivering shared service programmes.
The tool assesses your readiness for shared services by going through a set of in-depth diagnostic questions in five areas:
- Shared vision – the extent to which there is wider buy-in for the planned project, political backing, a detailed understanding of what will be shared and agreement on which areas of best practice will be absorbed in the partnership
- Ethos and cultures – looking at structure, identity, skills and who will lead in specific areas of the shared services
- Treatment of resources – understanding and agreeing which assets, costs and benefits will be shared
- Risk management – reviewing existing IT estate, skills and contracts and mapping out capacity for change
- Governance – covering success measures, leadership and decision models, legal basis for work
After you’ve completed the assessment, you’re given a score in each element and a map highlighting your organisation’s strength and weakness – helping you to comprehend any gaps which need further preparatory work in your shared service planning.
Natasha Veenendaal, Programme Manager for the Eduserv Executive Briefing Programe, said: ‘Shared services are already common across the public sector and in the future it is unlikely that local authorities can function unless they work more collaboratively with neighbouring service providers.
In our work with local authorities, the Executive Briefing Programme has uncovered many potential pitfalls to be overcome throughout the lifecycle of a shared service programme. This readiness assessment tool uses that insight to provide a diagnostic aid which demonstrates and quantifies risks and potential issues that require further scrutiny or care during a shared service programme.’
Martin Ferguson, Socitm’s Director of Policy and Research, added: ‘Shared services is an important topic for Socitm. As more local authorities engage in partnerships, there are many pitfalls to be overcome and opportunities to be had. It’s important for citizens that these partnerships succeed and time and money is well spent.
‘The assessment tool has been developed to help councils understand these pitfalls and opportunities better and mitigate the risks.’
Don’t delay: click here to access RASP and start your shared service journey now.