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Change Management for Shared Services and BPO, Part 1
Change management is a critical part of any project that leads, manages and enables people to accept new processes, technologies, systems, structures and values. It's the set of activities that helps people transition from their present way of working to the desired way of working. The focus of change management is to address the people and organizational factors that will both drive and obstruct change throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of any change initiative is to ensure everyone in the organization is ready, willing, and able to appropriately perform their role in the new environment.
This series of articles provides guidance on change management for organizations that are specifically undertaking or contemplating a shared service or business process management (BPO) initiative.
Why Do Change Management?
Establishing new policies, procedures and processes is not sufficient on its own to ensure successful organizational transformation. Research shows that over 80 percent of projects fail when 'organization transition issues' aren't addressed. When people aren't adequately prepared, some will deny or resist the change.
People's reactions to change vary according to:
Therefore, it's critical to understand, plan for and implement necessary, practical steps to support people through the transition.
Effective change management and communication reduces risk and potential costs, and it increases the likelihood of successful transition and a positive relationship between the services provider and the retained functions.
However, it's not a magic bullet: It cannot compensate for a shaky business case, a poorly thought out project plan or poor design of the future state of the organization, its processes and/or systems.
What Changes with Shared Services and BPO?
Typically in a shared services and/or BPO program there are two main things that change:
Transition and Transformation
For the purposes of this series of articles, transition is defined as the program of work required to finalize the design, manage the procurement and build and implement the agreed multifunctional shared service or BPO. Transformation is defined as the activities required to align and improve the work of the retained HR and finance functions in each department and also to provide a program office support to manage both the transition and transformation activities. The key activities are shown in the next section.
What Changes with Shared Services?
The typical changes that happen in a transition to shared services or BPO include the following:
Changes experienced by current staff:
Changes experienced by staff in new shared services organization:
Transformation of the Retained Function Typical Changes:
Changes experienced by retained staff:
Changes experienced by users (managers and employees):
Transition and Transformation Activities
Transition to Shared Services or BPO:
Transformation of Retained Organization
In next month's article, we'll discuss the challenges for change management and provide a framework for managing change within your organization.
Alsbridge's "The Practitioner's Guide to Shared Services and BPO" (links to four guides on the topic).
"Volume Three, Change Management," in PDF form:
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