Creating Services in a Collaborative Environment
The current state of public finances means that the sector needs to urgently and actively consider redesigning services and deploying new delivery models. Challenging the fundamental nature and scope of the services being provided is key.
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The economic climate has resulted in a greater emphasis on collaboration between organisations providing public services and support. Unfortunately the results of collaboration and shared services have left a lot to be desired and the push for greater effectiveness and efficiency has not always resulted in benefits for the organisations involved, for the UK tax payer or for the service user. There are a number of reasons for this, despite the plethora of methodologies and structures aimed at delivering a successful outcome.
Most of these methodologies and structures focus on what could be described as the ‘hard’ elements of service development – finance, organisational structure and process. But something is going wrong – the failure rate is high.
Research shows that new collaborations and shared services often fail to focus on their core fundamental and driving purpose – providing services to individual customers – leading to disappointment and ultimately to failure. Too often, it appears that such developments, whether it is designing a new organisational structure, developing new capabilities or innovating, focus on process and structure rather than on the most important component – people.
Perhaps it is time to take an alternative view of the elements that lead to success when creating and launching new collaborations and shared services; one that takes as its main focus the people on the receiving end.
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Details of licensing arrangements for other categories of purchaser, which includes those organisations operating shared service arrangements, are available from CIPFA’s Publications Department.
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