Many NFPs who entered into shared services arrangements observed that change management is a critical ‘part of the puzzle’ that could have benefited from more attention. Regardless of the size of the organisation or the model of shared services, careful and proactive change management will help to ensure that the potential benefits of sharing back-of-house services are achieved.
A robust change management approach is important for the successful implementation of shared services and will enable NFPs to realise the potential cost-efficiencies and benefits of shared services. It also:
- enables maximum stakeholder buy-in
- acts as a checklist to ensure you are on track
- can be used as a communication vehicle to keep everyone informed of progress
- builds change management competence that will help in future changes
- minimises the disruption of day to day activities.
The approach to change management outlined in Figure 9 below provides the robust framework for successful transitions to shared services. The approach sets out the journey of change that is required to make the change stick. The key steps associated with successful change management aim to increase involvement and ownership of the change over time.
Prior to engaging with the wider organisation, it is essential to have a clearly established plan. Having a commonly understood direction and set of goals will reduce the propensity for confusion and fear of what the change will bring to the organisation. This will involve a rigorous business case and implementation plan that sets out the costs to implement and anticipated benefits.
The overarching aim of managing change is to establish open communication around the rationale for change and a constructive forum for voicing concerns.