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10 Ways to Advance and Enhance Global Process Ownership

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Sharedserviceslink ran its annual Global Process Owner Summit last month, September 2017. The focus was: How to become the Lord of the process. Here are 10 learnings from the event.

1.Help or Hinder?

Is the organizational set-up helping or hindering the delivery of the GPO’s designs? Once GPOs have designed the future processes and improvements, will the operation be tightly aligned, so that the transition to delivery is flawless? It’s well worth examining reporting lines (do design and implementation and service delivery report into the same person, or different people with different agendas?), and how the GPO and service delivery are measured.

2. Sell

You might be struggling to get budget because people don’t “get it.” — and they don’t get it because they’re not aware of the problem or the solution, or how either affects them. This can mean GPOs get stuck in a vicious cycle, and stagnate. Breaking out of this rut starts by listening to people’s issues, and “selling” the GPO dream in a way that resonates with their core issues. This builds value, and initiates change.

3. Work the System

The GPO role is political. We are not shared services directors who can enforce change. We need to be influencers. Know your circle of influence and identify who holds sway, and work the political system to drive change.

4. Spot the Value

Watch your deliverables on many levels. Some GPOs talk about how the role is like changing the wheels while the bus is still moving — being in survival mode might be unavoidable in this environment. If you can, try and keep one eye on surviving, the other eye on standardization (for the future), and your proverbial third eye on delivering value. Order to Cash GPO Nick Redman made sure his deliverables slotted into the needs of Astra Zeneca and the company’s quest for cash generation.

5. Shorten the J Curve

If you are a GPO and have had no change management training, look to remedy this. GPOs are constantly pushing people through different stages of the J curve of change (denial, anger, acceptance), and the idea is to make the journey through this curve as quick and as painless (shallow) as possible. Being adept in the art of change management will help you drive change elegantly. DHL GPOs are investing in this.

6. The Fraud and Waste Metric

During Dan French’s session, we heard how fraud and waste typically guzzles up 5 – 6.5% of revenue. Process improvement should help decrease this. If it’s not, why isn’t it?  Find out what this fraud and waste metric is in your organization, and look to reduce it.

7. Technology Sign Off

GPOs are being held back by protracted approval processes. A recent sharedserviceslink study found that 95% of the GPOs had to go higher up the tree to get sign off, even if they were buying a solution less than £50,000. This needs to change, so GPOs can move through the continuous improvement cycle quicker. Automation in many companies should be a given, and it’s not.

8. The Robots

A poll run during the Summit illustrated that 50% of GPOs are working with RPA programs or pilots. Some say RPA shouldn’t lead your digital strategy, and others say RPA is so game-changing, with the potential to be so dominant, it can’t help but lead the digital strategy for most organizations. Either way, know how RPA can automate your processes.

9. But be Careful!

Make sure the processes you roboticize are “good.” Robots accelerate processes, so if your processes are bad, then bad things will happen very quickly.

10. Elevator Pitch

Make sure your company understands the GPO role, and the value you bring. Really importantly, make sure you know what value you bring. Define it, articulate it, and even get it baked into a mission statement, so it rolls off the tongue if ever you are asked in the elevator, “What do you do?” 

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