Quarkside

26/01/2011

Shared Services Swamp

There are fewer partnerships formed in the public sector than might be expected for maximum efficiency. Part of the problem is that partners have to start building partnerships from scratch. It is like a fresh learning exercise and many fail by missing some factors that are critical to success. People need to understand and document the risks from the very beginning.

It was a continuous thread in the latest Government ICT Conference (Jan 26th 2011).  Ample evidence from case studies from HMRC, DCMS, DCLG, Cabinet Office, Leeds, Kent and Herefordshire showed that different approaches can produce huge benefits.  But they all used ‘s’ word (standards with a small s).  We were informed that the Government is spending more time deprecating standards than publishing them. Improving outcomes is the target, interoperability is seen as key – and the Information Commissioner will not get in the way of data sharing.

Even though most agencies will accept technical infrastructure standards – they won’t co-operate on information governance standards.  There is no longer a central clearing house.  Organisations simply set up silo standards without consideration of how useful information might be in another silo.  Methods that would help, such as ISO 18876, are unknown or ignored.  ICT leadership, that is the Government CIO, should publish a Standards Policy.

A final example of head in the sand is that many years ago there was some research done on a standard for partnership formation.  At a cost of several million pounds from DCLG (ODPM), pilot projects completed and a simple Roadmap process was developed and tested. The findings are even more relevant today.  Look at this document to see how easy it should be.  It is only 4 pages long (plus appendices).  The executive summary is only half a page.

If all partners start singing from the the same, standard, hymn sheet – then progress towards efficient, sustainable, shared services could be much quicker.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lance piper, Leonard Anderson. Leonard Anderson said: Shared Services Swamp. Government ICT still stuck in silos. No standards policy or direction. http://wp.me/p14MGf-de. […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Shared Services Swamp « Quarkside -- Topsy.com — 26/01/2011 @ 4:31 pm | Reply


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