outsource issue 31 - (Page 44)

Norn Ironman Paul Wickens is the Chief Executive of NICS Enterprise Shared Services, an SSO established three years ago to serve the Northern Ireland Civil Service. As part of an ongoing research project into shared services, researcher Kathleen McLoughlin interviewed Paul on the formation of his organisation and the importance of developing a coherent brand, embedding the concept of enterprise right at the heart of the structure… Kathleen McLoughlin Kathleen McLoughlin is an academic researcher. Kathleen McLoughlin: How was Enterprise Shared Services formed? Paul Wickens: ESS was established in January 2010 and tasked with integrating six previously separate NI Civil Service reform projects into a single, cohesive organisation. For example through the NICS reform programme we developed an IT shared service centre from the ground up called IT Assist. A strong business case was made to bring it and the other IT, finance and HR projects together within ESS – a new directorate within the Department of Finance and Personnel. rationalisation and co-ordination of specific skills (for example, contract and supplier management) and the opportunity to benchmark and share best practice. Costs had to be reduced and there was a range of systems and services that required attention – many of which were outdated and no longer fit for purpose. The main problem was that all we were doing was fire-fighting: putting out one system at a time, without the opportunity to look at the big picture. As an example of this: HR had a number of different payroll systems, some in a fragile state, and with various contracts that were due for renewal. On the finance side there were different implementations of Oracle financials throughout the NICS. We then took the opportunity to look at cost, but simultaneously, to consider an overall transformation process, which would consequently drive step changes in quality, efficiency and effectiveness in five areas (see Figure 1). FIGURE 1 KM: What would you say was the single driving force for developing shared services? Was it the need for civil service change or was it cost reduction, quality improvement, and better, more joined-up thinking? PW: It was all of those things. The business case gave us a mandate to have greater clarity on accountability, a sharper focus on customer experience, an enhanced level of collaboration, co-ordination and integration, improved efficiency through “The Opposition aren’t really the Opposition. They’re just called the Opposition. But in fact they are the Opposition in exile. The Civil Service are the Opposition in residence.” – Antony Jay 44 ● ●● www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk p44-47 Paul Wickens APP.indd 44 21/3/13 17:18:46 http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of outsource issue 31

Upwardly Mobile
Keys to Driving Supply Chain Outsourcing Success
Biography of a Carve-Out
Culture and Values
Redefining the Law Firm Delivery Model
Sharing the Glory
Norn Ironman
Breaking the Outsourcing Conundrum
NOA Round-Up
Back from the Summit
Losing the Race Before You Put On Your Trainers
Innovate to Accelerate
Comparing Clouds
People Power
Making an Impact
Home or Away?
Dead and Buried?
So What Now?
The Legal View
Top Ten
NelsonHall Round-Up
Sourcing Sage
Online Round-Up
The Deal Doctor
Inside Source
The Last Word

outsource issue 31