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Driving Shared Services / GBS Success with Organizational Design


A significant number of Shared Services / GBS organizations utilize unique organizational designs that have directly contributed to achieving excellent results in improving not only the overall performance of their operation but also the satisfaction level of their employees.  There are several effective strategies for Shared Services organizational design, including how the operation is structured, if a matrix-type reporting structure is utilized, and if a team-based approach is incorporated into the design.  For many companies, the most important strategy is to ensure Shared Services / GBS autonomy as a separate operation within the company, which can positively impact the ability of Shared Services to influence improvement efforts across the company and increase the morale of work teams and employees in the Shared Services organization.

iPolling Results Review

An important part of the research related to Shared Services organizational design was a poll recently created using the iPollingTM technology.  The first question looked at what the participating companies considered as the most significant factor related to organizational design that has helped Shared Services to be a success.  Reviewing the results, the implementation of global process owners was the most prevalent response, with 40% selecting that response.  This was followed by making Shared Services an autonomous operation within the company, which was the response of 22% of the companies.  An additional 17% indicated that use the of a matrix reporting relationship was the most significant factor, with 17% of the companies responding that the utilization of a team-based structure contributed the most to their success.

most significant factor related to Organizational Design that has helped the company ipolling peeriosity

The second polling question then addressed the level of satisfaction the surveyed companies have with their current Shared Services organizational design.  The results were very favorable, with 86% being either Very Satisfied (19%) or Satisfied (67%) with their organizational effectiveness and the structure of their reporting relationships.  The remaining 14% were not satisfied, with the revamping of the Shared Services organizational design likely to yield significant benefits.

level of satisfaction with the company's Organizational Design ipolling results

Some of the member comments related to this poll include the following:

  • We have implemented a combination of all factors.
  • Important that Shared Services operates on its own, and the businesses are treated as customers of the services provided.
  • Implementation of GPOs also important, but I think autonomy for Shared Services was even more vital.
  • Realignment of functional services is always being looked at to see where they are most effective to support the organization. However, the team approach remains constant, and it works great. Gives a little more flexibility with the work and when it needs to be realigned.
  • We just implemented a Global SAP environment so our SSCs are still working through the bumps.

Closing Summary

Shared Services operations have typically invested a lot of time and effort in establishing and improving their organizational structures as their centers have progressed through the Shared Services / GBS lifecycle.  While there are many factors that contribute to the success of Shared Services / GBS, having the right organizational design can be an important enabler.

What is the status at your company with respect to the organizational design of your Shared Services /GBS operation?  Is your current approach as effective as it should be or is it time to take another look at this critical aspect of your long-term strategy for Shared Services /GBS?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“iPolling” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer Mail, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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