The Role Of Metrics

The shared services department can set itself apart from its peers by employing metrics. Metrics can yield valuable insights into how the department has performed and can also be used as benchmarks for future growth. This piece shows how the shared services department can use metrics to enhance performance.

Metrics And Data

An important way to improve your department is through analyzing data. Data can be broken down into two useful forms: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data analysis is a powerful means to assess most business operations. For shared services teams, quantitative data allows you to track performance at a granular level and determine who warrants more investment and training, as well as whom to fire. It can also help the shared services team assess its performance over time, providing useful support for budget increases and other resources. Quantitative data can also support efforts to manage outsourced firms, providing insight into their efficiency and points of comparison to assess one firm against another.

Quantitative data can also help the shared services team assess its performance over time, providing useful support for budget increases and other resources.

Qualitative data, the less frequently used but equally important form of data, is not as concretely measured, but its assessment yields valuable insight that can dictate departmental success. For the shared services department, useful qualitative data can relate to issues of morale and relationships with other corporate teams. By assessing the perspectives of team members through surveys and interviews, you can get a sense of whether your reports are engaged and supportive of the company’s mission. Unlike reports with detailed data, compilations of qualitative data are harder to interpret, but giving them attention can highlight problems early and give you a sense of what elements of the department’s work are most successful.

Useful qualitative data can relate to issues of morale and relationships with other corporate teams.

Metrics And Departmental Change

When deciding to make a significant change to the shared service department, metrics can serve as a valuable tool in a number of ways. When proposing a change to your operation, metrics can help communicate to executives your rationale. Any significant revamping of the department will likely raise eyebrows. Appropriate metrics show the seriousness of the proposal. If you are given the green light, metrics can be used to benchmark progress for the change. In cases in which progress has been lackluster, dedicate time to reevaluate the work your department is doing and make adjustments. Metrics can also be used to measure department efficiency before and after the change. In the event that the change has enhanced the workflow of the shared services team, you can use the success as justification to make further, perhaps more large-scale improvements.

Any significant revamping of the department will likely raise eyebrows. Appropriate metrics show the seriousness of the proposal.

Metrics And Your Successor

Another useful opportunity for metrics use arises in the context of a successor search. There are several standards you can set when finding someone to cement your legacy. Longevity at the business is an example. The successor needs to be at the right stage in his or her career. Any candidate should have accrued significant work experience, allowing that person to hone his or her decision-making skills. In addition, while harder to assess beforehand, expected longevity within the new position is certainly important. The new person will likely take some time to adjust fully to the new position and understand the nuances of the business. If the successor is only there for a short time, the value of your hard succession-planning work is in jeopardy, so it is important to consider prior examples of loyalty.

In addition, while harder to assess beforehand, expected longevity within the new position is certainly important. The new person will likely take some time to adjust fully to the new position and understand the nuances of the business.

Conclusion

The use of metrics can be incredibly varied depending on the size and scope of the shared services department. Understanding how leveraging metrics can enhance your department may be a difficult task at times, but doing so will set your department ahead.