OMB Announces New Shared Services Strategy

Published: May 02, 2019

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Late last week OMB released a memo intended to move the needle on shared services implementation in the federal government.

One of the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals in the Presidential Management Agenda (PMA) is Sharing Quality Services. Maximizing use of shared services will enable agencies to more effectively and efficiently deliver on their missions while improving service, quality, and performance. Additionally, the use of shared services promises significant cost savings.  Implementation of shared services in the private sector has resulted in 5-30% cost savings.   

OMB’s memo outlines the new federal shared services strategy as follows:

  • Designates the process and desired outcomes for shared services
  • Establishes a process for establishing agencies as Quality Services Management Offices (QSMOs)
  • Establishes the governance and accountability model that will be used to engage customers and enable QSMO performance excellence, including the Shared Services Governance Board (SSGB) and the Business Standards Council (BSC)
  • Requests that all CFO Act agencies appoint a Senior Accountable Point of Contact (SAPOC) to coordinate actions across the agency to support adoption of the shared service strategies
  • Rescinds previous OMB memoranda that are no longer aligned to this strategy

While OMB’s memo describes the new strategy, benefits, goals, and governance from a policy perspective, more details and specifics regarding implementation can be found on GSA’s Shared Services website.  The supporting information describes the Federal Integrated Business Framework (FIBF), Governance Model, QSMOs, and Modernization Migration Management (M3) Framework.

The FIBF is a framework that will allow agencies to document and coordinate common business needs. The process includes five components: Federal Business Lifecycles, Business Capabilities, Business Use, Standard Data Elements, and Performance Metrics. The FIBF is being developed and defined by cross-agency working groups led by their respective Standards Lead.

The Shared Services Governance Model is meant to drive collaboration and change management across the federal government. The Shared Solutions Governance Chair, currently Federal CIO Suzette Kent, leads the development and implementation of shared services policy in conjunction with OMB.  This position also co-chairs the Shared Solutions Governance Board (SSGB).

QSMOs will be housed in federal agencies with the mission and expertise to deliver standard capabilities for other agencies.  They will “offer modern technology and transaction processing solutions to drive scale, standardization and efficiency.” Potential QSMOs will submit 5-Year Plans describing how they will offer shared service support functions to other agencies.  Final QSMO designation will be issued by OMB and the SSGB upon approval of the plan.

OBM envisions QSMOs for 10 functional areas:

  • Civilian Human Resources Transaction Services
  • Core Financial Management
  • Cybersecurity Services
  • Grants Management
  • Assisted Acquisition
  • Contract Writing Systems
  • Customer Experience
  • Travel
  • FOIA
  • Real Property Management

Currently, four agencies have been named as QSMOs in the assessment and pre-designation phase:

  • Civilian Human Resources Transaction Services - GSA
  • Core Financial Management - Treasury
  • Cybersecurity Services - DHS
  • Grants Management -  HHS

Modernization and Migration Management (M3) is a framework to help agencies use best practices to reduce risk and achieve successful outcomes during system or service modernizations. GSA provides an M3 Playbook on their website to guide agencies through the shared services planning and transition process. It was developed based on feedback from over 100 government and industry experts, reflects best practices and lessons learned from prior migrations.  The Playbook contains 70+ activities, 20+templates, supporting guidance and sample artifacts.

Contractors may find opportunities to assist agencies with plans to become QSMOs and to help QSMOs scale their shared service offerings for additional agency customers.  Contractors may also find consulting and integration opportunities to assist agencies as they transition functions to QSMOs.