Today, Shared Services Organizations (SSOs) are relying on interactive and two-way Service Partnership Agreements to lead the way.
A successful client relationship must be built upon a strong foundation. This means understanding the client’s expectations and being upfront about your requirements to deliver against these expectations. Many organizations do not have formal agreements, especially for internal services. Others rely on Service Level Agreements that are typically one-way, boilerplate agreements focused on outputs and costs. Today, more organizations are incorporating leading practices and leveraging Service Partnership Agreements to document, support and develop true partnership with their clients.
The advantage of SPAs over SLAs are that they reflect the more collaborative nature of today’s shared services and recognize the responsibility of both parties in making the Shared Services model a success. Ideally, the SPA is developed along the transformation journey and simply documents the shared decision-making around key governance topics such as outputs, inputs, roles, responsibilities, escalation and performance monitoring. But all organizations can benefit from the supportive power of SPAs, as long as the process to develop them is based on true client engagement and not an activity to complete in order to check an item off a task list.