by Jack Moore, MBA, PMP
In today’s economic environment, we are starting to hear that everyone has to do “more with less.” This is the economics of having to provide more goods or services with a smaller budget. Unfortunately, this paradigm does not equate to what’s really happening, especially for those of us that call ourselves government employees and contractors. The Federal government budget cuts have reached a level that has indeed forced them to forgo certain expenditures, and this will only deepen if sequestration occurs.
One of our top clients is facing the challenge of having to move certain milestones, and even whole programs, “to the right.” And Congressional pressure to complete certain projects isn’t going away. This is indeed “doing less with less” and, in our experience, an entirely different type of decision-making, requiring strategic prioritization and program/portfolio thinking. They are in no way considering doing anything “more.”
One of the more innovative ways to deal with the pressure of doing “less with less” is to create a shared services function. A shared services function is designed to allow different organizations or programs to share specific types of resources across organizational boundaries, thus allowing organizations to schedule their technical resources to work on the highest priority items at the right time. Another way of thinking of a shared service is a centralized resource pool, designed to make effective use of scarce, typically technical, resources. In a environment of fiscal austerity, creation of a shared services function is one of the simplest way government can ensure that the projects it cares most about (the “less with less”) are completed successfully.