Introduction to Shared Services Center (SSC)
At this time, I’m sure many of you have heard the term ‘shared services’ even if you’re not quite sure what it means. As a community college system, we are embarking on a journey to look at processes across all of our colleges to determine how we may be able to be more efficient, more effective and more focused on our overarching goal… student success. To this end, the VCCS is establishing a Shared Services Center (SSC) that will facilitate common administrative transactions. This center will be stand-alone in terms of its placement within the VCCS; it will not report to the system office or a particular college, but will be operated under a shared governance/shared ownership model.
This is a large undertaking and will require quite a bit of planning and communication. There are 11 workgroups, including employees from the system office and colleges, currently tasked with developing different parts of the initiative. This work may include determining what operational functions should or should not be included, developing the processes that will be used within the Center, researching and implementing technology and assessing the Center’s staffing needs, among others. One of the most important components will be to ensure transparent and open communication throughout the process.
To help facilitate communications across our campus, I will act as the point of contact for Virginia Western. As information is available, I will share it with all of you. I am hopeful that I will be able to begin sharing more details within the month, so I want to take a few minutes to touch base on a few key points to keep in mind throughout this process.
- This is a multi-year plan and will be communicated and implemented in phases. While the concept may seem overwhelming, please be assured that it will be broken down into smaller parts so that appropriate project management can be aligned with any changes.
- The VCCS has hired a project manager to oversee the transition to shared services. As this is his primary responsibility, he will be the focal point for ensuring collaboration, understanding the nuances of the transition and receiving feedback from the point of contact at each college.
- Shared Services is both a mindset and a process. Here, we have already experienced part of the mindset of shared services as we’ve all sought ways to collaborate, share expertise across departments and look for ways to streamline processes to eliminate duplicative work.
I know that you have questions, concerns and may be nervous about what this means for us. I understand… I have questions as well and will do my best to help navigate through all of those things with you. I am also looking at how to best ensure that you have access to this information so that we can all stay on the same page. Throughout this transition, it will be vital that communication flows both ways. I need to know what you’re hearing, what you’re thinking and how I can help.
For now, please stay tuned! Thanks so much for all that you do – it is appreciated!