What three things could help with making SSC successful?

over 3 years ago
The portal is now closed for submissions. Thank you for your interest in this consultation with Shared Services Canada.

SSC’s role is to make the right choice in updating and modernizing the government’s technology infrastructure. SSC needs to work in concert with all government organizations to build a shared service and IT platform that is efficient and effective. Underlying this vision is to ensure adequate cyber protection of data, shared firewalls and IT security defences.

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The portal is now closed for submissions. Thank you for your interest in this consultation with Shared Services Canada.

  • William.Morton over 3 years ago
    More communication between SSC and the partner departments.- There are far too many times that I have witnessed a partner being unsure how to proceed with something that SSC would provide. They come to the front line looking for their project (or whatever) to be completed, but those of us on the front line to not have the knowledge or the capability to provide what they're looking for. They need to be further up in the chain... But they rarely even know where the chain in, let alone where on that chain they need to be grasping.- A well lined out process for Partners to go to get whatever it is they want done, done. A web based service catalog that the Partner can click on the service they want and it leads them through the entire process including pricing, recovery agreements, creating tickets, etc to make the whole "service provider" work. Much of what we do or can do is ambiguous to the Partner (and to SSC, sometimes!)Get the decision-making down to a lower level. The simple fact that a DG needs to sign off on a replacement BlackBerry (for example) is ludacris! And finally get our internal processes laid out and well advertised within SSC. It was only recently I even found out about GCSX and that was only because I was told I had to get a laptop for GCNet 2.0 for future support. What about pay and benefits - I don't have a clue to whom I would contact if I had a question or problem. How do I order office supplies? Etc etc etc...
  • jeffreyallen over 3 years ago
    Aggressive Recruitment Plan - We are under resourced for the expectations put upon us and the 5 year outlook for retirements and succession planning means we need a huge influx of experienced personnel to try to keep ahead of managing the steady-state not to mention transform government IT infrastructure. We have to actively recruit from post secondary institutions and the private sector. Cohort hiring like other public sector institutions should also be considered.Immediate acceleration of the procurement of enterprise level tool-sets (information management systems) to improve the workflow, communications and information sharing between all parts of the organization and our clients.Current funding model needs an overhaul if we are to ever provide a timely service to our clients. The current model of costing and recovering funds is a dreadfully manual and labour intensive process that takes way too many people to execute and takes too much time.
  • salman.naqvi over 3 years ago
    Summary:1. make ALL decisions, big and small, like private sector.2. significantly reduce management hierarchy (also like private sector)3. revise objectives to be realistic with measurable success criteriaDetails:1. Make ALL decisions like private sector companies do. If we have a choice between product A at $10, B at $50 and C at $100, and product B fulfills most of our requirements, then go with product B at $50. The current model tends to be "we have to be ready for the future, so we have to over provision" and product C, the most expensive and unnecessarily complex product is chosen. Similar idea should apply to any processes that are enacted. To many times, simple tasks need to be touched by 10 people for them to be completed. In private sector, such processes would make companies go bankrupt on day one. Processes are important, but, they should also be efficient, otherwise they are useless.2. Less personnel in management. Be more like private sector, where each manager has 10-30 reports. In SSC, I am typically seeing 4:1 or 5:1 ratio, instead of 10:1 or 20:1 or 30:1. This skewed ratio slows down EVERYTHING, is simply inefficient and simply not effective use of tax payer dollars. EMPOWER EMPLOYEES TO MAKE DECISIONS instead of endless hierarchy of managers. That's what other large, diverse and complex private sector organizations like Microsoft and KPMG do. And they manage to do it well enough to consistently churn out profits!3. Echoing previous comments by "jfg2", revise objectives. This I can say I've seen improvements in over the last four years. More effort needs to be placed on making objectives REALISTIC. There are too many groups doing too many things to "transform" - but TOO MANY initiatives are failing the simple test of even being able to transform some of the smaller and simpler SSC partners completely! All objectives should have measurable results, and litmus tests to ensure that the objectives can be realistically met. Too many initiatives have taken place without involving the partners at all. How are partner workloads going to be "transformed" or "consolidated" when all the planning is done without them. Case in point: SSC has opened three data centres, costing at least $30 million each (AFAIK), but, the biggest partner, DND, can't even migrate ONE of their applications to these data centres due to their requirements not being met, because all of the design, planning, and implementation was done entirely without DND or other partners (AFAIK - please correct me if I am wrong).
  • jfg2 almost 4 years ago
    Although often said as a joke, it is usually true that a choice and compromises have to be made when considering the 3 main qualities of a project or service: " You can't have all of high quality, speed and low cost". It seems SSC currently is really trying to achieve all three. We're not questioning the need for a vision that encourages perfection, but it is obvious that the reality may not meet that vision in the short term. We welcome the revision of the TP which resulted in a longer period of time to realize the mission. But the objectives are still high given the profound change we are trying to achieve and there are still adjustments to do.In trying to be perfect in every area, SSC is putting in place tools to ensure its services are not only up to the clients expectations (this is good), but also tools to ensure we can explain every step and decision taken along the way (the overhead here is questionable, especially for a rather young organization that has not yet achieved organizational maturity). It appears that the latter tools that are becoming overwhelming and actually slowing down the overall process. Has SSC become process centric? It certainly feels that way. The problem probably stems from a few areas:(1) the basic layout of the organization: the horizontalization of the services requires endless consultation and discussion between the numerous stakeholders for any decision making. This point is pretty much a fact of life due to the business model. The delays incurred in this area are not easy to remove. There has to be process to ensure collaboration between the layers of the organization. But this has to be counterbalanced with efficiencies in others areas of our operation.(2) the tools for planning, finance, HR, project management, etc. are very detail intensive, mostly supporting a bottom up collection of information, which is overlaid with several layers of data validation and control, that is not always useful to the day to day work and management of activities of the employees in general. This area can certainly be improved. Simple tools should be available to the supervisors, managers and directors to easily achieve their goals (simple financial balance sheets, less layers of over control in processes, responsive HR services with adequate reports, etc).(3) Finally, it may also be required to revise the objectives. We understand that the funds are limited, but it seems that quality, speed and low cost are still an expectation. The balance hasn't been achieved yet and most feel that they have too much to do, or not enough time to do what they have to do. The workload of the transition is added to the workload of maintaining the services. Objectives need to be realistic and tools and services should be turned operational only when actually ready. Also, it may be possible to further delay some objectives, such as some DC closures or moves, some staff moves, change of incident reporting tool, etc..It is not easy to present these facts to our clients nor to parliament and explain that we're struggling. However it should be a priority to present fair picture of the situation in order to be able to address it. It is part of managing expectations of our partners and clients. Painting a fair picture of the situation is not necessarily admitting to failure, it’s showing concern to proper service delivery and seeking improvement of the situation.