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Monday, April 24, 2006

HUD's move to a center of excellence for human resources sets a template for other agencies to follow

"On the surface, it seemed an easy decision for officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development: Migrate to a shared-services provider for human resources instead of spending $15 million to $18 million over a six-year period to build their own system.

The reasons were obvious. Considering time required to implement a new system, its total cost and the unspoken pressure from the Office of Management and Budget to use shared services, it clearly made more sense to outsource instead of going ahead with the PeopleSoft HR system they were six months into. But as many agencies will find out over the next few years, it's not that simple. No matter how many times you draw the line down the middle of the paper and list the pros on one side, cons on the other - and fill up the pros side - the path from paper to reality is full of hidden pitfalls.

But with OMB expecting more agencies to migrate over the next few years to shared-services providers - otherwise known as centers of excellence - for HR and financial management, HUD's successful migration to the Treasury Department's HR Connect presents a valuable case study. "

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