When done properly, shared services allows organisations to execute processes for multiple operating units. But a large part of doing SSO well is in the creation of a retained organization. A retained organisation, as defined by this pdf by Deloitte, is a function’s services and staff that are not placed into a SSO as part of the shift to a shared services model. It delivers site support, business partner services, and acts as a center of expertise. These work alongside the SSO to provide all units with all services: Seen in this light, it becomes clear that the retained organization’s readiness to assume its roles in the new service delivery model is critical to the effort’s overall value. The retained organization must thoughtfully examine its administrative site support activities to determine what work can be placed in the SSO and what truly needs to remain at the operating units. In a thorough transformation effort, the retained organization will also seek to reposition itself as a strategic advisor to the business through its business partnership and Center of Excellence roles. We believe, in fact, that the opportunity to increase a function’s strategic contribution can and should be one of the major drivers of any shared services effort. A company that does not articulate or pursue such a goal, in our view, is at high risk of leaving substantial value on the table. The pdf goes on to explain how to get the retained organisation set up correctly, including tips on finding the right team for the job, how governance should play a part, and process design. So before you begin your effort on SSO, take a look at this informative pdf about how to do a retained organization correctly.