While Britain has been going through a period of great turmoil and uncertainty as it prepares to leave the EU, Velocitii has been quietly working on a different kind of exit.
In early October we wrapped up our first major project as a company, supporting the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in moving away from their legacy IT services contract with a large IT provider.
This particular exit has been carried out on time and within budget tolerances to deliver a successful outcome that has mitigated risks, kept all parties happy and caused no disruption for end-users.
In line with the UK government’s current policy, Velocitii’s specialists assisted MHCLG in moving away from a managed service contract with a large IT provider to a disaggregated model using specialist, more innovative suppliers.
With only 6 months to go until the contract expired, Velocitii was brought on board to support MHCLG and to provide project leads - in the areas of technical, commercial and TUPE management - in order to plan and implement this important transformation for the Department.
A full case study of the project will be published on our website soon, but in the meantime we want to share some of our successes and learnings from this momentous project:
Clear vision and strong leadership is crucial.
MHCLG’s senior management always had a clear vision of the project’s mandate and dealt with any problems that arose quickly and effectively. Not only that, but there was an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual respect that was set from the top, with open lines of communication between the team and leaders.
We’ve no doubt that this strong leadership, strong sense of team and the enjoyable, supportive and productive working environment led to the exit going as smoothly and successfully as it did.
Successful delivery is all about people.
Not only sourcing the right individuals for each aspect of the project, but building the right team of people and creating the ideal working environment for them to flourish.
The success of the Exit programme was reflected in the mixed, multi-disciplinary team of government, client-side representatives and a number of different external suppliers and contractors, successfully working together as one team.
Don’t lose sight of outcomes.
HMG supplier contracts are rightly designed with a focus on achieving successful outcomes for government. At Velocitii we strongly believe in this approach and it forms one of our core company values.
During the Exit programme we actively managed the programme plan toward the successful and required outcome of contract exit. This plan was actively managed day by day, owned by the entire team, and was overseen by the Departmental Programme Board acting as a ‘critical friend’. Decisions were often made in real-time in order to maintain the pace and schedule of the programme timetable.
Keep it agile.
Daily stand-ups and workshops were established across the diverse team, playing a key role in keeping communication channels open and staying focused on what needed to be done.
There was proactive programme and project management - including the implementation of a governance and reporting regime - that not only met the needs of the Department and senior stakeholders, but helped to keep the team focused and accountable. This meant that critical dependencies, deadlines and milestones were identified and then met.
Take a flexible approach.
One of our core values is to ‘put the right people in the right place, at the right time’. This ethos is at the heart of how we operate and it’s something we believe sets us apart.
During the Exit programme, we engaged five specialists at different times and only for as long as needed to support the goals of the project. This flexible, dynamic approach enabled the client to better manage budgets by rapidly ramping up and down resources as required by the needs of the project.
Don’t work in isolation.
Throughout this project, we worked collaboratively with experts from across other government departments and ALBs to achieve the best outcomes for MHCLG and for Government as a whole, in a way that strongly aligned with the One Team Gov principles.
This input and shared experience significantly reinforced MHCLG’s position and direction, creating a more intelligent customer, and ultimately saving government and the tax-payer significant money.
Success isn’t always visible.
The fact that the Exit went unnoticed by the employees and users of MHCLG was the true marker of a successful Exit program.
As a supplier to government, part of our mission is to continually try to gain a deep understanding of the challenges and outcomes that our clients are seeking to manage and achieve. The lessons we’ve learned during this programme will help us to successfully deliver future projects across the public sector.
We’re incredibly proud of the work of everyone involved in this project, but we want to say a special thanks to Steve, Mike, Clare and Richard of MHCLG for their hard work, leadership, support and decisive action which was integral to the successful delivery of the Exit programme.