Recovering a major IT transformation programme in the public sector

As we have discussed in previous articles, managing large-scale IT change and transformation programmes to deliver improvements in services and efficiencies across government departments and public sector organisations is complex. The public sector brings its own set of unique challenges that need to be understood and managed to ensure that this technology-based change is implemented and adopted successfully. Getting this right is difficult and often needs support from experienced change management partners. 

 

Project One has been supporting a public sector organisation over the past 30 months by initially reviewing and resetting its core technology transformation programme and subsequently driving delivery of the programme to ensure that the intended benefits and outcomes were achieved.  

Challenge

A Government company was established in 2018 to deliver greater value across the Healthcare sector supply chain. The organisation was tasked with delivering significant savings over a five-year period. A key impediment to achieving these outcomes was the aged, legacy supply chain systems and technology. Accordingly, a core technology transformation programme was initiated in 2019 to drive forward the modernisation of the underlying order and warehouse management systems.

 

There were multiple parties involved in the programme including the organisation’s technology partner and logistics partner. The programme had an ambitious delivery plan, however by the end of 2019 it had become mired in dispute over scope and expectations and a culture of mistrust with the result that milestones and key dates were slipping. 

Approach

Project One was initially engaged to undertake an independent programme assurance review of the programme and make recommendations for improvement. The assurance review was conducted by a small team of senior change and transformation experts and was completed within one month. The review highlighted several critical issues that were inhibiting successful delivery, including: 

 

  • A lack of drive from the programme leadership and ineffective governance to steer and guide the programme  
  • An incomplete plan for the programme which did not provide line of sight on what was required to successfully deliver the transformation and new capability, and whether the programme was on track  
  • A predominately technical focus to the programme with limited focus on business change and transformation 
  • A lack of capability across the programme to lead and manage delivery.

 

Following the initial programme assurance review, the Project One team oversaw the replacement of senior members of the programme management team across all parties, the setting up and running of an independent PMO, the creation of a design authority and the bolstering of release management activity for key systems. This activity enabled collaboration, transparency and coherent planning, and the programme started delivering functionality from summer 2020. 

 

 

Implementing assurance review findings  

 

With progress having been made and delivery back on track, Project One conducted a follow-up programme assurance review at the end of 2020 to look for further improvements in how the programme was being delivered. This subsequent review resulted in a key recommendation that the Government organisation needed to coordinate the programme with a Systems Integrator. This led to a change to the programme organisation with Project One consultants taking up key roles in the programme to ensure effective on-going leadership and management.  

 

  • Over the subsequent 15 months, Project One has supported the Government organisation with its core technology transformation programme by providing: 
  • A lack of drive from the programme leadership and ineffective governance to steer and guide the programme 
  • An incomplete plan for the programme which did not provide line of sight on what was required to successfully deliver the transformation and new capability, and whether the programme was on track  
  • A predominately technical focus to the programme with limited focus on business change and transformation 
  • A lack of capability across the programme to lead and manage delivery. 

 

Project One continue to provide senior change and transformation capability to support the Government organisation with this complex IT transformation programme which will run until the end of 2023.  

Outcome

The programme has been effectively stabilised and re-set which has enabled the delivery of key systems changes and new functionality to be achieved. The Government organisation’s leadership now has increased confidence in the programme and greater visibility and engagement in the benefits that will be delivered. The working relationships between all parties involved have been significantly improved with everyone focused on a common goal and outcomes. 

 

 

Project One adding value  

 

The Project One team were able to make a significant difference to this complex IT transformation programme by deploying senior change practitioners to conduct an assurance review, and subsequently undertake key delivery roles to drive progress and maintain momentum. They also used their change expertise to ensure stakeholders across the business were engaged and delivery partners were appropriately managed and held to account.

“A fantastic result, well done. I would like to say thank you to everyone involved in this. It is testament to all your efforts that we are now live. Thank you for your professionalism, hard work, positive attitude, long hours, and collaboration to get us here – a moment to celebrate and a virtual raise of my glass to you all.”  

Chief Operations Officer

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