Best Practice Group

Do You Want To Make Your Strategic Vendor Partnerships Work?

71% of projects involving strategic vendors in IT, outsourcing, or shared services are delivered at double the budget and timescale. The information in this blog can help to prevent such outcomes.

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  • Build trust with your partners to drive innovation and lower costs in service delivery

Has the budget announcement signalled the end of PFI? 6 ways to improve your own PFI

Is this the end for PFI (private finance initiatives)? Brought in by John Major in 1992, extensively utilised by the Blair government and every occupant of No. 10 since, no matter their political stripes, PFIs have, in recent years, become very unpopular. In the court of public opinion, it is perceived that PFIs can be a lose-lose. If the relationship fails, it is often the view the procurement system is

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6 Successful Negotiation Tips for Effective Strategic Relationships

Those who rise to a position where they are responsible for negotiations must ensure they, and those in their procurement teams, are skilled in the art of successful negotiation; practised in its use – especially under pressure – and confident in their ability to employ it to create a strategic relationship with the greatest chance of success. While many have the training and expertise needed in the discipline of successful

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10 Key Behaviours for Successful Collaborative Joint Working

“Austerity is over” the government has announced. In the private sector, there are many economic indicators that support this view. The reality in the public sector, however, is that on the ground not much has changed – government departments, local authorities, the NHS and emergency blue light services still have limited resources to work with, and each must maintain a frugal mindset, looking for every opportunity to do more with

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3 Step Success Strategy for your Business Critical IT Projects

IT enabled business change projects necessitate some of the most complex relationship arrangements of any outsourcing project. Often this is because of the tendency for such business critical IT projects to stretch boundaries, to look to create better, faster and more efficient results. However, even when you are not delving into the technological unknown, critical IT projects are likely to involve multiple vendors, technologies and people of a non-technical nature

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Post Office Horizon System: Legal fees of £3m and 2 years of legal action – 3 key lessons learned

For almost a decade, the Post Office has been embroiled in a battle with subpostmasters over its core IT system, known as Horizon. It has resulted in the Post Office serving legal action, which has resulted in job losses, jail terms and bankruptcies for the subpostmasters. Accusations are being made against the Post Office about heavy-handed actions of this state-run institution. In turn, it has accused a number of subpostmasters

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Carillion Collapse: ‘Big Four’ under general scrutiny due to audit concerns

Credit:z_weiis istock

The collapse of Carillion had a very wide-reaching impact – there were the: (a) 30,000 or so businesses that were reportedly owed upwards of a billion pounds, (b) the political nightmare it has caused the Conservative party, and now, according to Reuters, (c) the impact zone has widened to encompass the audit sector as a whole. Fast-Track Investigation Launched Due to Audit Concerns The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), along with the

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Is there a Perception that Oracle is Misleading its Clients Over its Cloud Licensing Terms? 5 insights to be aware of

I recently came across an article in Forbes about Oracle’s cloud licensing terms that raises questions about whether it is misleading its clients over its operating practice. While this issue has arisen over Oracle’s cloud offerings, the key principles may well be relevant to you for other suppliers of solutions too. The article was written by 10-year veteran contributor to Forbes, Dan Woods, CTO, consultant and speaker for Early Adopter

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How to Renegotiate a Contract with Your Strategic Partner (in 5 Steps)

There are many reasons as to why one would want to renegotiate a contract with their strategic partner but the thought of the uphill challenge puts many off. In this blog, we offer up tips for a positive resolution with the kind assistance of Dr David Barrett from PROCURiSOURCE. By following the steps noted below, you can effectively renegotiate an existing contract with a strategic partner in such a way

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What Really Happened to Cause Carillion’s Collapse?

We have dedicated quite a bit of article time and space to the challenges that clients of Carillion have experienced over the last few months. We have published other articles focused on the NAO report into the handling of the company’s liquidation, the inherent risks of rushing towards step-in providers, and how to protect your interests should your supplier not be able or be unwilling to continue providing your services.

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8 Intelligent Client Function Team Skills to Maximise Value in Vendor Relationships

2013-08-19 Intelligent Capability - 160 x 216

This will not come as a surprise to many out there, but complex vendor relationships are, well, complex in nature and, therefore, will naturally be difficult to manage. If you have ever been involved in a sizeable client/vendor relationship that starts to veer out of control, you’ll know how difficult it can be for all parties to recover lost commercial trust and confidence. This is why it is so vitally

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Top 5 Outsourcing Mistakes to Avoid Before Choosing a Provider

Outsourcing Mistakes

Outsourcing is a tempting proposition for any company that feels the strain of a bloated workforce and high service delivery costs. After all, the theoretical arguments in favour of outsourcing are compelling – you leverage the expertise of an external party, who are better qualified to deliver a more efficient (and less costly) service. Unfortunately, a theoretical benefit does not always translate well into reality. At Best Practice Group, we

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PFI – is there a better way after all…?

PFI (private finance initiative) – the mechanism for funding major infrastructure and construction projects, where completed assets remain, at least initially, in private ownership, and the cost of their construction is paid off, often with significant interest, over many years with public sector money – has been going through somewhat of a negative PR period. To put it mildly and not without some justification, PFI has a public perception problem.

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Lidl Cancels €500m SAP IT Project – 4 Learnings to Consider

The SAP IT project, eLWIS (electronic merchandise management and information system) has been dropped by client, Lidl, after 7-years of analysis, development and trial rollouts. What happened, where does the blame lie and what now for the global retail brand that in 2011 decided it needed a radical change to keep up with its global expansion pans but now finds itself practically back to square one? Background to SAP IT

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Rebuild Trust & Create More Productive Strategic Partnerships in 4 Steps

Trust is a vague concept at best – hard-won and all too easily lost, faked by some, presumed by others, but vital to master. Trust may be an intangible asset, but it can have a very real and significant impact on your strategic partnerships and the projects you work on together. This article looks to demystify the art of rebuilding trust where it has been lost and the very real

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Early Outsourcing Termination? Save millions on your exit fees with these six questions

Wouldn’t it be nice if client-vendor relationships always followed a clearly defined path with all parties focused on doing their best to live up to the business outcomes they agreed to at the outset? I can almost hear you nodding and sighing with wishful thinking, but, as we all know, in the real world, major contractual relationships are quite often rife with miscommunication, hidden agendas and ambiguity. In addition, there

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NAO Report on Government’s Handling of Carillion’s Liquidation – 7 lessons learned

In a recent LinkedIn post, Joshua Reddaway‬, Director, Work and Pensions VFM and Head of Practice (Commercial and Contracting) at the UK National Audit Office‬ (NAO) talked about the new NAO report they had released on the government’s handling of Carillion’s liquidation. It “sets out the facts” relating to the government’s involvement in the handling of the Carillion situation, from its surprise profit warning in July 2017 to its liquidation.

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Is this the End for PFI?

Is this the end for PFI? In May this year an interesting article came out in the GCR (Global Construction Review) on the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) website, titled ‘Bye-bye, PFI: UK signals effective end of private finance initiative’. The opening paragraph stated: “Judged to deliver poor value for money, the UK’s once mighty Private Finance Initiative (PFI) has fallen into disuse.” But is this a fair assessment of

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Capita Agree Significant Failings on NHS Outsourcing Contract; PAC Interview Capita CEO

In June we wrote an article titled NAO Report: NHS England and Capita Outsourcing Challenges, 4 Lessons which looked into the outsourcing contract issues faced by both NHS England and Capita when they tried to transform primary care support services for around 39,000 primary care practitioners, including GPs, dentists and ophthalmologists. The NAO report at the time suggested that both parties had “misjudged the scale and nature of the risk in

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Is Active or Passive Management Best for your Outsourcing Relationship?

Is Active or Passive Management best for your outsourcing relationship

Academic analysis of the outsourcing sector would likely compartmentalise partnership relationship management into two clear camps – active and passive. In the active outsourcing relationship management camp, clients take an overarching governance role that some might say risks stifling vendor creativity and expertise; in the passive outsourcing relationship management camp, others could suggest, the client leaves themselves open to a litany of potential unscrupulous activities they are ill-prepared to cope with. So,

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NAO Report – Survival kit for major project relationships

When the NAO produces an analysis of key aspects of major project relationships, it is always worth taking note. The NAO report titled ‘Survival Guide to Challenging Costs in Major Projects’ is no exception. The UK government is working on some of the biggest and most complex infrastructure projects it has ever undertaken, not only in cost but also in time from inception to delivery. This will, by definition, increase

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