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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  • Improve the performance of your strategic vendor/partner
  • Get into new strategic partnerships faster and at a lower cost, but with higher levels of service outcomes
  • Build trust with your partners to drive innovation and lower costs in service delivery

8 Questions to Determine the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

To promote better productivity through more collaborative problem-solving it would be useful to shift perspectives, so that when things go wrong people recognise that it’s not always the other person’s fault. Often issues are multifaceted, and the longer that they are allowed to build up, the more difficult it can be to establish the root cause of the problem – usually a good place to start when looking to find

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Your Supplier Management Team is saving you millions – The 10 Commandments they live by

It’s not unusual for senior management teams to be unaware of the significant value their supplier management and Intelligent Client Function (ICF) teams create for their organisations. And, because this value can often go unnoticed, those at the coalface can think themselves in a more thankless job than most. Recognising the Importance of the ICF Team As a senior executive in your organisation, you’ll already undoubtedly understand that your supplier

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5 Steps to Smarter KPIs to Achieve Your Business Outcomes

I know I speak for all of us when I say that delivering business outcomes using external outsourcing or technology partners is really easy… isn’t it? After all, you simply need to explain to your provider what you want to achieve, point them in the right direction and leave them to get on with it. Right? Err… maybe in an ideal world, but, as we all know, the reality of

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GMB Highlights 53% Increase in Public Sector Outsourcing; 3 Steps to Decide Whether to Bring Services In-house

We now know that unfortunately, Carillion was the single biggest outsourcing wake-up call the government has had to deal with. There were clear warning signs apparent in terms of its financial challenges. Despite this, the public sector continued to award the outsourcing giant new contracts. In the end, the enterprise that was ‘too big to fail’ succumbed to its liabilities and cashflow difficulties. It failed, and according to the FT,

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10 Tips for Good Contract Management to Drive Success in Major Projects

Many of our blogs refer to the importance of not only entering larger contracts in the right way but also the equal, if not greater, importance of managing these contracts and the providers they are with, once they are in place. All too often, once signed, a contract will be consigned to a dusty shelf in a back-office filing room, forgotten, for all intents and purposes, only to be referred

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How to Make Shared Services Work For You: 5 Key Steps

Shared services can offer significant benefits – such as improved savings, continuity and quality of service, systems and scalability. However, this is only if you can get beyond the challenges that naturally appear whenever you attempt to put together a number of service user parties, all with subtly or significantly different goals, work environments and egos, and hope they can all play nicely together. Engaging in a shared services arrangement

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Cabinet Office now expects ‘Living Wills’ from outsourcing firms – 3 checks to enact them

Carillion’s demise at the beginning of 2018 had an impact that stretched beyond the thousands of staff unsure of their employment future and the tens of thousands of businesses that found themselves out of pocket. The collapse of such a major player in the government contracts arena has at last stimulated change in the way the government is guiding the public sector in how it looks to interact with its

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Will Interserve’s reported financial challenges impact you? 7 steps to take now


A wave of media attention has been building over the last 18 months on the financial stability of a number of outsourcing giants, including Serco, G4S, Capita, Carillion and Interserve. Increasing attention is being focused on the last of this group: Interserve. With the announcement of its second debt refinancing in a year, inevitable comparisons with Carillion are starting to be made. So, what does this mean for Interserve’s future

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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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