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

9 Steps To Transition From Single Supplier To Multi-Supplier Outsourcing

Steersman on puzzle

An increasing number of organisations and institutions are exploring the benefits of moving from their large single-supplier outsourcing relationships to the multi-supplier variety. Gavin Hall has outlined that in his experience, which reflects our own, the enhanced value and specialist expertise, such as Cloud services, have strong evidence for such a move, but you need to have clear business reasons and understand the implications for all parties of such a move

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8 Questions to Determine the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

8 Questions to Define the Root Cause of Poor Project Performance

To promote better productivity through more collaborative problem-solving it would be useful to shift perspectives in the outsourcing arena, 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

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Outcome-Based Pricing Model in Strategic Service Delivery

quantifying outcomes

While the theory behind outcome-based pricing models is nothing new, the penchant for establishing relationships specifically based on driving true added value is certainly growing in popularity with both vendors and clients. The reasons for this are simple. With suppliers utilising their own resources and best practices, they have an opportunity to (a) bring some much needed fresh thinking to client service delivery innovation and options, (b) reduce the on-going

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Cloud Computing Procurement: 6 Steps to a Beneficial Outcome

Cloud Computing Procurement: 6 Steps to a Beneficial Outcome

Last week we revealed how all too many cloud computing contracts (and more specifically, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) agreements) result in completely unacceptable outcomes for the buying organisation. The key issue is typically a fatal misalignment between the buyer’s desired business outcomes and the terms of the agreement. You expect a system that can fulfill your specific business outcomes, but the vendor is tasked with providing infrastructure. That in itself

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Cloud Computing: Where Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Procurement Fails

Cloud Computing: Where Infrastructure as a Service Procurement Fails

We all know that cloud computing is becoming more and more relevant to public and private organisations. For most enterprises, the potential cost savings of moving infrastructure to the cloud are too big to ignore. However, as a relatively new form of outsourcing, cloud computing is not without its potential pitfalls. This is especially the case when it comes to procuring Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Many companies have found

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NAO’s Report on Transition and Termination Issues in Commercial Contracts

transition termination contract

This is the final article in a series of seven that reviewed the twenty issues highlighted by the National Audit Office (NAO) in their latest report on emerging best practice in commercial and contract management. Our articles have grouped these issues under the same seven headings as the NAO report – Commercial Strategy, Commercial Capability, Market Management and Sourcing, Contract Approach, Contract Management, Contract Lifecycle, and Transition and Termination. This

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Strategic Partnership Collaboration – 10 Lessons To Get What You Want

Benefits of Collaboration

One of the imperatives of modern service delivery is to partner with people who can do things for you better and more cost effectively than you can do them yourself. The public and private sectors are using more innovative forms of governance and management through partnerships with others,  yet, research shows that high numbers (nearly 50% in fact) of strategic partnerships fail to achieve their objectives. Why is this? Having

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Early Stage Contract Lifecycle Issues brought to light by the NAO Emerging Best Practices Report

contract start

Contract Lifecycle is the sixth article in our series of seven covering the key principles highlighted by the National Audit Office (NAO) in its report on emerging best practice in commercial and contract management. 140 projects were reviewed in its production; practitioners and stakeholders offered their views in discussions, interviews and workshops, and the end result is a well considered and insightful read, should you choose to do so. We

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

outsourcing renegotiation

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 week’s blog, we will offer up tips for a positive resolution with the kind assistance of David Barrett from PROCURiSOURCE. By following the below steps you can effectively renegotiate an existing contract with a strategic partner in such a way

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Contract Management Issues & Emerging Best Practice – NAO Report

contract management

The National Audit Office’s 2016 report on commercial and contract management in the public sector offers up a ‘gold mine’ of useful information for organisations across the public-private spectrum. Its segmentation of all the issues they identified into seven key principles offers an excellent overview of weaknesses that all companies suffer from to some degree, which is why we have dedicated an article to each. This being the fifth in

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Outsourcing: 5 Mistakes You Must 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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Intelligent Client Function: The 8 best team skills to drive maximum value in complex 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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Contract Approach: NAO Insights & Emerging Best Practices

Contract Management

If you are looking for ways in which to improve your commercial and contract management, then you are in good company. The National Audit Office (NAO) has spent years reviewing the public sector market to identify where weaknesses in processes and implementation exist with the aim of creating a more robust and widely adopted practice to improve performance, value for money, and the potential for outcome achievement. This research culminated

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Market Management & Sourcing – NAO Insights Report (Part 3)

market sourcing management

This article is the latest in a series of seven tasked with reporting and commenting on the findings of the NAO’s 2016 report on insights and emerging best practice in commercial and contract management. Twenty issues were raised and grouped under seven headings – Commercial Strategy, Commercial Capability, Market Management and Sourcing, Contract Approach, Contract Management, Contract Lifecycle, and Transition and Termination – and our articles on each focus on

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Commercial Capability Insights and Emerging Best Practices – NAO Report

commercial capability

The National Audit Office’s report ‘Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practice’, published at the end of last year, has been a mine of useful information. It sources some 140 projects alongside interviews, workshops and discussions. These have presented a broad-spectrum perspective of the state of public sector outsourcing today. The purpose of all this research has been to identify and share strengths and challenges that can be

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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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Commercial Strategy issues highlighted within NAO’s Insights report on Emerging Best Practices


In November 2016, when the NAO released their latest report on the state of best practice in the public sector, titled ‘Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practice’ they presented one of the most considered documents on the subject created to date. From all of the research the NAO gathered – from stakeholder, supplier and practitioner discussions, workshops, commercial standards and 140 individual project reports – they determined

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A bitter turf war in Government? Have millions been spent by two departments on potentially duplicate IT systems?

The Conservative government has, for the best part of a decade, been fixated on the debt the country has got itself into. In his Spring Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that national debt stood at a figure of nearly £1.7 trillion with an interest cost alone of £50bn a year. He reaffirmed his party’s commitment to reduce this debt as a priority. Inevitably this will require further sweeping cuts throughout the

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A Look Into The NAO’s Research On Emerging Best Practices And Lessons Learnt For Major Projects

In a recent article titled ‘NEW National Audit Office guidance for supplier operating standards that could change everything’, we took a look at the most recent update of the Government Commercial Function’s (GCF) eight ‘Commercial Operating Standards’ and discussed their significance for both public and private sector clients. The NAO’s own recent report ‘Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practice’ is one on which we have written several

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New Government Commercial Operating Standards to Help Drive Better Value In Supplier Relationships

The National Audit Office (NAO) recently published an insightful report on the state of commercial and contract management best practice in the public sector. We have developed a number of articles on the subject matter contained within this report – the first being an overview titled ‘New NAO Report: 20 Key insights into emerging Best Practice for commercial and contract management’, the second being this one which focuses on a

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