NHSBSA – IT and Dental Outsourcing Exit & Transition

NHSBSA was coming to the end of a contract with Capita for Managed IT Services and Dental Services and were looking to in-source some services and procure new suppliers to replace the Managed IT Service with a hybrid model of contracted and in-house services. BPG was instructed to provide exit & transition assurance and deliver capability uplift support in two phases.

Phase 1 – Exit & Transition Strategy and Assurance

During Discovery, we undertook a review of the proposed IT TOM to assure alignment with business outcomes, and to ensure all exit planning arrangements and future procurement activities were aligned to these outcomes. The programme involved multiple suppliers and stakeholders, (some high-profile e.g. Capita, Virgin, Dept of Health and Social Care and the IPA) and reputations were at stake. We analysed the stakeholder environment understanding connections to, involvement or interest in the programme and developed a comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan. We scheduled time with stakeholders early in the process to ensure they would be available when required (for input, consultation or approvals). We planned regular reporting and communications to keep stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the life of the programme.

1. Exit Readiness Assessment

We provided strategic advice and guidance to assure NHSBSA’s, aims and objectives for a successful exit/transition: to minimise risk, secure co-operation from the incumbent, protect reputations and provided a safe landing into new services. The key assessment activities we undertook covered: Programme & Governance; Service Management & Design; Technical & Architecture and Commercial & Contractual. We provided:

  • External assurance of current status and planned activities.
  • Insights into where enhancements/improvements might further protect/secure required outcomes.
  • Assessment of the likelihood of a successful demobilisation/mobilisation
  • Commentary on the degree of confidence to which planning, capabilities, and capacity were aligned to the achievement of the required outcomes.
  • Recommendations and action plans to increase the probability of successful outcomes.

2. Exit Strategy Advice and Assurance

We advised NHSBSA on their Exit Strategy to assure it:

  • Set out a shared understanding, and agreement, between all parties of the principles and approaches to ensure mutually successful Exit Management arrangements
  • Articulated the Critical Success Factors (“CSFs”) for the Exit Plan
  • Maximised communication and transparency of plans, progress, risks & associated agreements.
  • Minimised disruption to BAU activities throughout the Exit Period (unless otherwise agreed).
  • Ensured an on-time, on-budget exit within the resourcing and planning assumptions underpinning the Exit Plan (deploying ‘Expert Responsibilities’ and ‘Duty to Warn’ contractual strategies).

From our contract analysis, we identified where existing provisions aligned to NHSBSA outcomes, where changes might better align them or where there were complete misalignments with NHSBSA outcomes. From this, we developed negotiation and risk mitigation strategies to move the exit & transition planning forward.

3. Supplier Facilitation During Exit

To assure full supplier cooperation we advised on the development of a Supplier Facilitation and Management Strategy. This involved a review of the current relationship with the incumbent (interviews, document reviews, workshops) and providing advice and a high-level roadmap that could be followed to encourage the incumbent to meet their contractual obligations and work constructively, in a timely manner towards the required contract exit. We advised NHSBSA on the key Relationship Management principles that they needed to consider, identified in our OPTIMISE methodology as the 8 key components, to assure the relationship achieved the client’s outcomes through effective relationship management that overlaps with good contract management.

4. Supplier Relationship and Contract Management Capability Assessment

Our role involved assuring the arrangements for future supplier relationships and contract management covering: TOM alignment, procurement approach, contracting, transition and implementation. Moving to a hybrid scenario under the TOM and implementing both service tower and SIAM principles required NHSBSA to demonstrate its capability as an ‘Intelligent Client’ able to lead the development of services, drive performance for its customers, and effectively manage a potentially complex supplier environment. To support this, we assessed both current and planned capability against our experience of developing and supporting the Intelligent Client Function (ICF). We captured lessons learned from existing contracts, developed Supplier Management dashboards and conducted Risk Analysis. We used our OPTIMISE contract management principles to assure and benchmark NHSBSA processes, advising where capability uplift would enable successful ongoing management of the new supplier relationship.

5. Procurement Support

BPG provided general procurement support including procurement and contracting strategy, requirements specifications and evaluation criteria aligned to business outcomes; early market engagement; options appraisal, ITT/SoR documentation and procurement process project management. We supported supplier selection and contract negotiations and drafting.

Phase 2 – Supplier Improvement

1. Support for supplier Reset negotiations

We delivered negotiation training to internal teams and advised on the development of a negotiation strategy. We reviewed negotiation plans, providing input on improvements, tactics and specific issues as they arose during negotiations. When negotiation agreements were reached, we advised on their operational and commercial implications.

2. Revised Change Projects/New Projects Process

We acted as ‘critical friend’ for the review of processes and development of changes, including issues relating to commercial cover, providing advice on embedding changes and associated cultural change both within BSA and their supplier. We also supported the transition to revised processes and provided support for culture change activities.

3. Exit & Transition

Continuing our advice and assurance role from phase 1, we provided ongoing support on issues as they arose. Issues included: managing supplier behaviours; transition planning, service removal and associated change control and commercial issues; navigating existing contractual requirements whilst retaining appropriate commercial cover.

4. Supplier Management Capability Development

BPG supported the following capability uplift areas:

  • Supplier Management Strategies: workshops/sessions for internal BSA stakeholders
  • Engagement with operational and commercial teams to agree roles, responsibilities and interfaces
  • Innovation: processes to set out how innovation might be captured, explored and invested in
  • Partnering: working with BSA and supplier teams to build trust and adopt a partnering approach.

We provided assurance of customer relationship management capability and implemented the ICF development/maturity assessment tool for future capability evaluation and ongoing assurance.

5. Exit & Transition / ITIS assurance

This final stage involved the review and assurance of new supplier onboarding plans and associated commercial arrangements and of service insourcing onboarding plans. We provided preparation ‘critical friend’ support for IPA reviews and reporting.

Project outcomes and benefits

Our work delivered a smooth exit & transition to new suppliers (with assured fit-for-purpose solutions) with the full cooperation of the incumbent. Prior to our involvement, NHSBSA had been audited by the Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) and were found to be underperforming. Following our work, NHSBSA was audited again and were found to be ‘good’. The IPA specifically commented on the success our assurance approach and activities had had.