Major Service Transition

The Requirement:

Cambridge University Hospital decided to move from its then current IT service provider to a new supplier. This change involved the transfer of all infrastructure services across the entire medical campus and the upgrading of several key hardware and software components.

Our initial involvement was to assist in the evaluation of proposals from prospective new suppliers, and we were subsequently retained to provide programme oversight and assurance services for the life of the transition programme.

This comprised of a complex set of interrelated projects involving critical healthcare systems, stakeholders from across the medical campus, new and existing suppliers and a two year timeframe.

Our Approach:

The engagement commenced with us working with the client to define the expected outcomes of the programme. Inputs to this phase included the initial business plan plus stakeholder interviews with both board members and key users.

Increasing value was the primary objective, and this was to be realised through improved costs, increased agility and higher levels of satisfaction among end users, both clinical and administrative.

An initial review of programme governance was then performed to determine the suitability of the overall governance, programme management, risk management and reporting arrangements. Our findings resulted in some early stage changes in programme / project organisational structure to minimise identified risks and address some skill gaps.

In our role of “critical friend” we continued to work closely with all suppliers and our client’s programme team to ensure we maintained a current understanding of all aspects of the programme and its progress. Advisory notes were issued where needed and regular reports and assessments provided. Periodic “deep dive” assessments were also undertaken in advance of key project milestones to evaluate risks and recommend mitigation activities if required.

During the mid and latter phases of the programme the areas of change management and risk management were modified to close perceived gaps and remove potential issues with the incoming service provider. Substantial input was also provided in the area of supplier management, with specific regard to improving the effectiveness of the commercial management function.

In the final phases a detailed “lessons learned” analysis was performed to provide the executive and future project teams with insights that have the potential to increase the effectiveness of future programmes.

The Outcome:

The programme completed on the precise date predicted by the initial project plan and was under budget in all areas. Initial benefits were realised as projected, and there is a continuing stream of work being undertaken by the client to ensure the further downstream benefits are realised as expected and in a timely manner.

“Always constructive, supportive and helpful, but brought a knowledge base to fill gaps that we actually didn’t have – some of those were gaps that we recognised and some were gaps that hadn’t even occurred to us. A true richness of intellectual contribution as opposed to sometimes when assurance is just checking and rechecking with a bit of validation.”

Dr Afzal Chaudhry
Consultant & CDO, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
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