Service integration & governance

Burnt Oak Partners provides a multi-faceted approach to the successful management of services, whether sourced internally or externally. Service integration and governance implemented well assures that the expected benefits that drove the initial business case are actually realised, and where strategy changes or is affected by other external factors, we will be there to ensure the delivery of service under the contract is constantly realigned to the shifting requirements of the client’s business.

Our approach is both pragmatic and hands on and is designed to work seamlessly alongside the client and supplier relationship. It incorporates the following six key elements which guarantee a higher level of assurance over service value, business benefits realisation and a successful outsourcing result.

Contract Management

An outsourcing contract is based on numerous commitments and obligations by which both the service provider and the buying client must live up to. It is often said that “an outsourcing contract starts to go bad from the point at which it is signed”, so careful management of the delivery of duties under the contract is an essential function in order to affect the successful delivery of contracted services, and one that is often given little or no consideration due to other commitments and business activities.

Burnt Oak Partners will provide the oversight, support, tracking and management that is required to ensure that the duties of both parties to the contract are adhered to, and thereby provide assurance in transition of services, service delivery and execution.

Using our Contract Minder Methodology we will be responsible for a number of activities which include:

  • Translating the obligations and commitments of both parties under the contract into a manageable and transparent set of planned activities which can be tracked and monitored
  • Implement change control procedures and escalation processes to formalise, document and track new service requests and change requests
  • Assess the business impacts of any proposed changes to support the formal review and sign off, and provide a fully auditable and documented process to track contractual changes made
  • Develop a formal customer strategy to service provision alignment process, whereby the impact of internal businesses changes and other external market factors are registered, understood and agreed, such that the provision of services can be appropriately realigned to the changing requirements of the business
  • Provide the software tools to constantly track and measure the performance of contractual (and non-contractual) SLAs against targets and acceptable tolerances, providing automated early warning of potential risks and issues in the delivery of service to both the client and service provider
  • Monitor customer and service delivery satisfaction through a survey based review with key personnel, deliver full analytics on issue areas and make recommendations for closing the gaps

Innovation Management

Many organisations complain that they do not achieve the innovation results they expected from their outsourcing contract, whilst service providers often pin the heart of the issue squarely back on the client being unprepared or even resistant to their innovation offerings. The net result is that the delivery of innovation and thus continuous improvement in the delivery of services and increased benefit realisation is lost.

Burnt Oak Partners firmly believes in recognising innovation as an essential function within the business and therefore provides a formally managed process by which new ideas both from within the organisation itself and the service provider can be presented and matched to the changing requirements and drivers of the business. This method helps nurture innovation and ensures that it is not suppressed to the detriment of longer term business goals that can ultimately transform the organisation for the better and retain the competitive edge in the market.

We view innovation across all of the technological, process and business dimensions, so our Innovation Management Methodology incorporates all aspects and includes the following unique elements:

  • Clear ownership and accountability for the generation and execution of innovation within the business
  • An Innovation Forum where client and service provider meet regularly to discuss business requirements and review innovation ideas
  • A rules based approach to reviewing, accepting or declining innovation ideas with rights to veto and challenge
  • A governance and reporting model against which innovation targets can be set and monitored, and innovation business cases can be measured and tested

Communications Management

It is essential that the end client and service provider agree a systematic approach to communications, which provides simple, clear and consistent messages to all internal and external stakeholders and has overt executive sponsorship. The carefully constructed communications programme contains behaviours and expectations, reduces risk of misunderstandings and misquoting, and operates from standard Q&A responses and information repositories.

We have developed a proprietary approach to communications tested in many large scale live transactions:

  • Strategy and options review – devise and agree the communications strategy for both the end client and service provider
  • Planning – develop the core framework for the programme – defining the key messages, standardising Q&A responses, identifying the key retained people, and develop the communications processes
  • Due diligence and deal shaping – rollout the key messages to various identified and agreed channels in a planned and harmonised way, taking careful consideration of local nuances and cultural differences
  • Negotiation – planned and structured feedback communications to stakeholders through negotiation phase
  • Contract execution – steady state communication that is planned and consistent with the original programme design to build on initial deal investment and achievement of deal objective(s)

Programme Governance, Risk Management and Reporting

Outsourcing is a process which contains significant risk and complexity for any organisation and therefore requires a solid governance model which is well understood, adopted and applied at all levels of the organisation.

Good governance starts at the top, so it is firstly paramount that there is transparent decision making and clearly defined responsibilities and accountability at the executive and board levels. Secondly, any programme of activity requires its own governance principles such as executive sponsorship, support and oversight; a well-defined plan with achievable milestones; clear roles and responsibilities, and accountability for deliverables, communications and reporting; an understood method for implementing the programme; and a risk management strategy.

Burnt Oak Partners’ model for programme governance, risk management and reporting incorporates all of these key principles to ensure that the programme starts with all the tenets necessary for a successful outcome. We can audit the existing governance process and make recommendations for improvement where appropriate, or we can help the organisation build a solid governance framework.

Our framework for governance includes:

  • Review of current governance framework and processes with recommendations for improvement to close gaps
  • Verification of overt executive sponsorship and involvement of key personnel throughout the life of the programme
  • Identification, documentation, management and mitigation of programme risks and issues, including impact assessment and escalation procedures
  • Facilitation of regular service and customer satisfaction review meetings, providing a clear set of actions for improvement which are tracked and built back into the programme
  • Facilitation of ongoing dialogue internally and also with the service provider to ensure changing requirements are well considered and innovation is brought to the fore
  • Development of robust change control processes to provide a clear audit trail and decision path for new service requests or changing business and service requirements
  • Use of a best practice governance tools to enable effective management of SLA performance, risks and issues. This is managed using a web based interface which provides online dashboards and workflow
  • Regular management and executive reporting against project plan and milestones, risks and issues, actions and deliverables and benefits realised

Benefits Realisation Management

Many large scale change programmes including outsourcing and M&A transactions fail to deliver the financial and business benefits that justified the case for change at the outset. Our approach to Benefits Realisation Management (BRM) therefore ideally starts right up front in the strategy and planning phase but of course can be applied at any point in the transaction. BRM will help you identify your business drivers and develop your business objectives, increase stakeholder engagement through fostering common understanding and commitment, help formulate the case for change, reduce programme risks of disengagement or bad decision making by focussing on the end goals, provide a clear means by which business benefits can be measured, reported and success demonstrated, and ultimately facilitate contract management.

The key elements of Burnt Oak’s BRM Methodology are as follows:

  • Validate the business drivers, objectives and expected benefits to ensure they are realistic, achievable and measurable
  • Develop a benefits dependency map so that the roadmap to realising the benefits of the change programme are documented, communicated and understood
  • Establish a process of capturing, measuring and reporting benefits against targets and tolerance levels as they are realised
  • Identifying where benefits variances exist against the programme timeline, analyse the root causes and issues along the benefits dependency map and formulate a plan of action to remediate
  • Provide web based software tools to capture and measure achievement of benefits against targets and tolerance levels, providing multi-view benefits reporting and fast track issue and risk identification reporting, automated activity response prompts, and escalation of exceptions for management attention and remedial action

Executive support and coaching

We provide commercial and highly focused executive level coaching and support across a number of different areas through ongoing Executive-to-Executive sessions. This support programme is designed to ensure continued sponsorship and engagement at the executive level and provide assurance to top management and key stakeholders of successful implementation and delivery, and includes coverage of:

  • Influencer model
  • Communications strategy
  • Strategy planning and execution
  • Commercial modelling and deal negotiation strategies
  • Innovation management
  • Deal and risk management