As a G-Cloud framework supplier and quality assurance specialist, we understand that when embarking on a Digital Transformation (DT) journey, organisations need to augment their IT and digital teams to meet the demand of such a large undertaking
Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have surplus resources to meet their demand. This is because they tend to be geared up to support business-as-usual (BAU) activities. Many companies follow the same path when embarking on a DT journey: procuring a group of external consultants and experts in delivering the various elements that make up the solution.
In practice, this need can be fulfilled in several ways, from hiring full-time employees, expanding with contractors, outsourcing development as a whole, or a mixture of the above. However, identifying and securing quality candidates for the duration of the programme is difficult and time-consuming, especially when the organisation needs its total ‘horsepower’ to navigate and keep up with the pace of such a demanding journey.
Challenges – I’ll get by with a little help from my friends
A newly formed team presents many challenges to a programme’s delivery. Aside from the lack of organisational know-how, newly formed teams can take time to form into a cohesive group. Typically, elements of traditional IT project delivery, such as configuration management, build and release principals and testing processes, may not scale up as they tend to be specifically designed to support BAU and general systems upgrades, etc. Considering these challenges, would partnering with organisations that have trodden this path before make sense? Using a partner that can supply proven resources is a lower-risk option and a quicker way to get to the required critical mass.
Choosing the right partner can be a major challenge and you need to complete a procurement process through a mechanism such as the G-Cloud framework. Procurement functions need to carry out careful due diligence to find the right fit for a given programme and organisation.
You’ve got a friend in me! Where to start with a G-Cloud framework provider
Finding the right partner is essential for the transformation programme’s success. Evaluation by a chosen set of criteria is a good place to start, however you should never overlook successful case studies relevant to the programme in question and a step further would be to solicit feedback from a potential suppliers’ customers.
Some vital criteria for a successful partnership are:
Technical and Domain Competence
When evaluating a partner, their technology competency details are important. However, this factor should also be viewed through a domain subject matter and if both fit, the partnership should be on the right road to being successful.
Flexible Working and Resourcing Model
The chosen partner should provide the ability to flex the number of resources up and down within a time frame that is cost and time effective whilst ensuring appropriate knowledge transfer.
Service Delivery – here’s one I prepared earlier
One significant benefit is that some of the deliverables and methodology assets a contractor or a staff member would have to create is likely to be already pre-prepared. As a result, some of these items can take weeks of preparation and review to complete, saving the programme time and money!
Most people would agree that they didn’t see the last global pandemic coming. However unlikely, so called ‘crisis’ situations do occur and having a flexible way of working with a supplier is greatly beneficial. If all the resources are off the usual premises, ensure you can meet-up in person where possible, especially during the first part of the project or programme, where relationships and connections are forged.
Typically, when engaging with a partner, shared risk should be measured and wagered against outcomes. The partner should offer a fee ‘jeopardy’ level, where the service provided is measured against a set of KPIs and a percentage of the fees are set aside and only awarded if KPIs are met.
A key element in partnership is ensuring that all practices and processes carried out are fully transparent. This should be considered dubious if partners are reluctant to share their methodologies and working practices with the customer. A true partner should share ideas, processes, and ways of working – this can benefit any organisation, especially one that is technically immature. This way of working will uplift current technical and delivery methodologies to a more sophisticated and mature level, another value-add of working with a trusted partner.
In summary – working with a G-Cloud framework partner
If you reflect on the points above, you will see that engaging with a delivery partner has enormous benefits when embarking on a DT journey. Suppose the selection of the partner is done in the correct way. In that case, engagement is carried out in a transparent and measured way, with proper checks and balances ‘baked in’ to the contract and associated ways of working; you truly have a recipe for successful transformation.
nFocus Testing is the longest-established UK-owned software testing service provider with 23 years of successful project delivery, and they are also available on the G-Cloud Framework. In this time, we have worked with countless organisations supporting the quality assurance element of their transformation journeys.
To learn more about how we supported MMU on their transformation programme – read here.
Speak to a member of our team here.
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