Building a major government department's procurement capability

A reform review of a large government ministry concluded that the department needed to build on the strengths of its constituent elements and the wider Civil Service in a way that 'ensures the whole is more than the sum of its parts'.

This meant devolving the previously centralised approach to procurement and capability management to five divisions. As part of this process, the department asked its strategic partners to deliver a transformation and upskilling programme.

Change Associates had a long-standing relationship with one of those partners, a Big Four consulting firm, who engaged us to support a customer design programme. 

What we did

We provided an experienced people development consultant to lead the Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSE) capability project. This focused on developing core skills and capabilities of individuals involved in all aspects of procurement and capability management.

She interviewed 23 key stakeholders from the core division and its partners and undertook the qualitative and quantitative analysis.

The findings were summarised in a KSE Assessment Report that identified 13 core capabilities and the critical skills, capability and capacity gaps to be addressed to fulfil their Procurement and Intelligent Customer roles.

Our consultant recommended and delivered a number of quick wins and medium-term solutions to address the issues.

The skills development began with a flagship capability management event for 120 people and a series of workshops delivered by Subject Matter Experts.

Our consultant updated role profiles, created new onboarding, induction and handover processes, and delivered training guidance including a summary showing prioritised procurement courses at Awareness, Practitioner, Expert and Strategic levels.

These initiatives were underpinned by a Stakeholder Communications Plan.

The result

The Client Sponsor and Leadership team stated on numerous occasions what a positive difference the KSE initiatives had made to the department's knowledge and skillsets.

Staff chose to attend a wide range of targeted training initiatives and now also understood the big picture.

The one-day capability management event was extremely well attended and gained satisfaction scores of 90% (78% Very Satisfied /12% Satisfied). The event is now a regular part of the induction programme.

All the process and training materials and documentation were stored on a central website for everyone to access.

A comprehensive handover, including documentation, ensured that the team could continue the momentum and sustain the KSE best practice for the long term.

For more details

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