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5th Edition | September 2022 | Human Engine Insights

Human Engine Insights is our monthly digest of what's happening in our world. Each edition will include industry news and thought pieces from our team on what's happening within the private and public sector.

Queen Elizabeth II

Sadly we start this with sombre news of the passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch, spending 70 years on the throne, having ascended to the throne in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. She was also the ceremonial Head of the Commonwealth.

Her Majesty's reign covered periods of significant change in the United Kingdom and abroad, with the Queen remaining a familiar and steadfast presence for the nation. She was known to be particularly devoted to her role in the Commonwealth, as well as her charitable patronages.

Her husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh died in 2021, aged 99.

The Queen's firstborn son, Charles, is now the King.

On behalf of everyone at the Human Engine, we would like to send our sincere condolences and thoughts to the Royal Family at this time.

God Save The King.

September Successes

Our team have been hard at work helping our clients to deliver the best work of their lives. We've been working with multiple clients across Local Government and the wider public sector on large programmes of work - It's a little soon to reveal the outcomes, but please keep your eyes peeled, we will share more information in future editions!

We would however like to focus on one of our clients, the ICO Information Commissioner's Office and the great start to the series of workshops we’re running with the team at the Information Commissioner's Office to plan the implementation of the #ICO25 Strategy.

One session we delivered was all about prioritisation and pace. There was fantastic engagement from colleagues across the ICO and a particular shoutout to those colleagues in customer-facing roles who reminded us to listen to what customers are saying when setting priorities. Well done everyone involved and we're looking forward to the delivery of future workshops.

If you're curious, The ICO25 strategy sets out a shift in approach to regulation that will transform not only how the organisation operates but the relationship individuals and organisations have with information. It's not about what you can't do with data - it's about what you can.

The ICO 25 plan can be found here:

Case Study: Economic Renewal Action Plan Programme

In early 2021, the UK was emerging from the devastating second wave of COVID-19, businesses, people and places faced an unprecedented cocktail of impacts. The need to rebound or adapt was widespread, with the challenges often greatest for those facing disadvantage.

Barnsley Council moved quickly to develop an Economic Renewal Action Plan working with partner organisations on its Business and Economy Recovery Group, such as DWP, NHS, Barnsley College and the Chamber of Commerce. The aim of the 18-month plan is to reiterate the borough’s pre-existing economic issues, assess the impact of the pandemic, and outline a co-ordinated programme of immediately deliverable support for people, businesses and places.

Human Engine were asked to support Barnsley by providing programme management capacity and expertise for their ERAP programme.

Human Engine established the Programme Management Office (PMO) function, overseeing 8 projects delivered by a mix of internal teams and external partners. Leading the PMO, we supported the client’s Programme Leader to make effective decisions by providing visibility of programme milestones, outputs, risks and issues. This was about more than routine reporting or escalation – we provided pragmatic advice to help make decisions effectively, mitigate risks proactively and resolve issues quickly.

Headline Outcomes:

Through collaboration between the council, local delivery partners and the Human Engine team, the programme achieved the following outcomes:

  • Jobs Created - 73

  • Jobs Safeguarded - 153

  • Businesses Created - 10

  • Businesses engaged and supported through the programme: 538

  • Employees directly supported with training or management advice: 623

Read the full case study here:

Please continue reading below about our approach to programme management.

Spotlight Service. Delivering Impactful Programmes

So much work in the modern public sector is managed and delivered in programme and project environments. Whether that’s delivering business change programmes within your organisation, or leading transformative programmes within communities, we know that high-quality programme and project management is critical to achieving the desired outcomes.

There are many standards and methodologies that help teams establish and manage programmes of work. However, we know that the most successful and impactful programmes, which leave a meaningful legacy, require more than a ‘text-book’ approach to programme management.

Our Approach

Human Engine brings a wealth of expertise in project and programme management in complex public sector environments. Our team are trained in MSP, PRINCE2 and PRINCE2-Agile methodologies and are registered Change Management Practitioners. More than this, we bring a tailored and unique approach to programme management that minimises bureaucracy, facilitates delivery and maximises benefits.

Alongside technical excellence, our approach embraces the following principles of successful programmes:

Clarity during programme mobilisation

Programme leads are often keen to mobilise quickly, but the programme ultimately under-achieves as misunderstandings emerge, or structures and ways of working need to be unpicked. Human Engine work with our clients’ leaders and teams to guide colleagues through the mobilisation process. We provide comprehensive support to start programmes on the right footing, including Programme Scoping, Programme Definition and Programme Initiation.

Galvanise a One Team Ethos

Human Engine brings together multi-disciplinary teams from different backgrounds (and organisations) to deliver programmes successfully. We draw on several tools and techniques that can successfully galvanise a team from different backgrounds in constrained timeframes.

Effective Governance and Reporting

To accurately track delivery of programmes, realisation of benefits and burndown of budgets and resources, we build a framework of structured reporting and governance based on a principle of minimal bureaucracy and maximal delivery. This is anchored by a balanced scorecard, which provides a one-stop-shop of project and programme information.

Continuous Focus on Outcomes and Benefits

Throughout the programme lifecycle we conduct regular reviews and ’deep dives’ of projects to ensure they are delivering according to plan, but more importantly to ensure they are delivering their objectives. This continued focus on benefits ensures the programme maximises impact and sustainability.

For more information, on how we can help your organisation to maximise the impact of your programmes and projects, please contact Ed Gurney,

Let's Get Social!

Did you know Human Engine can be found on other channels? Please support and follow:

Twitter - @HumanEngineLtd

We look forward to keeping in sharing our latest thoughts with you.

Public Sector Network

Do you have a passion for being commercial in the public sector? Join our commercial networking group. We meet monthly for an informal round table to share, develop ideas and network with like-minded peers. All sessions will include a mix of guest speakers, discussions and group activities. The sessions are open to commercial directors, commercial managers and business development teams from local government, central government and the NHS.

Free to attend. 12:30 – 13:30 - 4th Thursday of each month.

Next Session

22nd September – Social Value through a contract management lens.

Guest Speaker - Ali Macdonald, Director ‑ Commercial and Supply Chain.

This session will be a taster, through a Contract Management lens, of Human Engine’s Embedding Social Value training course which we have developed for local authorities and other public sector clients.

Ali Macdonald will discuss with the group:

➤ What is Social Value and why is it important

➤ The principles of good contract management

➤ Outline the skeleton to Human Engine’s training course, which focuses on embedding social value throughout the commercial planning process of a contract

Ali recommends that social value benefits should be treated as importantly as any other contract deliverable: if a successful supplier doesn’t deliver the social value that it said it would, it’s the community that misses out.

Free to join - We look forward to seeing you!

Human Engine Secure Position on G-Cloud 13 – RM1557.13

Human Engine are delighted to announce that we have been successfully appointed to the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud 13 Framework. We look forward to continuing to provide support to innovative, digital and cloud projects, working with clients across the public sector.

The G-Cloud framework is an agreement between the government and suppliers who provide cloud-based services.

G-Cloud services are divided into 3 categories, or ‘lots’:

  • Lot 1 Cloud Hosting (PaaS, IaaS) – cloud platform or infrastructure, which allows buyers to deploy, manage and run software, and provision and use processing, storage or networking resources.

  • Lot 2 Cloud Software (SaaS) – applications which are accessed over the internet and hosted in the cloud.

  • Lot 3 Cloud Support – to help set up and maintain cloud software or hosting services.

  • Human Engine are offering services through Lot 2 Cloud Software and Lot 3 Cloud Support.

These offerings will be available to access through G-Cloud 13 once the new iteration goes live later this year.

For further information please contact: Michael Curnow, Commercial Director

About Human Engine

Human Engine is a leading management consultancy with specialisms in strategy, change, digital, commercial, procurement and projects. We work with local authorities, central government, charities and NHS organisations nationally to help transform their strategies, operations and cultures to improve outcomes for customers and communities.

If you wish to find out more about us - Visit Our Website

Until next time!

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