This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Annex 1
Progress Paper for the Partnership Steering Group

Meeting Monday 25 February 2002
Prepared by Jean Kitchin (Project Manager)
19 February 2002

1. Introduction

1.1 The project, Partnership in Action – Implementing the partnering arrangements for REFIT, was set up to identify and address the things we need to do to ensure that the relationship elements of the partnership between HSE and CMG develop in a manner that ensures the additionality we seek from the partnership.

1.2 Initial research and consultation with HSE’s senior users and external parties with practical experience of partnership working has taken place over recent months. A discussion document was prepared and circulated to all internal consultees (HSE, CMG and CC). Based on the arguments and best practice presented in the discussion document recipients were asked to provide feedback on:

2. Background

2.1 Research and experience show that the relationship will not just develop of its own accord. It needs to be managed in a structured way. Indeed the feedback received so far, indicates that we do not currently have a partnership. If we do not address these issues in a structured way, so that everyone understands and is committed to the goals of the partnership, relations will be soured.

2.2 This project is about the softer issues – the things we have to do to work in partnership and the ways we have to work to bring about the additionality – the difference between a service delivery contract and a partnership.

2.3 There are a number of other things happening in parallel to this project, which add up to the whole partnership picture. For instance, a considerable amount of work on a day to day basis to deliver the desktop services; project work to develop some of HSE’s corporate systems; and a project to develop a model for benefits realisation. However, all this could happen under a service delivery contract. The focus of this project is to make the difference between a service delivery contract and a partnership.

2.4 The contract provides the framework for the delivery of desktop services and project work. We need framework to help us to understand the partnership relationship – the things we have to do well to develop a healthy partnership. We need to be able to measure how healthy the partnership is and understand the things we have to work harder at. So, although this work may seem quite theoretical in the early stages once the framework is accepted and we begin to use it we will have a very practical tool to promote understanding, measure the health of the partnership and help us to decide where we need to target our efforts to improve.

3. Progress to Date

3.1 It was hoped that feedback from the discussion document could be collated into proposals and presented to the Partnership Steering Group at its 25 February meeting. However, minimal feedback has been received and several of the consultees have asked for more time. A fuller update will now be presented at a later date. An project action plan outlining proposed activity attached at Annex 1.

3.2 Most of the feedback received to date indicates that we need to spend more time focusing on service issues before we try to rush ahead with the partnership issues. However, there is support for a framework to help develop and measure the health of the partnership. The draft Partnership Scorecard (Annex 2) is presented to the PSG for outline approval. The Scorecard becomes the Partnership Charter, It is owned by the PSG who have responsibility to develop the partnership. The Scorecard sets out the partnership vision, the partnership strategy, the partnership values and the critical success factors (CSF’s). The CSF’s will need more explanation including examples to clarify understanding. This work is in progress.

3.3 To set the context – the next step would be to send out a questionnaire to all partnership group members and those who have been involved in projects (HSE and CMG) since the start of the new agreement. The questionnaire would basically ask to what extent we have progressed towards achieving the CSF’s (the things we need to do well).

3.4 When the questionnaires are returned we will have a baseline and we can target improvement. Currently, if we receive feedback we do not know whether it is representative of the whole picture. If all parties can comment in structured manner we can then set short and long term targets, decide what actions we need to take (eg to promote understanding, develop project management/relationship management skills) and who should be responsible for taking things forward.

3.5 In support of this, the project is developing a partnership working skills analysis tool so that we can assess who needs what skills to support partnership working. The tool will demonstrate what skills and knowledge are needed to deliver the values (Leadership, Trust, Learning and Managing Performance). The skills analysis is part of a Partnership Competence Tool Kit, which will describe the positive behaviours for each of the skills. There will also be a development guide describing how people can best achieve the competence/skills.

3.6 This demonstrates a clear read through from the partnership vision in the scorecard to what people need to be doing at individual/ team/partnership level to promote and achieve a successful partnership.

3.7 Until we have taken a baseline (and we first have to have something to take a baseline against) we cannot allocate tasks to individuals because we do not know what needs to be done. This work is designed to get us to that stage.

4. Action

4.1 The PSG are asked to agree in principle and take ownership of:

The contact for this paper is Jean Kitchin, Business Improvement Team on ext. 3836.

Updated 2009-05-13