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The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an Executive Agency of the
Department for Transport (DfT). DVLA is respo...
The transformation challenge
Over the past 15 years the agency has transformed the way it delivers its business. More
and ...
For the PACT Exit Programme, costs and benefits for the initiative were derived through
consultation with work stream lead...
Through working with the business areas, sources of uncertainty within programmes
and constituent projects can be more eff...
Another fundamental process which has been put in place by the benefits assurance
team are robust reviews after the progra...
Key points
 Benefits should be clearly identified, defined and measurable.
 Before any change is undertaken it should be...
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Managing benefits at the DVLA

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Managing benefits at the DVLA - paper from the APM Benefits Management SIG

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Managing benefits at the DVLA

  1. 1. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). DVLA is responsible for maintaining over 45 million driver records and over 38 million vehicle records and collects over £6 billion a year in vehicle tax. The goal of the organisation is to get the right drivers and vehicles taxed and on the road as simply, safely and efficiently as possible for the public. The strategic objectives of the organisation are1 :  Simpler licensing – simplify our policies and technology landscape to improve customer service  New opportunities – use our assets to grow new revenue, efficiency and opportunities across government  Excellent services – build seamless, lean, digital services that exceed expectations with more cost effective channels, recognising and responding to different customer needs  The best of DVLA – develop our capabilities as a centre of excellence, building a unique culture which is commercial, confident and focused on our customers The Agency employs almost 5000 people and is located in Swansea. 1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dvla-business-plan-2016-to-2017/business-plan-2016-to-2017 The road to successful benefits management
  2. 2. The transformation challenge Over the past 15 years the agency has transformed the way it delivers its business. More and more of the annual £100m customer interactions per year take place online, with over 80% of activity conducted in this way. To enable this DVLA has been keen to ensure that the digital solutions it provides are as effective and user-friendly as possible, with the ultimate aim of making their services ‘Simpler, Better and Safer’. This forms part of the Government’s wider ‘Transformation Programme’2 which aims to build digital services that are based on the needs of the users, not the needs of the government. The objective of the Transformation Programme is to make 25 major services, across eight departments, digital by default. Becoming a digital organisation of the future To work towards this the DVLA needed to change the way it delivered IT. For the past 22 years the DVLA has relied on a third party IT partner to provide and support its IT services. 12 of those years were covered by the Partners Achieving Change Together (PACT) contract - an outsourced IT approach. This outsourced model limited what could be achieved by the organisation in certain timescales because of commercial constraints. The business was keen to embrace a more agile approach to delivery in line with the strategic objective of becoming a digital organisation of the future. The decision was made to move to an internal operating model, which would create ability within the business and offer greater flexibility to deliver. This disaggregation of the supply base was intended to offer smaller suppliers opportunities – promoting collaboration and innovation. Thus a change programme was initiated to transform IT services within the DVLA, which included successful exit from the PACT. It was important that during this transition any risk to live services was minimised: safety over ambition became the mantra. Approach Key to this transformational change has been the robust guidance and rigorous assurance provided by the benefits assurance team. The team works with the individual business areas to ensure that benefits are at the forefront of every project and programme. Through proactive stakeholder engagement and benefits workshops, the team encourages benefits to be identified and clearly understood from the start. Suzanne Richards, Benefits Realisation Assurance Manager, believes that benefits should be clearly identified, defined and measurable and considered upfront: ‘Before any change is undertaken it should be clear as to what the benefits are and whether they justify the expense and effort required for their delivery’. 2 https://www.gov.uk/transformation
  3. 3. For the PACT Exit Programme, costs and benefits for the initiative were derived through consultation with work stream leads who in turn engaged with Information Technology Division (ITD) capability managers. Identifying and assuring benefits The project aimed to achieve savings of around £70m on the re-tendering and around £22.5m annually3 , whilst at the same time providing the agility to respond to user requirements. Clearly cost reduction and efficiency were key drivers for PACT Exit. However, there were other benefits such as creating IT capability made up of highly skilled people from DVLA and the local area, alongside bringing skills and job roles in-house. The intention was to safeguard jobs in DVLA and the Swansea area, creating new roles and opportunities for staff and improving the working environment. The ‘dis-benefits’ also needed to be considered: the costs of novating PACT contracts, the PACT services transition beyond exit, the new IT contracts procured and the SME support costs. By adopting a bottom up approach the benefits assurance team were able to establish credible cost and benefit models to feed into the business case, including supporting assumptions. Rob Sweby, benefit analytical assurance manager, promotes quality analysis within the organisation by following the good practice described in the ‘Aqua Book’4 . All business cases developed within the organisation are required to include an analytical assurance statement to ensure the analysis is sufficient to inform the decisions it supports. This is done by applying the principles of RIGOUR (see Figure 1). 3 https://insidedvla.blog.gov.uk/2015/09/29/taking-control-of-our-future-were-driving-transformation/ 4 HM Treasury (2015) The Aqua Book: guidance on producing quality analysis for government Suzanne Richards (bottom left) and the DVLA Benefits Assurance Team
  4. 4. Through working with the business areas, sources of uncertainty within programmes and constituent projects can be more effectively identified. A confidence level of low, medium or high is assigned to all benefits as they are forecast. These uncertainties are then tracked and managed throughout delivery. Owning and delivering benefits The benefits assurance team encourages business areas/projects to take ownership and commit to identifying benefits and their realisation. Business change managers ensure effective engagement from the agency. They have a key responsibility for profiling the benefits, including metrics assumptions and forecasts, and providing a view on risks and benefits in readiness reporting. Establishing ownership for the benefits within the PACT initiative was essential. Whilst work stream leads are the delivery mechanism for the project, the vast majority of benefits will impact ITD budgets. Therefore ownership resides with the chief technology officer with capability leads expected to take ownership as the new IT service delivery model is embedded into business as usual. The benefits team emphasise the importance of tracking, monitoring and reporting on benefits to understand whether the desired outcome is achieved. Cherrie John, benefits assurance manager support, is responsible for collating a monthly benefits scorecard which includes aggregated management information from across all business areas. Cherrie describes how ‘the benefits assurance team discuss variances with business areas and the scorecard is reported up to the executive team, providing key information to enable the proactive management of benefits across the portfolio’. Figure 1: RIGOUR in analytical assurance
  5. 5. Another fundamental process which has been put in place by the benefits assurance team are robust reviews after the programme/project has been implemented. Thus benefits are managed throughout the lifecycle of the programme – from discovery to post implementation review (see Figure 2). Post Implementation Reviews are fed into the Benefits Management Framework, supporting continuous improvement within the organisation. Results The PACT Exit Outline Business Case Investment was approved in March 2015. Subsequently the PACT contract came to an end on 12 September 2015. DVLA became the first government department to exit such a large outsourced contract with a single supplier, taking on sole commercial responsibility and bringing IT in-house. Critical to achieving this was effective and ongoing engagement – ensuring people felt involved in the change process. Whilst the project has been a success and cost reductions and increased efficiency are already starting to be achieved, the real benefits are yet to come. The new operation model provides a ‘platform for the future’ allowing IT enabled transformation of the organisation. It allows DVLA to become a truly modern, agile organisation, empowered to improve services to users quickly and cost-effectively5 . As DVLA continues on its road to transformation, benefits will be the driver of change. 5 https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2015/10/02/its-all-about-people-dvla-delivers-real-transformation/ Figure 2: Managing Benefits across the Lifecycle
  6. 6. Key points  Benefits should be clearly identified, defined and measurable.  Before any change is undertaken it should be clear as to what the benefits are and whether they justify the expense and effort required for their delivery;  Benefits need to linked to strategic objectives;  Business areas/projects take ownership and are committed to identifying benefits and their realisation;  Assumptions should undergo appropriate analytical assurance;  Benefits must be tracked and recorded and properly recognised. The contents of this document have been prepared by the APM Benefits Management SIG and do not necessarily represent the views of APM.

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