Ergo Consulting - Strategic Review Products

Product

Features

Product Benefits for Client

Client example

Strategic Commissioning

 

We help develop strategic plans for commissioners that are fit for purpose.

We construct functional strategic plans by analysing and synthesising the best available evidence.

Ordinarily this includes:

§         Epidemiological and demographic data

§         National and local policy guidelines

§         Comparative data from elsewhere

§         Analysis of the capability and capacity of existing providers and of the wider market

§         Stakeholder and user consultation

§         Best value analysis

Everyone involved understands strategic objectives and their role.

Resources are deployed efficiently and effectively for maximum impact

Stakeholders and clients understand and approve strategic objectives and the rationale for decisions about resource allocation.

Our commissioning strategies have been praised and approved by a variety of regulatory bodies such as the Social Service Inspectorate, the Local Government Management Board, the National Treatment Agency, etc.

We have developed commissioning strategies for Drug and Alcohol Action Teams, voluntary organisations, Children’s Services, Child and Adult Mental Health Services, Sexual Health Services, etc.

Cost Analysis & Budgeting

 

We conduct a rigorous analysis of current spend, including where relevant unit costing.

We ensure that all monies spent are well aligned with national and local policies and priorities.

We identify potential cost savings and efficiencies and suggest ways of managing local provider markets.

Money is spent effectively and efficiently, and cost savings can be made.

Commissioners have clear information about unit and opportunity costs.

Efficiency savings are made.

We saved one inner London borough £4 million in one year.

Benchmarking

We review particular services or networks and assess their current performance and value for money, measured against formal targets and comparative performance elsewhere.

Commissioners know how well their services are performing and can identify priority areas for improvement.

A three-year financial strategy for Children & Family Services was developed and implemented for an inner London borough.

Stakeholder & User Consultation

We methodically identify the purpose of the consultation and all relevant stakeholders, clarify what we need to find out from them, and use a variety of methods to ensure maximum and useful participation.

We analyse information that is generated by the process, make recommendations to commissioners and provide appropriate feedback to participants.

Stakeholder and user views are clearly articulated so that they can be effectively fed into decision-making processes.

Stakeholders and users are reassured that their viewpoints are addressed and opposition minimised.

We have developed consultation guidance for a major regional transport authority.

Needs Assessment

We are expert at using qualitative and quantitative methods to gather as wide a range of relevant data about a population as needed.

We synthesise this data to produce a clear picture of needs and problems, as well as opportunities and solutions.

A better fit between services and evidenced needs.

We have conducted numerous needs assessments for DAATs PCTs, and international NGOs.

Numerous strategies and, crucially, service developments have resulted from our needs assessments.

Partnership Development

We analyse all aspects of partnership functioning and develop a diagnostic plan for improving the performance of individual partners and the partnership as a whole.

Typically we look at organisational structures and cultures, inter-agency protocols and dynamics, contractual agreements, and the costs and benefits of partnership.

Defects in partnership working are identified.

Improved ways of working are recommended and adopted.

Our consultants intervened in a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership which was not working effectively, and helped to turn it into a thriving and well-functioning partnership for the first time.

Policy and Literature Reviews

We are expert at rapidly synthesising evidence from policy and research in order to provide a clear account of best practice, innovation and likely future trends.

We tailor these reviews to the precise needs of individual clients to ensure that they are useful in shaping local strategy and practice.

Commissioners can be quickly brought up to date with existing and emerging best practice.

Strategic plans and service developments are evidence-based and well aligned with relevant policies.

We have conducted literature reviews for national and international bodies that have been instrumental in determining strategy and shaping services.

Organisational development & Change management

Starting from the client’s definition of the problem we gather relevant data about organisations’ structure, systems, culture, performance, human and technological resources and relationships with the outside world.

We identify the key strengths and deficits and propose short and longer-term developments that can be practically implemented to better align organisations with their changing environments.

Organisations have the ability to adapt and change to rapidly changing circumstances whilst maintaining their ability to carry out their core functions.

Functional and dysfunctional elements of organisation are identified and improved.

We gain the support of staff and managers for changes required

We enabled a major national charity to become the leader in its field.

 

Implemented a complete restructuring of a specialist Health Authority.

Performance Management

We test strategic structures and relationships to ensure that accountable and appropriate systems are in place for the delivery of strategic and operational objectives.

We check that systems are operating efficiently

Clear identification of who needs to do what in order for the organisation to meet its goals.

Clear systems to monitor and manage organisational performance.

Performance management systems are tuned to maximise effectiveness

This has been a theme in most of our work because in our experience the great majority of public sector organisations still lack sufficiently robust performance management systems, so that this has been a theme in nearly all our work.

Evaluation

We undertake formative and summative evaluations of services, projects and programmes, and balance these two types of evaluation according to the needs of the client.

Additionally, we are also skilled at helping agencies develop self-evaluation systems.

The client gains an in-depth understanding of what is and is not working well, the reasons why, as well as options for improvement.

Clients can demonstrate independently verified progress and achievements to funders or other stakeholders.

A culture of self-evaluation and learning can help organisations adapt more speedily and efficiently to changing circumstances.

We evaluated a national drugs education campaign which led to a substantial restructuring of the entire campaign.

Our consultants developed an evaluation handbook for a team of staff, trained team members  in a wide range of relevant skills and techniques and mentored them through the process of undertaking their own evaluations.

Management Reviews and Investigations

Application of a range of forensic and other investigative methods to identify salient facts and processes, and exception analysis to identify systems failure.

Facilitation of due processes and project management of investigations.

Identification of systematic failures.

Process and conclusions supported by clear and robust rationale.

Stakeholders are reassured that processes are independent, transparent and rigorous

Development and implementation of accountabilities policy and protocols to correspond with Laming Report in an inner London Council.

Best Value Reviews

Adherence to government guidance

Services better aligned with best practice elsewhere.

Efficiency savings are realised

We saved an inner London Council Children’s division very significant outlay towards adoption and fostering services.