The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is an executive agency of the Department of Education. ESFA funds training for further education (FE) in England, supporting over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations, and employers with £3.2 billion of funding each year. Their mission – to ensure that people and businesses can access the skills training they need to succeed in playing their part in society and in growing England’s economy.
In 2017, the SFA made a strategic decision to move from a labour intensive and costly model where they secured ad-hoc services for project, programme-management and delivery roles, from multiple resource-suppliers, to one where they outsourced the effort and risk of managing this continuous process to an experienced and dependable single supplier.
The key business drivers behind this decision to outsource were:
- Drive the required uplift in volume and quality of IT contractors due to the number of high profile strategy around digital transformation
- Reduce the significant administrative effort of this ongoing process and reduce time to hire
- Minimise the risks associated with identifying available and capable contract staff, with the appropriate employment status required by current legislation
As is the nature of transformation-programmes developing over time, it was essential and mandatory that the contract be capable of providing both:
- Firm-price, outcomes based work packages, and
- Highly responsive and flexible resource provision, due to the varying project demands
Solution and Approach
Parity provides rapidly scalable access to all required skills and experience to achieve a varying set of project and programme-management requirements, with the control of agreed deliverables and to a fixed cost-profile.
Part of the innovative approach offered by Parity is the ability to recognise that business priorities can change quickly and that the programmes need to accommodate emergent business necessities and also measure the degree to which the pragmatic deliverables had been achieved.
Parity engaged with the multiple existing suppliers to ensure a smooth transition to both the Project Delivery Service and also a separate Business Analysis service, replacing and supplementing skills where necessary to underwrite the new service. Having completed the transition for existing resources, on-boarding new resources focuses not only on matching key skills to those needed to deliver the outcomes and deliverables specified in the new packages of work but also the cultural fit for the environment