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Preparing for a new market

“I have found United Outcomes to be highly professional and willing to meet clients' changing needs.”

The unique challenge

From April 2017, all non-household customers were able to choose their water supplier for the first time. This represented a huge root and branch change in the Energy and Utilities market, and a new market operator was set up to bring about that change. 

The newly-formed business was preparing to implement a large programme of work to establish shared services for the new market participants, and United Outcomes was asked to help design and manage it.

Tools & thinking

United Outcomes was asked to structure the programme through an appropriate target operating model and processes. Once the operating model was agreed and implemented, United Outcomes took ownership of: 

  • Programme Management – United Outcomes was responsible for developing the programme plan and approach. We delivered a series of workshops with Directors to define milestones and outcomes for the programme, before agreeing the plan with client stakeholders.
  • Programme Governance – United Outcomes designed and built the overall governance model and management framework for the programme, including change control processes and quality plans. This was achieved through analysis to identify appropriate levels of governance, before agreeing models and approaches with the client.
  • Industry Engagement and Facilitation – The programme required a high level of interaction with market participants and external bodies. To facilitate this, United Outcomes designed a highly interactive approach to workshops that would drive collaboration and outcomes from attendees. Our Programme Lead then represented the market operator at a number of external working groups and steering committees.

  • ProjectManagement – United Outcomes provided project management support to the major workstreams of the programme – the creation of the market rules and codes, the design, build and test of the central market operating systems and the communications between market participants, the central operator and regulatory bodies. These workstreams delivered their outcomes using Agile Scrum techniques.

  • Programme Support – United Outcomes provided control, planning and scheduling, progress tracking, risk and issue management, change management and reporting support to workstream leads and the senior leadership team.

Legacy

Once the programme had completed testing and was preparing to become fully operational, the United Outcomes team delivered a phased handover to internal staff and into business as usual. This handover enabled a solid model for delivery, including planning and management controls, a full schedule of meetings, and a fit-for-purpose governance framework and artefacts. 

With the programme embedded fully into the business, the market operator was in a good position to drive the planned opening of competition for the non-household market.

The Finance Director commented:

“Throughout my experience of working with United Outcomes I have consistently found them to be both highly professional and willing to evolve their service offering to meet clients changing needs.”