Management Consultancies Awards – saving lives, saving money…

If you follow me on Twitter, you will have got all the results from the Management Consultancies Association annual awards dinner last Thursday. It was a very good event, even if it felt a little strange personally ; it’s usually a CIPS event when I’m in Black Tie, and I’m used to knowing loads of people. Last week, 600 diners – and I knew about 4 people there!

The awards were presented in a very slick fashion by the comedian, Steve Punt– all over more quickly than at the Supply Management equivalent. I would say there was a bit less of a “buzz” than at the SM Awards – the organisations competing are of course direct competitors, so you don’t get as much general positivity as you do when someone wins an SM Award. Nothing like the huge cheers I remember the Caravan Club getting at the SM do – or indeed the traditional boos that inevitably accompany a nomination for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs!

You can see all the winners of the awards here – the company awards were well spread, with two each for PwC, KPMG and Ernst & Young, but smaller firms like Hudson & Yorke, Boxwood, iMPOWER and Transform picked up awards too, as did Arup and PKF.

I was a judge for a couple of the awards – Operational Excellence in the Public Sector, and Innovation. The former was won by PwC for their work with Newham Hospitals, where a major change in the whole process of managing a patient’s stay in hospital was implemented, which appeared to have saved money and improved patient care.

Our approach took a ‘big picture’ look at a patient’s journey through the Trust’s hospitals. The result was our Patient Pathway service model – a fundamental yet sustainable redesign of the way the Trust delivered administrative and clerical services. At the centre of this redesign was a brand new role – that of the patient pathway coordinator. These employees would take on the task of supporting patients throughout their entire journey through the hospital. No more unnecessary paperwork, as patients moved from one stage of care to the next. No more passing off to other teams. Instead, we proposed an organisational design that would have patients watched over by one person from the moment they entered a trust hospital to the day they checked out.

The Innovation Award went to PA Consulting for their work with the MOD. The judging team I was part of thought it was an outstanding project in its category, but I didn’t know till the event that it was also awarded the overall top prize. Despite strong competition (and really, all 10 short listed projects I looked at were very good), it was outstanding. It relates to a project to convert obsolete military vehicles into what are effectively remote-controlled “improvised explosive device” detection units for use in Afghanistan.  Read all about it here,  but here’s an excerpt:

PA Consulting Group helped the UK MOD to develop a ground-breaking remote-vehicle based explosive device detection system that is now saving lives in Afghanistan; urgent timescales were met and savings of £17M achieved thanks to PA’s equally innovative procurement techniques...  There has been a ten-fold increase in the rate at which a route can be searched; this means soldiers on the ground can get things done much faster… the joint team received a Chief of Defence Materiel Commendation.. for ‘the delivery of the Panama life-saving capability’.

The innovation came from both the way the project (including the consulting support) was run – remarkably quickly by any measure, let alone traditional MOD, and in the technology used to achieve the aims. The overall result is that lives are being saved – while the project came in under budget as well.

At a time when consultants often get a lot of stick, as does the MOD, this was a reminder that consultants and client, working together to combine different skills and knowledge, can deliver great results - quite literally, life-saving stuff.

Voices (3)

  1. Huhh?:

    Was part of the submission how much they had charged their public sector customers?

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