Best Practice Intervention

Defining Best Practice and Benchmarking

In 2008, a Term working group jointly developed and defined the best practice model for the delivery of term maintenance  – applicable to all delivery models, totally outsourced, mixed or in-house. The model consisted of eighteen Best Practice (BP) elements each of which was underpinned with individual principles that drove BP in that element.

Each member authority undertook an externally carried out review of their current delivery against this model and received back a GAP analysis with recommendations for converging their delivery to BP.  The results from these individual reviews were collated and analysed to identify areas of potential improvement common across all members.

This fundamental and common benchmarking allowed each member to identify areas where other authorities where performing better and peer support allowed betterments to be made. The model is constantly updated and recently has been amended to include the requirements for the DfT funding questionnaire. A re-run of this exercise was undertaken in 2006 where an average 16% increase towards BP was identified across all members.

Convergence to Best Practice – Levelling the playing field

The results from the 2008 reviews identified common areas for improvement and the working group were able to give focused support and training. These included:

  • Price vs Cost understanding
  • Target Cost Principles and setting
  • Incentivisation working principles
  • Cost modelling for procurement
  • Operating collaborative contracts
  • Benefit recording and auditing

This support demonstrated the underlying power of this group, that in all instances information and experiences were shared by those authorities and their providers who had been identified as performing well in a particular element of best practice to those who weren’t.

Recording the Journey – The Rationale and Strategic Guidance Manual (RSGM)

From the outset the group has maintained the RSGM. This is a living document and records not merely the outputs from all the joint work undertaken but also the strategy and the rationale as to why the group took these decisions.

Initially started to cover the development of the best practice model this has now evolved to cover procurement and the implementation and performance improvement stages complete with detailed case studies and quantified benefits.

The latest version of the manual is available for download by clicking here.