We provided capability design, implementation and project management support to help the UKDSC and MOD establish a new unit for assessing the contribution of the defence sector to the UK economy.
The UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC) is an organisation created to support the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) to help grow the UK defence sector both domestically, and internationally. The UKDSC, among other things, supports the development and implementation of new initiatives, often in partnership and collaboration with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Industry.
Growing the contribution of defence to UK prosperity: a report for the Secretary of State for Defence by Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP (2018) identified that the MOD has poor data about the contributions of the defence sector to UK prosperity. A project to address this was initiated to create the Joint Economic Data Hub (JEDHub). It would collate data and provide independent and impartial analysis on the contribution of the defence sector to the UK economy, in support of Government and Industry decision-making.
At the time we were engaged, the project had not yet properly initiated, and there was some uncertainty around how it could meet its objectives.
The problems faced were not new, but this was the first time any country had attempted to address this problem in this way. There were limited precedents to work from, and the challenges were not just project-related, but national and international: there were different views of what the solution looks like depending on the stakeholders consulted; there was the potential for overlap or duplication with similar initiatives; and there were challenges with the technology and data solutions. The project needed a plan which could be bought into by the UKDSC and DGP Steering Groups to deliver a tangible capability in response to the Dunne Report.
We were brought onboard by UKDSC to do two things, initially: 1. To facilitate and broker discussions and workshops between UKDSC, MOD, and other government and industry stakeholders. And 2. To develop a robust project plan to deliver Initial and Full Operating Capability of the JEDHub organisation by Sept 21. As the project progressed, we provided further services to support the development and implementation of the project including: The development of the JEDHub Blueprint, a design document for the new capability which was agreed following an assessment of the different options; a Technology Roadmap that guided the UKDSC and JEDHub to move to a more secure, accredited, and modern cloud-based ICT platform which was future-ready for the data challenges that the organisation would face, including the implementation of a web-based annual survey; and project delivery support using a hybrid of traditional and agile project management methods.
Our team helped our client and their stakeholders to arrive at a clear vision for the project, an agreed Blueprint for the new organisation, and a plan on how to get there. We did this through workshop facilitation, ideas generation, challenge, clear communications and bringing in different skillsets when needed at various stages of the project.
We helped analyse a complex problem by breaking it down into manageable tasks, assessing options, and producing clear evidence to help our clients make decisions with confidence.
The project delivered the capability expected at FOC, and continues to implement the roadmap, including the establishment of an annual web-based survey of the UK defence sector to gather important economic data not previously available.
Over time, this data will provide greater insight into the contribution of the UK defence sector to UK prosperity and help decision makers make better informed decisions to help grow the sector.