Beer & Butterfly

Season 2 - Episode 1: Procuring Success...with Sarah Walters

June 16, 2021 Ian Kingstone, Jonathan (JP) Parnaby & Guest (Sarah Walters) Season 2 Episode 1
Beer & Butterfly
Season 2 - Episode 1: Procuring Success...with Sarah Walters
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ian & JP kick off episode one with a very special guest Sarah Walters from Aster Commercial Services who joins our hosts at the table to talk about procurement in relation to business transformation & change.  Our hosts & Sarah talk about the latest films they watched and Ian has started a review system (for some reason) & JP discussed the joys of turning 40.  The trio continue to bring to life that meeting and engaging with suppliers is a lot like getting married, be prepared, understand what you are getting into and work out what might happen if it goes wrong.

  • 00:00 - Intro
  • 01:15 - Welcoming Sarah to the table
  • 04:00 - Procurement synergies with business transformation
  • 07:00 - Pub quiz - Question 1 Answer
  • 08:38 - What have we been up to?
  • 16:13 - Transformation from a procurement perspective
  • 18:48 - Engaging suppliers to help manage change
  • 33:24 - Breaking delivery down into smaller chunks
  • 38:11 - Options in the engagement
  • 45:31 - No ideal way but experience helps
  • 48:13 - How does procurement help raise the bar
  • 56:49 - You've got to do date night
  • 57:24 - Pub quiz - Question 2
  • 59:48 - Question time
  • 01:06:55 - Record us a question
  • 01:07:10 - Last orders

Ian Kingstone  0:00  
Well, what you having then Jonathan, 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:05  
A pint please mate

Ian Kingstone  0:06  
Two pints, please landlord. 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:08  
So Ian, where's our audience sitting then

Ian Kingstone  0:10  
There over there? sat that table over there? 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:13  
Oh, yeah, I can see them. Okay, well, before we go over there, what we're going to tell them

Ian Kingstone  0:18  
We're just gonna tell them it's a relaxed environment where we can discuss, you know, all stuff around business transformation. 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:23  
Okay, cool. So who's actually over there who have we got

Ian Kingstone  0:27  
It's some executives, some professionals, a few consultants. 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:33  
Cool, fantastic. Well, let's crack on this get over there. 

Ian Kingstone  0:35  
Welcome to the Beer & Butterfly

Jonathan Parnaby  0:37  
A podcast where we talk transformation.

Ian Kingstone  1:03  
I'm Ian Kingston. 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:05  
and I'm Jonathan Parnaby. 

Ian Kingstone  1:06  
And we're your hosts.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:08  
In today's episode, we are joined by our very first guest on the podcast to discuss the synergies between transformation and procurement. 

Ian Kingstone  1:15  
So we're back. We're back again. Yes, time with guests. I know this is amazing. We are not on our own around the table. We've got third person at the table. So who are you third person? That's a mystery.

Sarah Walters  1:31  
Hi, guys, it's lovely to be here is Sarah Walters from Aster Commercial Services. And yeah, thank you for having me on. I can't believe I'm your first guest. How exciting. Yeah.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:43  
We talked about this a lot. Me and and Ian we've been going to get guests. We've got to get more people on on the podcast. And, and we're here we've got you, we've got somebody here to talk to us, which is amazing.

Ian Kingstone  1:56  

Jonathan Parnaby  2:00  
Yeah, it's not lonely club anymore

Sarah Walters  2:01  
It was just the promise of a free drink to be honest. jp, that got me here. 

Jonathan Parnaby  2:05  
So absolutely. We do anything bribes, anything to get guests on. So it's all good. But no, like, you know, welcome, Sarah it's really great to have you on the podcast. So why don't you just kind of explain to the listeners who you are and what you're about and what is Aster. 

Sarah Walters  2:21  
Great. And so yeah, I work for a company called Aster Commercial Services, we are a procurement consultancy. I'm one of the founders, we've been going about three years. And we, we set the business up because we felt like there was a different way to do procurement. So we've worked far too many years in large corporate organisations doing procurement, mainly in the IT and digital space. And we think that there's a better way to do it. So sometimes people see procurement as a bit of a blocker, we can be a bit bureaucratic, a bit slow, or somebody that you just wheel in at the end of the process to beat the heads and get you an extra 5% off. 

Sarah Walters  3:04  
So we are none of those things. procurement, when it's done properly, needs to be kind of an integral part of any project or any, any supplier activity, really. And hopefully, the reason you guys have invited me on here is because when you know, when we've worked together, we've worked together really well. And I think, you know, we definitely try and work with our clients in a tailored way we listen to what they need, we work at pace, we make sure the governance boxes is ticked, but we worry about that in the background, and we lead people through the process to make sure that everything's done right. But actually, it's all in line with the business requirements. So yeah, that's some that's what Aster's about really, and yeah, we love working with all of the different we're used to working with cross functional teams. So it's quite interesting to you know, to be on the podcast and talk to you guys about about this topic, because that's our kind of, you know, usual way of working so yeah, 

Jonathan Parnaby  4:00  
I mean, it's completely exciting right, I think you know, procurement is just one really important processes as you mentioned and and it just synergizes so well with with business transformation because you know, so in order to transform a business you're going to need partners your going to need suppliers and to enable that and I think you're right it's often left at the end of this you know, oh yeah, we need to we need to sort this out. Oh, yeah. We need to get the contract sorted and and yeah, I think more effort needed and to to kind of work alongside at the beginning while your strategizing, let alone not, oh, we just need to sort that thing. How the end? But yeah, no really good. Really great to have here

Ian Kingstone  4:38  
 I think it's that I'm really looking forward to this.  I just think this is one of the areas that you can put a lot of work in upfront. And if you if you're not kind of getting it right, or I also see it as that is the kind of relationship thing as well and how all those relationships start at the beginning of a transformation programme. And procurement kind of gets involved, hopefully a lot earlier and early as possible. But I'm sure we'll talk about that. But But yeah, I just think and I've, I've seen so many, so many programmes where perhaps we haven't got it right. And I don't mean the procurement piece, but maybe contracts or something, you know, we haven't got it necessarily. Right. And transformation programmes are weird, aren't they not, straightforward. They're not, they're not simple.  So and like you said, they involve lots of partners. So so this is a real topic that actually isn't discussed enough at all.

Sarah Walters  5:40  
In my I mean, I think, I mean, there's an analogy it is, I don't know if it's a good one, but we'll see. But, you know, if if you buy a new car, right, and and they say to you in the in the car showroom, you know, do you want extra special paint? Do you want this immobiliser, do you want this added on. I mean, most cars come with absolutely everything included these days anyway. But you can always add on extras, right. And you can either do that upfront when you order the car, and you can get them fitted in the factory, or you can have it all retrofitted later. And my view is, it's always better to have it built in the front end, it's always going to work better, it's always going to be integrated into the build, and it's going to run smoothly. If you try and retrofit stuff later, then you know, you're you're undoing half your work to kind of put the stuff in, and then build it back up again. And it's going to take twice as long and it's not going to look as good and you're not going to get the best results. So that to me is is an analogy of where you need procurement. You know, we need to be factory fitted. We don't need to be bolt ons after so that's why we do it.

Jonathan Parnaby  6:44  
I like that, that's a good analogy. nailed it. That's really good, cool. Okay, well, before we kind of get into it, though, because we probably could just get straight to it. No, no, don't don't ever apologise. You're here with us. It's all good. So last episode, and we start our pub quiz. And probably not famous pub quiz yet, but it will be right once we once we can't go in again.

Jonathan Parnaby  7:10  
We've got one question. So if you want to remind all our listeners, what was our question? 

Ian Kingstone  7:15  
What was the most downloaded app in 2020?

Jonathan Parnaby  7:19  
Yeah, I mean, Sarah what do you think? 

Sarah Walters  7:21  
Yeah, I reckon it's got to be some kind of fitness app, right? It's got to be either I reckon, or well being maybe it was Wait, it's got to be like a mind. Like a you know, like a headspace or something or a fitness app. 

Unknown Speaker  7:34  

Ian Kingstone  7:34  

Jonathan Parnaby  7:35  
I was thinking video conferencing, just because of the fact that we all know that sounds obvious in it. 

Ian Kingstone  7:41  
That sounds the obvious one, because of lockdowns and that yeah, it's quite interesting. What you what you both say because 

Ian Kingstone  7:50  
well it was Tik Tok

Jonathan Parnaby  7:55  
It's kind of obvious and you said it

Ian Kingstone  7:58  
is that well being app, is it a fitness app you see those things on it? 

Jonathan Parnaby  8:03  
It's not what my daughter gets me to do. Tik Tok videos is not well being at all it is embarrassing. But yeah, now you've said it's obvious. Because I think everyone downloaded it

Ian Kingstone  8:15  
I was surprised that I expected it to be something like zoom or you know, teams or two I was where you were JP on that was kind of thinking it's got to be something to do with communications in that way. But you can, you can see out. We just need to be better at quizzes.

Jonathan Parnaby  8:36  
Oh, cool. Okay, so what have you been up to mate. 

Ian Kingstone  8:40  
Ian What was going on in Ian's world. I haven't got that much exciting news to you. I've watched two movies, some I've seen a lot or a couple of new ones.  The new one was Without Remorse. Tom Clancy's The Navy SEAL, sorry Sarah.

Sarah Walters  9:01  
Why are you apologising to me

Ian Kingstone  9:06  
I was three out of five, not not, not "middle of the road" Yeah, it's got an actor in it. It was in creed, creed. And I thought it was He's great. And I thought it'd be a really, it's a good movie. It's not a bad movie. But it's not one that I'm thinking. I've got to tell everybody about that. You know "Michael B Jordan". Yeah, that's right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So that I've revisited all the Hangover movies because they're brilliant and they make me laugh every time and I just can't stop that. Still got a little bit of sci fi and stuff or watch Spiderman's Homecoming or whatever. So that that those kinds of things. And yeah, all the classics but other than that really working or going out on the bike been out on the bike there. managed to do my best month out on the bike in April. Nothing like like, Bradley Wiggins or anything just kind of managed to go out more than once a week. But yeah, that's good. So pleased with that. So still getting me value out and we bike for Christmas. 

Jonathan Parnaby  10:13  
It was this Christmas present he got 

Sarah Walters  10:15  
Oh brilliant

Jonathan Parnaby  10:17  
Yeah is it like a carbon fibre thing that weighs like a feather is it? 

Ian Kingstone  10:21  
Listen, it's not it is a is a is the most expensive bike I've ever bought. But it isn't, isn't like a really, really expensive bike. It's it's kind of i don't know. But it's, it's that it's good. I'm enjoying it. Actually, I really am enjoying it. I keep finding I'm trying to work out if I can go somewhere by road, come back via tracks only. So kind of playing these little kind of rather than trying to go somewhere in the fastest time. I'm trying to find these weird ways of going or doing something. Yeah. So anyway, not really anything too exciting to talk about. But then we are still coming out of a lockdown and things like that. 

Jonathan Parnaby  11:00  
So yeah, we're still in it aren't we're still in. Yeah, but yeah, I think for me, I I turned the Big 4-0 the other week. So that that was interesting, emotionally, physically, whatever.  When I was good, it was good. You know, again, I think my wife had these grand plans to kind of book this big kind of cottage and get all of our friends about 20 people to come down and spend the weekend and you know, just enjoying the festivities as it were. But obviously, that couldn't happen. So we ended up going away just the family which is lovely. You know, hot tub and plenty of alcohol. And, and frivolities and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, so that's that's been interesting. actually got 40 presents for my birthday. 

Ian Kingstone  11:48  
Oh cool, did you feel different

Jonathan Parnaby  11:51  
No, I did look at the mirror. And kind of had a word with myself

Ian Kingstone  11:56  
Did you get any aches and pains or anything. 

Jonathan Parnaby  11:58  
That's just from the COVID job.

Ian Kingstone  12:03  
Least by turning 40 you got to the COVID jab

Jonathan Parnaby  12:06  
absolutely, I suppose enabled me to have it so soon. But yeah, that's interesting, but I did watch your film.  Tonight. And I sorry, but I watched it. Have you seen Palm Springs? So folks on Amazon just come out? No.

Sarah Walters  12:24  
I have looked at it actually. is it good.

Jonathan Parnaby  12:29  
It's it's kind of about this guy's he goes to this wedding. And and you kind of watch him throughout the day, and he wakes up and all that kind of stuff. And then kind of through out. He becomes like this most liked person at this wedding. He does this amazing speech. And he's dancing on the dance floor like a pro and he's getting chairs out for people that are falling over just in time and it kind of transpires that he's in this time loop a bit like Groundhog Day. And he's been living this this wedding day for 1000s and 1000s of days that he's just been doing it. And it's just it's weird. It's kind of weird. Okay, ends up dragging someone else one of the guests into the time loop with him. And he's quite, you know, it's quite rude in places and stuff. But it is funny, just mad slightly, but he does it a bit differently to Groundhog Day, you know, so it's not just another time loopy kind of film. Yeah I recommend. It's good. Okay. It's probably a for autos for I didn't realise we were reviewing. Ian you started reviewing films.  There we go. There we go. are you sir?

Sarah Walters  13:34  
Yeah, I was gonna say So continuing the film theme. So there's a couple of chick flicks I'm not gonna own up to that I bought. I watched that No.  But I watched I watched a couple of Netflix films actually. One was with Paul Rudd called The Fundamentals of Caring. And it was really good. It was it was kind of about this. This guy, he's a carer which is Paul Rudd's character, and the guy that he's caring for and that kind of journey that they go on. It's just really kind of just interesting, the kind of people connection and and how it all transpires. So that was that was one and then interest. So that was mainly around the guy and the Paul Rudd and the carer. And then I watched another film the other day called Run, which scared me witless. It was only about one hour, 40 minutes and quite short. But again, based around two central characters, there was the mom and the daughter, and it's kind of scary. And there was a twist, and then there was like, another twist. And then so yeah, I would, I would highly recommend Run. I thought it was very, very good film. So yeah

Jonathan Parnaby  14:40  
Sarah Paulson isn't that 

Sarah Walters  14:41  
Oh, yeah. She's amazing. Yeah, but kind of nerve wrackingly scary or same time.

Jonathan Parnaby  14:48  
Have you seen Ratched No, she plays Nurse Ratched in the series on Netflix. And yeah, it's basically similar character. Oh, really? Yeah. Yeah, it's a bit freaky

Sarah Walters  15:00  
Wow. Yeah. So yeah, that on the on the on the film friend and also, I actually went out and had a drink in a beer garden the other week, but it was funny because I was thinking as I was getting ready to go out in the olden days, you know, pre COVID getting ready to go out and putting your heels on and a bit of makeup and a decent dress or something. This was how many layers can I put on how blankets can I carry? and might even take a hot water bottle, though. Yeah, yeah. But it was good fun. It was good fun. It was good to be out and meeting, you know, actually being with people and stuff. So So yeah. But so hoping for a nice hot summer so we can do a bit more of that. Really? 

Jonathan Parnaby  15:41  
Yeah, hopefully it's Yeah, it's just nice to be able to do these things now. And I know we're, we're getting closer to the next milestone. Was is it two weeks away? 

Sarah Walters  15:50  

Jonathan Parnaby  15:52  
Which should be nice. And again, it's just like getting bits of the freedom back. Isn't that so? Yeah, we're looking forward to that. Definitely. might actually go to the to the pub Ian Again. Yeah, that's, that's right. It's where it all started right.  

Jonathan Parnaby  16:06  
But But yeah, cool. Okay. Let's roll on, then. Let's get into the meaty, meaty subject. So, Sarah, I mean, this is kind of like your episode, right? We're gonna hand the keys to the pub over to you for a little bit. And if you want to kind of just, yeah, well, tell us what you want to talk about. And? And, yeah, we'll chip in, because we'll have questions and actually genuinely interested in this topic. And it's an area I don't know, loads about. I've worked with you in the past. And, you know, it's great to have someone like you involved because you can go and handle a lot of those processes and things. But again, it's just got to kind of shine a light on it. Right. 

Sarah Walters  16:45  
Great. Okay. Yeah, happy, happy to jump right in. So I think there's a couple of topics that, that when I think about change that springs to mind from a procurement and supply management perspective. And I suppose the first thing to mention is that one of the things that people often do is think about a specific area of what I'd call the procurement lifecycle. So the first thing to talk about is the fact that there is a procurement lifecycle, it's got eight stages to it.

Sarah Walters  17:13  
And the first four are all around sort of, I need to buy something to the point of getting a contract in place. And that's what you might talk about as being the procurementy type bit. So that's what most people think about when they talk about negotiating with suppliers, it's let's get a contract in place and get it signed off so we can get going. And that's always the first key milestone. But equally important is the other part of the relationship lifecycle, which is that exactly that the supplier relationship management, and I think it's something that gets often missed in organisations, because people are so desperate to get going and get moving and get delivering, they forget that there's as much work needed in managing a supplier relationship for your key suppliers I'm talking about now, not all of them. And that's from the point of implementation through managing the supplier through the change curve, and even exit, you know, you suppose you should really properly manage exiting any supplier, because often you're actually exiting them to implement a new one. You might be bringing the service in house or whatever, but but most of the time you're exiting one contract to move into another so. So I think upfront, I just talked about that eight stage process and how important it is across the piece. Because when I what I want to talk about today is really to two separate areas where change is important. And one is, you know, actually engaging suppliers to help you manage change or deliver change. But the other thing is how you manage change through the relationship of any supplier. So So yeah, just up front, I think I think that's kind of a key part. So I was going to start with the engaging suppliers to help you manage change, if that's a good place to start.

Ian Kingstone  18:55  
I got me thinking already Sarah the amount of times that you're on a transformation programme you've you've stopped, think about what what you need to do and who you need to have a relationship with as far as contracts are concerned. And then quite often you find yourself into up against a timeline, and time where that deals only on the table that you might have started talking about which you should have a procurement involved in but not always right. wrongly, maybe you can tell me that but so you're suddenly got this timeline that you've got to get all this stuff done. By this time other than a certain deal for something is off the table, or you've got, I don't know, a board meeting or something that you've got to have all the numbers agreed and everything signed up. So you can tell the board this is what you're doing or something like that. That puts some timeline in place, which I've always found is, you know, these things should take as long as they should take really to get them right. And it's always that timeline to me that that messes things up a bit, if that makes sense. 

Sarah Walters  20:02  
Yeah, I think it makes a really excellent point Ian because the thing that often frustrates me is that, you know, most of the time, when you're dealing with big supplier engagements, you're talking about putting a three year or a five year contract in place, that's a long relationship to have with somebody. So, you know, well, some people rush into relationships, you know, most people would spend more than six weeks getting to know somebody before they actually sign up on the dotted line and run down the aisle. So, you know, if you think about it in the same way, as a marriage, you know, any any relationship needs proper consideration upfront. And, you know, I think that's why, you know, those four stages at the front end, you need to go through each of them, and you can get through them quite quickly, you know, but you still need to give each one time to think about and to consider, and to your point, you know, yeah, suppliers are very good at telling you what they need. But actually, like any relationship, you're the customer, and you need to tell them what you need. And if you need longer to think about it, and to consider it, you should absolutely be prepared to say, I need longer to think about this. And you can bet that those prices will be available, or if they're not available from that supplier, they could be available from another one. And I think people get themselves into this situation where they they give the power over to the supplier, wrongly, actually, because at the end of the day, you've got a choice to make is that as the as the buyer as the purchaser. And not always, it's different in different markets. And sometimes, you know, there are smaller choices in terms of who you can use. And you have to think about that, to your point JP, about getting the strategy right up front, I think is really important. So, you know, we we've worked on projects, and the more that you can actually sit down with good time before you get going, while you're gathering the business requirements in the organisation, you can be thinking about, right, well, what do we need to think about in terms of what suppliers we want to approach and how we warm them up? And, and you can be doing a lot of this in parallel, it doesn't have to be, you know, adding time to the process. 

Ian Kingstone  22:07  
And maybe maybe, in that process, I think is the bit that I've missed, I know I've missed this loads, in that process is thinking about how long you need for that procurement process, actually thinking about the process, and how long should we put aside, because you kind of put false statements that you've got the business ready to go and do something you've kind of set up with, hopefully, you've said, we're going to drive this value out at this point in time, or whatever you're doing whatever the programme is that you then want to get on, jump in and get on with it. And so then you want to get all these things in place and start getting people on board ignore that stuff, which then you've got to have that became a piece in place, but at the same time, some we've not really thought about what's it gonna take do that properly in timelines, you know, thinking about, what what is the suitable time period? to do that? Yeah, exactly. 

Sarah Walters  22:59  
Yeah, and I think the interesting thing is that, you know, sometimes it is how long is a piece of string, because actually, these things can take time. But equally, you can like anything in life, you know, you can plan so you can say, look, a typical timeline would be this, if you follow all of these stages, and you do it in this order. And of course, you know, we've all worked on projects where you go through the process, and sometimes the suppliers throw you a curveball, you know, you actually see something really amazing that you didn't expect to see, and you end up with more choice than you thought you had, or there are, there are other options that you haven't considered, which is kind of one of the points of going through the process. Right. And again, I think, you know, people often think it's about getting the best price or the best cost. But it's also about getting the best solution. And most of the time that I sit down with, with teams, when we're looking at supplier evaluation, we talk about cost. And my personal opinion is you don't score cost at the beginning the price, you don't score it, you keep it separate, because actually, if those suppliers, the most important thing is can they meet the business requirements, and it's only if they can, and only if you think they can meet them, well enough that you then start looking at the cost. Because if somebody can do it at a really low cost, it might be because they've missed out half of the requirements. So if you only look at the cost element, you could be missing a trick you could be comparing, you know, apples with pears. So, you know, I think every successful project I've worked on is all about working together, you know, making sure that you assess all of the information fairly in in the right order. And if you get it in the right order, you keep your maximum commercial leverage, right to the final point, and then you get the best possible outcome, not just around cost, but also around you know, delivery, which is which is obviously the whole point, you know, in the beginning so, 

Jonathan Parnaby  24:53  
yeah, I mean, that sings true to me, you know, my my background is business analysis. So you know, someone else to say, you know, requirements are important.  Yep, they really are. But no, it's true, isn't it? It's, it's, there's no point getting a deal of, I've got 50% off this commercial deal. We can't do what we want it to bloody do. But I think a lot of companies and a lot of people just get, they get kind of hooked into the shiny things, and not actually kind of understand what is it we're trying to do, which is agnostic of the solution, right? Because that's what the important thing is. But anyway, I'm gonna go on a BA rant in a minute, and I'm gonna hold back.  We've actually got another episode about business analysts and how awesome they are so I'm gonna, I'm gonna save that one.

Sarah Walters  25:41  
So, so yeah, so I think I mean, you know, a bit like you I could talk about, I could talk about the process of negotiation, and engaging suppliers and doing the right thing, till I'm blue in the face, which is kind of why I'm doing the job I do, right, because I feel really passionate about this stuff, and about driving the right the right outcome. And I also think, something that people forget is, honesty is actually quite a good policy. So and again, you know, I think people are scared of actually telling suppliers information, because they think it's kind of going to give them an edge or something. But to me, if you don't tell people what you want, and you don't set the challenge, then how will they know? And particularly when you get to the, to the hard end of negotiation? You know, actually, if I want, if, you know, if I need them to take X percent of the price, otherwise, I just can't afford it. I know, I need to tell them that, you know, because actually, how will they know otherwise? And, you know, the art of negotiation is making sure that you find that sweet spot in the middle that they can say yes to when you want, you know, and if there is no crossover, then there's no deals. So the more that you can actually, and it's all about timing, you don't tell them everything upfront, obviously. But I think, you know, there is an art of, of doing, of communicating with suppliers in the right way. And actually, we can advise people on on on how to do that. So. So yeah, so anyway, um, we're getting a bit off topic, I think, but, but 

Jonathan Parnaby  27:07  
we usually do, don't worry, 

Sarah Walters  27:08  
yeah, it's fine. So I had written some things down here just to just to talk about in terms of when you're engaging suppliers on new engagements, and I think we've touched on some of them, but just to just to run through a few of them. Because I'm sure they'll ring true. But I think we talked about a cross functional team, which is really important. But I think one, one person that sometimes gets missed is whoever's going to eventually own that supplier. And it's not always the same person. You know, it's not always, operationally, people often get forgotten. And actually, it's the Oh, well, who were the end users of the solution, or whatever they get, they get very involved in the requirements up front.

Sarah Walters  27:48  
But I think I'm going to come on to talk about making sure you've got the right governance in the contract and things like that. And actually, you need the person who's going to run that governance and drive that drive that engagement and run that mat, that supplier. So so I think having that person involved in the requirements is really key, rather than just chucking a load of SLA's over the fence to somebody and saying, This is what we've agreed. And I think, you know, that's important, too, you know, what's the governance model you want? What are the SLA's is that you need the supplier to deliver to what what can you live without, you know, what's important to you? And also, I think it's let's get that change process discussed at the beginning. 

Sarah Walters  28:28  
So one of the things that I see sometimes in contracts is agreements to agree, which are absolutely horrendous. So, you know, it's one of those, we can't agree it now. So let's put it off till later. It's like, well, if you can't agree it now, before you get into the contract, how do you think you're going to agree it later so and that's when you've got the most leverage? So I think, you know, sometimes you see people saying, Oh, well, we'll agree the change process later, or? Well, we'll agree how we're going to run that later. We'll agree the termination provisions later. And I think there is no later it never comes back, you know, and then you end up in a pickle when you get to that point. 

Ian Kingstone  29:05  
So I think that's really interesting that point because I've, I've, I've probably not done a great job there maybe in some procurements.  I've been, I've been in a situation where and just to kind of maybe bring it to life a bit, where a very, very large programme, and for for quite a lot of money with with one main supplier if you want, who was supplying a lot of services, but also a lot of the theIT that was going into the transformation programme. And we kind of done a really long bid process. And we selected this one out of out of many, you know, very capable suppliers. And we thought we'd done a really good job and we had some help that bid process as well and a little bit of help with procurement and things like that. And we got to a stage where we'd agreed. Quite a large big contract with loads of detail and everything. And then we took it to the Board of that company. And the board said, we'll go ahead with this bit first, but don't, that's as far as what we're allowing you to go. So we are allowing you to do a little bit of it. And there was a reason for this, we didn't know it at the time that something else was going on that they didn't want to, you know, impact. They didn't want to make all the decisions until, which is, which is fine, right? That kind of stuff can happen.

Ian Kingstone  30:28  
But then that, this, this, we got into this situation where, you know, a director came back from the board and said to me, this is great, they've told us to get out, get on and go ahead with this, but only to this much. And the problem I had with that, which I'm sure you might speak to later was. So so we've got to this whole place. And I was just thinking, now I've got to change all of those contracts. And because I we've done this long process, we've got most of what we wanted in that contract. And I felt now I can't get that if I've got to go back and negotiate. We've already we've already given it to this supplier, you see what I mean? So I'm not gonna do any of that negotiation anymore. Because I haven't got them competing with each other for this business. So now they can they can kind of name their price for the rest of it. And just that your what you were just saying there about? And it just made me think of that situation. And I think there must have been a much better way we could have dealt with that. I didn't see that coming. Obviously, we none of us did. But but maybe maybe they too, when you talk about this, you can help us because I do I do think you've got to try and get the best deal while you've got that negotiating piece. Rather than no actually, there might be you know, might not be the right thing to do. 

Sarah Walters  31:48  
So, so there's a few things in there Ian and that's really, that's a really common example. And in my experience that happens more in larger organisations, because you've got those levels of seniority to go through to get the sign off, and you end up at the board. So I think, and I can't say that it always works. But one of the things I would say is, again, you just have to understand that before you start. So again, one of the things we generally ask and it's probably because we're external often to the organization's is, once you sign off process, you know, how many weeks Do we need to get, you know, Board approval? Is it once a month? They meet? And we have to present it to that when do the papers have to be ready? You know, there's a whole section of working back from getting that sign off? And what if they don't sign it off? And they've got more questions? And when do we get you know, so the amount of times that I've been rushing towards December the 19th, or whatever is, you know, the last Friday before Christmas which is my birthday as well. So it's always a nightmare time of the year because I'm always like, I don't want to sign these contracts on my birthday. But often that is the case. So yeah, and I think I think it's about contingency and management and internal management. So there's a definite piece there around. How do we make sure that it's not just about getting to the contract agreement, you've actually got to go through the internal governance process to get the sign off. And the other thing I would say, and this might be slightly contrary to what you've just suggested, but one of the points I've got on my list of learnings is break the delivery down into manageable chunks, and only contract for the bit that you know. Now the reason I'm saying that is because if you're talking about a big transformation programme, and this is a difficult one, so that this is a negotiation, right. And it's different in every situation as to what the right strategy is. But typically, I wouldn't suggest any organisation is going to sign up to two years of deliverables because there's so much change is going to happen in that time, what you'll end up with is a piece of paper, that means absolutely nothing quite quickly. So what I suggest is you should own and and one of the other benefits of breaking it up into chunks is that you can fix the price as well, which is what you want as a buyer, right? So as this supplier, the supplier typically doesn't want to fix the price. And if they do, they often chuck in a hefty percentage of risk premium. So you have to ask the right questions about the pricing and what they're doing. And there are ways to do that because you can ask them to give you various various you know, length of contract, and then you can see the difference of what they're doing. But But I think if you want a fixed price and you want to know surety about what your deliverables going to cost you, you know, take it to a point three or six months hence, where you're pretty sure about what those deliverables are, and make it part of those deliverables that you have to agree the next statement of work by a given time, such that you can roll into the next phase. It means that as an organisation if plans change, strategies change if policies change, you've got opportunity to walk away.

Sarah Walters  35:03  
You can put frameworks in the main agreement that talk about what your rate cards, what's the cost going forward, what your agreed discounts, etc. So all of that good stuff you've negotiated, you can put in a framework agreement as a kind of a general agreement around the approach the commercial approach, but the actual kind of commitment to the deliverables, you chunk up into different statements of work, and you take it a time at time, and then you can manage the change as you go. Because, you know, you're not, you're not committing yourself to things that you just don't know, in the future. 

Jonathan Parnaby  35:35  
Yeah, I mean, I love that approach, just chunking it down. Especially if you're, you know, working with other systems integrators or implementation partners of ERP's or CRMs, or any of the three letter acronyms that we can think of, then is kind of helpful, because then you know, you're kind of saying, well, this is what we're committing to. And it's only to this point in time. So if you do a good job with us, and we like you, and the relationships been well established, and you know, then obviously, there's likely will continue for further phases. But if we find that actually, you know, what, what, what we've bought is and what we thought was going to be, we have opportunities to change it, and things like that. So yeah, I tend to kind of favour that chunk it up into smaller pieces approaches. Yeah. So a lot nicer. 

Ian Kingstone  36:21  
It's funny, really, I'm I work the other side and the supplier side a lot now.  And then, but but I still think from our point of view of modern transformation programmes that that chunking up is the right way to do it. You need some agility in the process from both sides. And yeah, and I also agree with, you know, the ability to if you wanted to change your supplier partway through is difficult on some things. ERP is anything where you've, you've got a lot of work upfront around design or anything that's done, it's going to be difficult to change suppliers later on. But yes, the another supplier will say, Well, how do I know they've not done that? Right? Do you know what I mean? and things like that. And I've worked on transformation programmes that started by someone else, 

Jonathan Parnaby  37:12  
Well you're paying for extra discovery, though. 

Ian Kingstone  37:14  
And well, yeah, or you're locked into stuff that they maybe didn't do, as well as they could, but the client now wants to move on. So now you've got struggles. So I don't get into too much of that. Because it's not really a talk about procurement, but, but those are the situations you can kind of find yourself in. And so again, that supports in some respects that chunking it up a bit, because it gives you an opportunity to talk about what how did you get to that next piece, but that is, the main reason for me liking that is because modern transformations need agility, then you do not know doesn't matter who you are and how big you are, and what how much work you've done, it's very difficult for you to know what you what you really need to be doing in 18 months, if you're still doing what you thought you were going to be doing 18 months ago, you're probably doing the wrong thing, in this day and age with the speed of things. So that's kind of why I feel it's, it's not ideal that way. 

Sarah Walters  38:11  
Yeah. And I think absolutely, you know, we would never advocate that you would switch suppliers partway through because often what you find is you guys know, you know, you've mentioned ERP's JP and CRM and all these other, you know, you're often implementing with the, with the software house, right. So they're the people that providing the solution, and you're mentoring with their staff, which is fine. However, there are for a lot of the big providers, there are smaller consultancies, who have capability to help you. So if you're finding that actually, you've got through phase one, you've got the software in but actually, they're not delivering what you need them to deliver, there is there are options. Equally, if the organisation like I say, decides to actually can the project, you mitigate your risk. And, and to your point, and, you know, it is also about it, you might be with the same supplier, but there's no point writing something down on day one that's going to have changed by day by day three. So, so yeah, I think I think I would, I would always advocate that, that and there are lots of detail, you know, the devils in the detail with those things, which is where we come in, you know, we can help with our experience of what you need to make sure you've got in place to make that work. But, um, but yeah, I think that that's definitely a good idea. 

Sarah Walters  39:22  
And one of the other things I would also say, then around some of that is governance. And, you know, some people kind of roll their eyes and die of death and, you know, oh, my God, what a dry topic, governance, you know, but actually, it's a necessity, and it covers a multitude of things. But I think, you know, this is the beauty of the front end boilerplate contract, which you know, lawyers and procurement people can pour over and make sure it's right. But actually the, for these large transformation programmes, you know, you absolutely need the business to be helping you to write those schedules? You know, we don't procurement, don't write the schedules. Legal don't write the schedules, it's the business because you need to be detailing. What does the solution need to provide? What are your service levels that you need? And what should governance look like? And who's on the hook for what, and I love a detailed governance shedule, you know, sadly, for my sins, but you know, it's another area where you can be really light touch and have an agreement to agree without really thinking about it. And then when you come to it, everyone goes, Well, it says here, we manage change like this in three lines, and you're like, well, what change does that mean? Is it we're gonna change the contract? contract change? Is it we're doing a change to the programme? Is it we're running change that is, you know, the business needs to do, and it impacts on the software? What is it? And I think it's not the same for every contract. But I've worked on some contracts where we've had four or five different definitions of different types of change. And I think it really is important. In some cases, you have to all sit around a table and go, what is this type of change? And what are we going to call it because they have different ways of being managed. And what you don't want is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. So if you've got a load of small change that you just want to be able to manage on a day to day basis, let's make sure that that's in the contract, so that everybody knows they can just get on with it. And we're not having to do massive change boards and reviews and changing contracts and variations. Because the more variations you have, the less likely anybody's got any hope of being able to read that contract in the future, because you're like, Well, here's the contract we started with. And we've got 25 variations, and 150, change control notes.

Jonathan Parnaby  41:51  
I knew he was going to pipe up

Sarah Walters  41:52  
Ian is smiling broadly like, 

Ian Kingstone  41:55  
I've like six months, maybe it was nine months of hell in running a large programme, where I've spent probably 80% of my week, when I'm supposed to be running a business transformation programme. And and I've spent 80% of my week sorting out contracts and change. And so that led to that change request, which led to that change requests, which, but then that meant that those three didn't need to happen. So that that one and these tears of So where are we now with which that let's just type to tear that statement of work out when we can't? So so well, can we just stop it now and rewrite a new one from where we are? Because otherwise it's change on change, and change and change and change and change and change? And I've been there and been in weeks of meetings and, and conversations and everything. And yeah, I can I can I can feel the pain of that. And I remember before, before I work with you, Sarah, and I know we worked on some big procurements before a post that and you probably saw some of that, that pain when I was doing the next one that I was not going to go there. I don't want to go anywhere near it.

Jonathan Parnaby  43:17  
Yeah, I was in the same programmers area. But luckily, I got away from all of that stuff. I remember you going through it and how frustrating it was for

Ian Kingstone  43:27  
I wasn't doing what I really enjoyed doing, which was actually driving some value into the business from the transformation. 

Sarah Walters  43:35  
And also, if you take a step back, and you look at the total cost of ownership of running a relationship, nobody wants to be involved in that sort of cottage industry. It's absolutely non value add for anybody. And I think you know, there are that's why I think it's important to get this governance, right? Because, you know, rather than agreeing, big change, because that's quite easy, actually. Because most people go right big change, we talk about it, we do a proposal, you say yes, we do a variation job done, you want to be doing as few of those as possible. And that's again, why the chunking it up helps because you shouldn't have to change a statement of work much in a three or six month period, as much as you would if you put a two year statement of work in place. So So I think it is as much about having some pragmatic approaches to for example, the cost of this statement of work can change by as much as 10%. And nobody, nobody's bothered as long as you know, the project manager who is named person x, on the supplier side and the project manager on the business side, agree in writing in an email or whatever, that's enough, you know, and we've got a log of that, and it's done. So I think, you know, we everybody knows that things change. And it's about being sensible and pragmatic about if it's a material change, we all need to worry about it. If it's not a material change. Let's let's find a simple and easy way to execute that.

Sarah Walters  44:59  
To say that we can all just keep going and get on with the work that we need to do. Because otherwise what will happen is, if the suppliers get any hint of the fact that you're going to make a cottage industry out of this, they'll bang some cost in at the front end, and they'll charge you for it, basically, because they'll need people who can do all of those proposals and paperwork for you. So it's in everybody's interest to cut that out as much as possible, and focus on the stuff that's important. So that's why I think, you know, getting those change processes right at front is is so key to avoid that type of wasted effort. 

Sarah Walters  45:31  
So yeah, great. No, thank you for that, Sarah it's really good to to kind of get get your perspectives on on that whole kind of lifecycle piece and really drive home, basically not get into situations that Ian got into

Ian Kingstone  45:47  
It's brought back some some some bad memories. But I there's a learning there. That's that's actually really good. And I have seen it done, done much better since.

Jonathan Parnaby  46:05  

Sarah Walters  46:06  
Make we'll won't make your procurement person out of you yet Ian.

Ian Kingstone  46:09  
You know what, it's quite interesting. And I got to say this, because I've been on both sides. Right. I've been client side, I've been supplier side lots. And I actually think, from my perspective, that's quite healthy, because you see both sides of the relationship if you want. And then I think and I don't, I don't think there's one ideal way, which is what I think you were saying at the beginning of the conversation.  I don't think there's ever something you say we've got to go in, and there's this this process. And that's all you need do you see what I mean, I think is having someone who like yourself, so who can say, seeing that, you know, you've got a lot of experience in this area, right? So you can say you can you can kind of spot the gotchas, and depending on the circumstances of whatever you're procuring, in, whatever situation you're in, and the types of suppliers you're dealing with. So, so I now see the value of that process. I didn't I didn't not see it before, but, but I now see so much and actually how that shapes how that truly shapes some part of the success of transformation. That sounds silly, but it's absolutely true, if that front bit isn't set up in the right way in the procurement and in other things.

Ian Kingstone  47:25  
You know, the shape of that transformation, then moving forward can be can be a lot different than than it could be if you've spent a bit of time to get that the best you can, given where you're at. 

Jonathan Parnaby  47:36  
That's why I love that analogy of it being a marriage. I think that's perfect. It's a perfect way of just kind of bringing that to life. Like don't rush into it, think about it, prepare you know, what, what are you going to get out of it? What are they going to get out of it? You know, and and go in amicably and with eyes wide open and all that kind of stuff. But no. Yeah, I think it's, it's great. Just to shine that light on this area. Because Yeah, it's it's massively important, especially the transformations we need to do this right? Because we can't do it on our own. So thank you for that. So I think my final kind of point here is our season theme is called raising the bar. Oddly because we're drinking what you're drinking To be fair Sarah, so are you having a little tipple with us? 

Sarah Walters  48:25  
Yes, I am. Yeah, I'm a gin and tonic girl. Actually, I could have told you that. I love drinking Thatcher's. But that sounds a bit West Country Girl.  I thought for the purposes of the podcast, I try and let refined and tell you it's a Gin & Tonic just after I am partial to that is in the summer when it's hot.

Jonathan Parnaby  48:46  
See you got your Doom Bar Ian

Ian Kingstone  48:49  
Yeah. Yeah, back on the Doom Bar. 

Jonathan Parnaby  48:51  
But yeah, me it's the classic Moretti I told you. I'm a Moretti man. You know, I'm not very refined. But But yeah, now going back to the season theme of raising the bar. So if you're going to summarise in in, you know, sentence or phrase, how would you see procurement, raising the bar for transformation?

Sarah Walters  49:11  
So, so I think it's, well, I think preparation is is really the key thing that procurement can help you with. So, you know, to use the marriage analogy, I suppose we're writing a prenup, right? Where, where we're saying, we're all friends now. And we're very much in love with your solution. But if it all goes a bit pear shaped, how are we going to manage that? And, and we're writing that down, you know, as clearly and concisely as we can and we're saying we don't know what's going to happen.  But if this were to happen, then we've got this covered. And if this were to happen, then we've got that covered. And if this were to happen, then we've got that covered. And, you know, there are that's the whole point of a framework agreement is it has all of those dummy schedules in there, and it has all the headings for you to complete and you go, Well, this is either relevant to this or it's not relevant. And, and, and I think, you know, every single contract that we do is different.

Sarah Walters  50:14  
But it's similar. And, and, you know, to your point Ian you know, having someone from a procurement background who can come in and say, either I've, I've done a relationship, I've done it and negotiation with this supplier before, you know, bit like a lawyer, he's seen that man before or that woman who's been married before, it's like, well, I know their form here. So so I can tell you what to say. But yeah, I mean, we will have dealt with some of the suppliers before will have seen the types of suppliers before because again, you know, we've talked about large transformations, but if you're buying certain types of software, or certain IT services, or whatever it is, there are different approaches to the different types of things you're buying. So So I think, you know, what, what we bring from a procurement perspective, is that experience and that knowledge to help you think through all of the things that that you need to up front, and make sure that you prepare properly and write it all down. So that you've got as many eventualities covered as you can. 

Ian Kingstone  51:14  
And that's really interesting, because when I've been in the client organisation, if you want, and the kind of transformation programmes that I've been involved in, which are usually quite big transformations that cover quite a lot of power, a large part of the organisation, long periods of time, lots of money.  The procurement department in those organisations, even though there might be a big procurement department in that organisation, they used to procuring the types of things that organisation needs to run, not the types of things that organisation if the organisation needs to change or transform, different type of capability sometimes, so so you might find, I'm not suggesting that every procurement department doesn't have that capability, because there might be people in that compartment who have got that capability. But But, but that it's a different, it's having that experience and knowledge in that arena isn't I think that's specialism that that that I think that's really important. And I don't know, what kind of work you get now. But I would have thought that a good part of that is almost like advisory to that. Do you see what I mean? Because Because of that experience, and it's absolutely invaluable. 

Ian Kingstone  52:33  
And just on the when you started, this conversation just just then also made me think back to, to another situation where we did this test that said, exactly what you said at the beginning, but we didn't write it down, which was probably the challenge was how long How well are we going to get on with these people, this supplier, when, for one of a better word, we're in the s***, we things aren't going the way that we want them to go for whatever reason, and whatever it is, how well are we going to be to work things out with them? I think what you just said there was, let's get that written down in a way. Let's get those kinds of contingencies those kinds of plans, thought through and agreed. So we've so you've kind of already tested how well you work with them. Because you've already had the discussion. Yeah. So you've kind of got that feel already. So it's kind of like you've tested? How are we going to be when we are all in the s***.

Sarah Walters  53:36  
really do you know, it's really fascinating as well Ian is the fact that the way the supplier responds to your request to do that is really tells you volumes. If they run a mile and don't want to get involved, do you know that they're not, they're not for you, if they're most suppliers worth their salt, will absolutely want to have these conversations with you up front, because they want surety to, you know, they want to know that the cost that they've given you covers absolutely everything that you're going to ask them to do. Because they don't want you coming back in six months time and going, oh, by the way, we forgot to tell you, there's this massive governance process that we've got, that you've got to fall into, they'll go, well hang on a minute, you didn't tell us that upfront, and that's going to cost you more money. And then you get into a debate and a discussion. So you know, that's what I was saying before, when you've got these large programmes, the more honest you can be. And, you know, I've we've had suppliers say to us, you know, they've kind of thanked us for our involvement in the process. And some people would say, Oh, well, you haven't beaten them up enough, then. That's not the point, you know, because actually, that's, that's not what we're here for completely. And totally Yes, we are here to get the absolute best value for the business and the lowest possible cost option. But but it's about getting it right. And that's the thing about raising the bar. You know, we're not trying to hide things or cover things up or, you know, actually if we're going into a long term relationship with these people, we need to be honest about what we want. And then they can tell us if they can deliver it or not. And the more that they say, Yes, we can do what you need, the better. 

Sarah Walters  55:10  
And JP and I've worked on projects where we've got under the skin of stuff, and it's turned out, we don't need some of what they were offering. And they've gone Okay, fine. Well, let's cut that out now that we don't need that. So it's not always about chucking everything in the kitchen sink in. Sometimes it's about taking things out as well, and making sure that you've got the right value and the right delivery, and then it helps them because they can say, Well, good, well, we don't have to do all this extra overhead then either. So that takes out a layer here too. Yeah, so I think it's about really, like I say, preparation information, you know, and this, it doesn't have to be an unwieldy, really difficult process process. But it does need the time and effort and focus to get the right the right solution. And, you know, we haven't talked a lot about it, I touched on it at the beginning. But you do need the right people in place to manage that relationship going forward, as well. And I think I talked about it in terms of the total procurement lifecycle. But again, you know, you need to make sure that you understand what they're going to expect from you too, and that you've got enough people there who can support that going forward. Because the last thing you want is them producing lots of reporting and data and information about how they're performing. And you've got nobody on your side to match up against them and actually look at the data.

Sarah Walters  56:27  
You know, the amount of the amount of times we've come in to vendors, you know, with with long term relationships, and they're saying things have gone wrong, and it's all broken down. And then you look at it, and you realise it's because nobody's even been thinking about this vendor, or giving them any time or attention, even though they're very large. And they're very important to the business. So So I do think it's about not just, you know, you got to do date night, right? You can't just please them upfront. And then, you know, you gotta you gotta have date night, once a month, at least so that you can all sit around a table and talk about how it's going, you know, without the kids around. So yeah, definitely 

Jonathan Parnaby  57:07  
love that. I love that. What a great way to end that summary, date night with your suppliers.

Sarah Walters  57:13  
I can get myself into all sorts of trouble here. 

Jonathan Parnaby  57:16  
Yeah, we'll keep it quiet. We'll keep it quiet. It's fine. Great. Thank you for that Sarah it's been it's been brilliant. And I think we'll finish off then with the next question in our pub quiz, which actually, you've got the question for us, me and Ian are on equal footing here. Like, we've got no idea what you're going to ask. Genuinely, 

Ian Kingstone  57:36  
I'm getting quite scared, quite worried about this. So yeah.

Jonathan Parnaby  57:42  
What's the question? We have to refrain from our answers until the next episode? 

Sarah Walters  57:46  
Well, given that we're given that we're in and before I ask the question, thank you guys, because that was great. I can't believe we've been talking for an hour, you know, that that just the time flew by I really enjoyed I really enjoyed the discussion. So thank you for having me on. So um, yeah, given that we're in a bar, I thought I'd go with a Guinness World Record questions.

Jonathan Parnaby  58:08  

Sarah Walters  58:09  
According to the most recent Guinness Book of World Records, what is the most number of records held by a single person? Now? Obviously, this is a wide question. So I'm going to give you three possible answers. Right. 

Sarah Walters  58:25  
So is it a) 120?

Sarah Walters  58:31  
b) 150.

Sarah Walters  58:35  
Or c) 200. 

Ian Kingstone  58:38  
I'm so glad you gave us options.

Jonathan Parnaby  58:46  
I probably would have gotten there. 10,000. But someone out there has done 10,000 Records because they've got the time. Bless them. God, I have no idea. 

Sarah Walters  58:55  
My son is a massive fan of the Guinness Book of World Records. And he tells me facts constantly. People hold records for the most ridiculous things. Its amazing how many records there are out there. So it's probably quite easy to get into the hundreds if you try so. So yeah. Okay, well, well, for our listeners have a think and we'll share the answers next time. So great now. Thanks again, Sarah. So, yeah, first guest. we've done it

Jonathan Parnaby  59:28  
Yeah, let's hope we have many more throughout the season. We've got plans. So yeah, thank you very much.

Sarah Walters  59:34  
I think to your point, hopefully, I've set the bar high enough that I have to raise the bar when they come on.

Sarah Walters  59:41  
Yeah. Thank you so much, guys. Take care. See

Jonathan Parnaby  59:45  
you soon. Cheers.

Ian Kingstone  59:52  
So Jonathan's question time again. Question from Andrew. James. How long should a change run for post go live?

Jonathan Parnaby  59:59  
Oh, 17 days?

Ian Kingstone  1:00:05  
very precise. I think it's 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:00:07  
3 Hours 27 minutes.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:00:10  
Oh, yeah, you know, the answer is gonna be it depends how longs piece of string? Yeah, it does. I mean, it's a good question to ask in in general terms.  Because what I'm thinking Andrews getting at is, and we harp on about this and have done in Season One a lot, which is, when you go live, don't just stop and move on to the next thing. So I'm not going to have that rant again, promise, maybe save that for another episode. But I think, how long does change happen post go live? Well, it all depends on what you're changing. It depends on you know, what, hopefully what benefits realisation check points you put in into that programme, post go live. So kind of what I like to do. And I know you do as well is kind of have that 3-6-9 months check in after go live period for obviously doing that value management piece.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:01:10  
And I don't think you should, I'm saying that you should have a project team extended for nine months, fully after we go live just sitting there burning utilisation. 

Ian Kingstone  1:01:20  
Yeah, but you don't close it down. Right. 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:01:22  
You don't that's correct. So the utilisation obviously drops. Once you get over the hypercare, support, aftercare, everything you know, that initially gets that change embedded and sustained in the early parts.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:01:39  
And obviously, as a programme, team, there will be a debt until that checkpoint arises. But I think the point is in your portfolio, don't close that project down. 

Ian Kingstone  1:01:48  
I agree. And I agree that the 3-6-9 months, as you know, you worked with me, we've done these things so many times to go. Yeah, but but I think you just need to set out those checkpoints before you start. So what are those checkpoints? What how are you going to measure them? So you know, understand the change, understand what suggests it's coming out of hypercare? What suggests that successfully come out, like hypercare and you don't need to continue on, watch suggests that you've got to a certain point where you say, okay, that that's going well is in the right place. So we'll review it again in X, whether that's three months, or whatever it is, you know, and how are you going to measure that? And how you're going to monitor that and have that planned up front? So yeah, on some small changes, that might not be long at all. But it's that habit thing, isn't it? How do you sustain the change? How's the organisation become that has that become normal habit? And so and so there, therefore, you know, how do we, you know, and what things do we measure to know that I still remember a really good leader from from many years ago will not keep that the this saying still goes in my head, not one dot does a trend line make. And I still remember that from the benefits. And that's why three dots is more towards the trendline. Two isn't, fives great. So So do you see what I mean? So it's kind of, how long does it take to get those right measurements to know that it's going in the right direction? 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:03:20  
Yeah. And that's why I say depends, right? Because you could say like, go live happens in obviously hypercare support for let's just say two weeks, alright. And the change team are going to be very busy in those two weeks, make sure that things going how it should be. But even when hypercares ending and it goes into BAUgoes into like, service transition, then again, that change team I think should still be around, just again, making sure things are moving in the right direction. But I just think you just need to build in around those checkpoints, like building a ramp up towards the checkpoint measure. And then building kind of the the after curve as it rolls off. Because who knows, right? Well, what happens checkpoint one three months time, looking good Ian we on the right track. People are doing what they're supposed to do. Excellent. Should we go home now? No, not yet. But six months, we have another look. And it's gone the other way. You know what people have reverted back to always working people have decided actually, you know, the new solution and processes aren't good as they thought it was and found shortcuts to get around things, then what then what you do? So it's is trying to make sure that against putting value in the front of the people's minds isn't there and resources are properly but I think you you mentioned you hit the nail on the head. It's it's kind of around portfolio governance, and making sure that there are stages for these things and it's not just, you know, we've gone live, project closed. Done. That's in the archive files.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:05:00  
We'll look at that for lessons learned using air quotes that we've never well. And again, 

Ian Kingstone  1:05:05  
I'm slightly off track from the question, but I'm going to say it anyway, I just can't help myself.  You say you measure three months in, things aren't going the way that you're expected.  What do you do? 

Ian Kingstone  1:05:19  
My view is, you look at why they are going, they're expected to even look at what change needs to happen to get it back to where you're expected. Absolutely. To many programmes, put something in, then they measure it, they might measure, you know, 3-6-9 or 12 months down the road. Yeah. And then they say, Oh, we didn't get the value expected. result this. 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:05:40  
Oh, well,

Ian Kingstone  1:05:40  
if they do measure it, yeah. Oh, well, it wasn't as good as we thought it was. 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:05:44  
Like you can still rescue this still

Ian Kingstone  1:05:45  
No sorry, you haven't completed it. In our view, you haven't delivered the value unless you agreed prior to cutover. The value wasn't there. Which means you're heads on value, and we'll get to this another episode. But but that what you're doing, you're just putting the business case together, throwing something in and seeing if you make the answer you want it's a bit like crazy

Jonathan Parnaby  1:06:08  
It's a bit like loading this ship full of gold bullion. Isn't that right sets off on a Portsmouth it's got low, like millions and millions of pounds worth of gold on it. And it sets sail and it's supposed to hit a destination of somewhere in America, right? Three months in. It's not where it should be on the course. It's like going it will be alright you know we've lost it.  Where is it heading we don't know. But it's fine. Now these things happen. Let's move on to the next ship and fill it with more gold. 

Ian Kingstone  1:06:37  
You know, or it turns up in Amercia and half the gold has gone missing.

Ian Kingstone  1:06:44  
You're okay with that. Right? Yeah, I'm not okay with that, wheres my gold

Jonathan Parnaby  1:06:48  
Protect your value, protect your value.  Good stuff. Well, thank you. Thank you, Andrew. It's good to hear from you again. If you want to record a question for next time. Just you know, just record that question. Send it to because we love to get people's voices on this podcast, right?

Ian Kingstone  1:07:06  
Yeah, no it's great. Sounds good. Right.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:07:09  
Alright, see you next time. 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:07:11  
It's last orders at the bar. So thank you for listening to the Beer and Butterfly. As always, we want to encourage participation. 

Ian Kingstone  1:07:18  
You can get more details of the episodes on our website, which is That's

Jonathan Parnaby  1:07:31  
You can get in touch with the show by emailing us on, send us your questions written or recorded. Or come and join us at the table as a guest.

Ian Kingstone  1:07:42  
Also check out our LinkedIn page, Beer & Butterfly Podcast and on Twitter, @butterfly_beer, where you can engage with the show directly and get involved.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:07:55  
Yeah, and we look forward to seeing you at the table next time.

Welcoming Sarah to the table
Procurement synergies with business transformation
Pub quiz - Question 1 Answer
What have we been up to?
Transformation from a procurement perspective
Engaging suppliers to help manage change
Breaking delivery down into smaller chunks
Options in the engagement
No ideal way but experience helps
How does procurement help raise the bar?
You've got to do date night
Pub quiz - Question 2
Question time
Record us a question
Last orders