PA Consulting Group's role was to advise the MHRA throughout
the outsourcing process. It worked with the Agency to convert a high-level
strategy into a practical set of requirements and to draw up a proposition that
balanced the MHRA's need for flexibility with the commercial interests of
potential bidders. Much depended upon establishing the right governance
principles from the outset, upon being clear about how risks would be shared,
and upon ensuring that the relationships involved did not deteriorate into
confrontation. As the scale and complexity of outsourcing continues to grow,
this independent, in-between role looks set to become ever more important.
As this case demonstrates, success will be determined by the
extent to which a consulting firm can play the role of an honest broker, helping
to create working relationships where all sides stand to gain. Commercial acumen
and a broad knowledge of how other deals have been constructed are also
prerequisites here: PA was able to add value to the client because it had seen
where other contracts had succeeded or failed and apply these lessons to the
challenges facing the MHRA.