Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) is the largest health organisation in Wales. Named after Betsi Cadwaladr, a Welsh nurse born in 1789, BCUHB provides a full range of primary, community, mental health and hospital services. With a budget of £1.87 billion and a workforce of more than 19,000, BCUHB
delivers health care to more than 700,000 people across the six counties of North Wales.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s vision is to create a healthier North Wales. To achieve its ambition, BCUHB focuses on digital ways of working to transform the patient experience, safety and outcomes.
Digital is the future. Good project and portfolio management is important as it allows us to optimise the use of our resources to achieve our organisational objectives by balancing risk and return, and adapting to changing priorities. This is especially important with our challenging financial and resource constraints – every pound and hour of project work needs to be spent well and have a return.
says Dylan Roberts, Chief Digital and Information Officer at BCUHB
Project management and delivery are areas of BCUHB operations that can directly affect patient experience, health, and safety. “For example, transformational projects currently on our register aim to improve Eye Care, Prescribing and Radiology services for our patients,” says Andrea Williams, Assistant Director for Digital Delivery, Strategy and Engagement. “So effective management of our projects is crucial to realising our vision.”
BCUHB saw the potential to improve its project management by implementing a digital platform. A new system would resolve resource issues more quickly, ensure value for money, and maximise the benefits of projects delivered to patients by providing a transparent view of the entire project portfolio. Getting a ‘single view of the truth’ across all projects would also enable more accurate reporting and cost-effective decision-making.
Andrea Williams and her team reviewed several project management systems. Microsoft offers a range of proven solutions, and as a Microsoft license holder, BCUHB recognised that Microsoft technology offered good value from its investment.
We wanted a platform that was a good fit with our project framework, but we also needed a partner to help us select and implement the right solution,” Andrea says. “Our ICT colleagues had worked with CPS on other digital initiatives. As CPS is a leading UK Microsoft Partner with a lot of Microsoft project management software experience, we felt confident they could meet our needs.
Following deep discussions about requirements, CPS proposed to BCUHB that Project for the web was the best match with Power BI and Power Apps to enhance and speed up its reporting process.
The business case for the package was persuasive, the hundred or so projects in the BCUHB portfolio could all be managed transparently, and project staff could easily share information. Having helped choose the solution, CPS worked closely with Andrea Williams and her team to prepare for implementation.
We had a detailed specification, and CPS stress tested it as we progressed,” she says. “We had regular weekly meetings to keep things on track. Together we developed a high-level overview document to define what we really wanted from the system, then we refined it to a low-level document in great detail. Those were important documents, clarifying roles and responsibilities and resolving issues before they happened.
BCUHB favoured a phased approach to implementing Project for the web, so reports could be developed as projects went live using real data and a standardised approach for the future. Four transformational projects have been moved into live production on the system so far, with associated project teams trained to manage them. The reporting process combines ‘out of the box’ designs with bespoke reports using Power BI and Power Apps.
An important feature of the implementation plan was that BCUHB wanted to be self-sufficient in operating its platform. So CPS transferred skills, knowledge and advice through a series of project staff and BI analyst training and train-the-trainer courses.
Although Andrea Williams says she expects most significant benefits to accrue as more projects go live on the system, management has already welcomed the change to a single transparent platform where information on all projects is sourced. Project staff are also positive that they will be able to quickly provide more insightful reports in future.
The new platform should mean that patients get real safety of care benefits in the long term, because we will be able to optimise project performance and deal quickly with issues. As an organisation, we should also be able to operate more efficiently, with cashable savings opportunities evident quickly and transparently. Our single source of truth will aid business continuity, enabling us to move people around effectively. We will be better equipped to balance demand management of our projects before they are begun, review priorities and assess impact to ensure we’re aligned with the organisation and our wider objectives.
says Lt Pete Reeves, Low Code Product Manager at Data and Navy Applications.
Next stage of implementation will focus on stabilising the use of the system as other projects go live. Andrea Williams is also collaborating with ICT colleagues to adapt the system to support agile project management techniques with smaller projects. Quality assurance will be a next-stage priority.
- A transparent platform enables a 'single source of truth' about BCUHB's projects progress
- Optimised project performance will benefit patients and help realise BCUHB's vision
- Cashable savings opportunities
- Improved resource management
- Better balanced demand management and priority assessment before projects begin
- Opportunities to run smaller projects with an agile approach
Four transformational projects have successfully gone live. Managers welcome a ‘single source of truth’ for all project information. Project staff are positive about generating insightful reports that enhance their roles.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Visit Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board: Home - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (nhs.wales)
Meet CPS: www.cps.co.uk