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Spotlight, News, May 24, 2021

Credera secures five finalists in the MCA Awards 2021

Kelly Jackson

We are proud to announce that Credera has secured five finalists at the 2021 MCA awards. Each of our finalists have been nominated against one of five categories: Performance Improvement in the Public Sector, Outstanding Achievement, Exceptional Support and Delivery by a Consultant during COVID-19, Thought Leader Consultant of the Year, and Team Leader Consultant of the Year.

Chris Dean, CEO of Credera said: "I'm truly delighted for our finalists. Each and every one of them brings great value to Credera, our clients, and to the consulting industry. I wish our finalists and those of fellow MCA members all the best of luck."

Since 2019, Credera has been a member of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) - the representative body for the UK consulting industry. Each year, the MCA hosts the MCA awards, which is a prestigious event within the consulting industry held to recognise the value and impact that consulting has on society and within client organisations. According to the MCA, the award entries for this year have increased by 46%, and two new categories have recently been introduced to recognise the exceptional client work delivered by individual consultants in response to challenges presented by COVID-19.

Kelly Jackson, MCA Lead at Credera said: "The MCA awards are a key event within the consulting industry and it's brilliant to see the phenomenal work of our finalists recognised in such a competitive set of awards. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for all of our finalists in the next stages!‘

We spoke to each of our five finalists to gather their reactions to their nominations and learn more about their project involvement.

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector: HSCN
Finalist: Graham Hall (Programme Representative)
Graham Hall 2020-12 v1.00  
The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) Programme was a £700m Government digital infrastructure programme designed to restructure, re-procure, and replace the NHS Wide Area Network (WAN), consisting of ~14,500 connectivity services.

The legacy “N3” contract was the largest private network in Europe, supplied by a single provider, and used by thousands of NHS organisations (ranging from large NHS Trusts to individual GP sites), national application providers, Government and commercial third-parties.

HSCN was set in motion by NHS Digital to replace the N3 network with a multi-supplier marketplace and provide choice to end-customers and deliver ongoing value-for-money. It was important to empower local entities with the opportunity to procure services aligned to their own requirements, whilst adhering to a set of centrally defined standards established by working in collaboration with the TelCo industry.

Our role within HSCN began as quality assurance on aspects of the programme including transition, commercial, solution, and target operating model, and was extended to include project management and technical delivery.

We collaborated with NHS Digital throughout the complex four-year programme, working alongside our client colleagues as ‘one team’ to deliver Europe’s largest WAN migration.

By October 2020, all HSCN migrations were complete, saving the NHS £75 million annually. Like-for-like network services are now, on average, 70% cheaper than they were on N3, enabling sites to upgrade to faster, more reliable fibre services at competitive prices.

The speed and reliability of HSCN services help the NHS successfully deliver against the Secretary of State’s technology vision of ‘bringing improvements to the NHS’s ability to share life-saving information quickly and efficiently across different sites’, as well enabling Health and Social Care organisations to adopt innovative technologies that improve patient experiences. 

Speaking on Credera's involvement in the project, Graham said: "The NHSD project team from Credera have delivered outstanding work for the NHS over a complex, but highly rewarding four-year HSCN programme. We're really proud of the contribution the team has made to an important national strategic programme allowing money saved to be directed to critical NHS frontline services."

Outstanding Achievement
Finalist: Josh Nicholson
Josh Nicholson 2020-12 v0.02
I'm an advocate for outstanding consulting and delivering transformative change. I advise clients through their full technology journey -from strategic design, translating the ‘art of the possible’, through to pragmatic implementation.

Colleagues have cited my work at a large government department as that of an ‘inspirational leader’, helping the department achieve their vision of transforming core services and delivering a truly digital experience to millions of UK citizens. This vision needs reliable data to inform Government policy and the department’s daily operational decision making.

I'm leading a central component of realising this vision, developing a cutting-edge data analytics platform and moving some of Europe’s largest data sets to the cloud. My strong technical leadership has helped the department to:

  • Drive their project to take shape and accelerate towards their goals of better serving the public with innovative change, while delivering cost savings to UK taxpayers;

  • Cope with the ten-fold spike in demand for their services when the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown was announced, speeding up the availability of data to be near-real-time so that they could direct resources to be in the right locations each day to meet demand (which currently stands at 6 million UK citizens);

  • Transform ways of working for their 3,000 civil servant data scientists, analysts and policy makers, who can now access the new leading-edge tools remotely from secure devices, ahead of many private sector organisations.

I've been on a journey throughout this project from architect, to team leader, to a strategic role driving technical transformation agendas across the entire department; a growth trajectory mirrored in my career promotions from Managing Consultant to Principal to Director.

Speaking of his place in the finals, Josh said: “I’m really honoured to be nominated for the Outstanding Achievement MCA award. I’ve had a fantastic personal journey at Credera, from managing a small project, to a large team, to an account, and now leading Credera’s MarTech capability. I’ve learnt a great deal from excellent leaders and I’m really excited to grow our MarTech capability in the UK.”

Exceptional Support and Delivery by a Consultant during COVID-19
Finalist: James Breeze
James Breeze 2020-12 v1.00
I love consulting because I get to see the direct impact that my work makes when solving meaningful problems for important organisations in the UK.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year, I did not anticipate the unprecedented impact it would have on my life and those of everyone around me. The UK Government, our NHS, and businesses across the country faced new challenges in responding to the virus, which was a call to arms for consultants like me to help these critical organisations to manage, adapt, and innovate.

I was previously involved with NHS Digital on another project and when the pandemic closed in on our shores, the Director of Networks and Infrastructure asked me to help stand up the Access Logistics Hub, which sought to connect health workers with services during the outbreak.

I was instrumental to NHS Digital’s response to the initial Covid-19 pandemic in the following areas:

  • Managed the delivery of critical network connectivity to seven Nightingale field hospitals, completing work with providers in hours instead of months.

  • Assured elements of the critical NHS IT infrastructure to ensure stability through significant shifts in ways of working with rapid transition to digital services, such as extensive remote working.

  • Led the analysis and delivery of improved internet connections for patients in NHS and Social Care locations to enable remote video consultation with doctors and enable communication between families during lockdown, reducing the spread of the virus.

  • Rolled out remote access solutions to provide secure access to healthcare systems, supporting increased remote working of clinicians across the healthcare sector, from GPs through to Radiologists in a system of 1.2 million staff.

Speaking of his involvement in the project, James said: "It's fantastic that my contribution to the NHS has been shortlisted for the Exceptional Support and Delivery by a Consultant During COVID-19 award, recognising some of the amazing things that were delivered whilst the early stages of the pandemic were unfolding."

Thought Leader Consultant of the Year
Finalist: Mohammed Syed
Mohammad Syed 2020-12 v0.01-1
My passion is ‘big thinking’, from analysing macroeconomic phenomenon to exploring how solutions are engineered. I am inspired by how data and analytics act as powerful tools for solving some of the world’s biggest social and commercial problems.

Organisations need pragmatic approaches to problem solving that realise value early. I enjoy exploring the transformative impact of big ideas and how targeted, bespoke solutions realise them. I take a strong stance on the early adoption of data and analytics in two key areas.

Firstly, driving the UK energy industry to transform in line with the energy transition agenda. I authored a cornerstone piece on how energy organisations can harness the power of Open Data to meet Net Zero targets. This became the catalyst for our Energy UK Conference sponsorship, where our CTO hosted a panel with industry leaders. Several common themes from my whitepaper emerged in discussions, such as the balance needed between collaboration and competition to promote shared innovation (certain to be a topic of regulatory focus and one that triggers a re-think of market mechanisms).

Secondly, applying data and analytics to transform the services received by UK citizens from public sector organisations. I played a lead role in delivering a major government client’s vision for the data mesh, with distributed modes of data analytics aligned to business areas rather than a central data department. This radically new form of enterprise data architecture challenged me to reimagine everything I knew about data governance. My work enabled the client to materialise their ambitions, through a pragmatic but innovative approach to data management, and supported the delivery of valuable data and analytics products on the new mesh architecture.

Speaking on his place in the finals, Mo said: "I’m thrilled to be shortlisted as the Thought Leader Consultant of the Year! I’m really proud of the thought leadership articles, events, and content that myself and Credera have produced. I’m wishing all the best for all the finalists for the MCA awards."

Team Leader Consultant of the Year
Finalist: Konrad Petrusewicz
Konrad Petrusewicz 2021-03 v0.01
I bring clarity of purpose, cogent thinking, and a ‘one team’ attitude to fix our client’s most challenging problems. Fifteen years’ experience of delivering complex programmes in the Financial Services sector has led to my most engaging Agile leadership role to date.

A leading Cloud provider has collaborated with one of the UK’s largest banks to build a digital bank on public cloud. This revolutionary programme involves building a highly secured, powerful platform, customised and tuned to the bank’s stringent risk and compliance requirements, with service continuity to their 30 million customers at its heart.

In my role as Platform Engineering Product Owner, I am shaping and driving the Cloud provider’s deliverables for the foundational platform for a ‘bank-in-a-box’ by managing a rainbow team of consultant colleagues, Cloud provider personnel, third-party engineers, and bank employees.

I was chosen to rapidly build strong relationships across the programme’s diverse team, bringing pragmatism and flair to deliver early successes within the programme using an Agile approach. I set a culture of servant leadership, communicating clear objectives and regular updates to interim targets, and collaborating to bring out the best in those around me to continually drive progress.

We have delivered six major releases and continual deployment of new functional capabilities in line with the bank’s ambitious timeframes to move live customers onto the platform within two years of the programme’s initiation. By introducing new ways of working into the bank, they can continue to make the most of emerging Cloud technologies in the future.

Commenting on his place in the finals, Konrad said: "It's a huge honour to be shortlisted as Team Leader of the Year. The past 18 months have been very challenging for all of us, and this nomination is a great reward for all the hard work. Best of luck to everyone!"

We would like to wish the very best of luck to all of our finalists and the finalists of fellow MCA members in the next stages!

Credera and the mca

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