Key themes for change are emerging in the public sector as additional needs in health, education, pensions and benefits spring up faster than the public sector can meet them. Changing dynamics affect trade, defence and foreign policy. At the same time, key government initiatives are changing the nature and sources of funding – Private Finance Initiatives/Public Private Partnerships, Compulsory Competitive Tendering/Best Value, Resource Accounting, Agencies and Trading Funds. Continuing core/non-core debates in Government at all levels has led to risks and opportunities for public sector bodies and public sector projects.
Z/Yen's risk/reward methodology is of particular use to public sector organisations when undertaking strategic planning exercises, budgeting exercises, information systems studies or when reviewing the effectiveness of functions. In order to align risk and reward, Z/Yen often works with clients through the entire project lifecycle: definition, assessment, options analysis, planning, implementation and review. Z/Yen people are skilled at using strategic planning, project management, systems design, quality standards and contract management methodologies. In practice, these tools vary from assignment to assignment, but the Z/Yen methodology remains consistent in each type of assignment and in each type of organisation. In particular, Z/Yen has first hand experience of using the methodology in public sector assignments where objectives can be multifarious. The final reward may not be financial but it can nevertheless be assessed and to some degree, measured.
In its six years of trading, Z/Yen's activities have focused on the Ministry of Defence, the Inland Revenue and NHS trusts. Z/Yen has also worked at the public/private boundary with voluntary organisations as diverse as Shelter or World Wide Fund For Nature, with the establishment of Taskforce 2000 to highlight millennium awareness, with PFI projects in defence, police and health. Z/Yen people, whose experience pre-dates our founding have experience with strategy, systems, people and organisation work in Customs & Excise, Treasury, Department of Health, Department of Social Security and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods, as well as numerous agencies and health bodies, e.g. London Ambulance Service. We also have people with a strong background in privatisation, including the electricity, nuclear and water industries. Our risk/reward work with public sector organisations has included strategic system reviews, value for money studies, quality management systems, interim management roles, financial planning, information systems strategies and implementations, project management, effectiveness reviews and risk assessments.
Z/Yen completed a number of assignments over the last few years at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) where we worked with DERA over two years to develop their approach to what they should retain, what they should joint venture and what they should dispose/outsource – then implemented it. This work led to the privatisation of DERA’s Support Services Division in April 1997. With over £140 million of turnover and 1,300 staff, the division was sold to the management and employees in a £74 million transaction.
Z/Yen's risk/reward approach helps organisations' executives, staff and even customers understand the issues they face in their proper perspective. We strive to undertake our public sector work with zest, humour and creativity in order to provide our clients with solutions that control risk and enhance reward.