Transition of the UK PSC from project into BAU

The UK PSC encompassed:

  • UK Welcomes, the dedicated official Point of Single Contact (PSC) for the UK; and 
  • The online licence application service available on the Businesslink.gov.uk website.

UK Welcomes was launched in December 2009 as a requirement of the European Services Directive which aims to remove barriers to cross-border trade in services.

The portal allowed service businesses whether based in the UK or overseas, to identify the legal requirements they needed to operate in the UK. The online licence application service enabled those businesses to download, complete and submit Local and Competent Authority licence and other applications. The project passed into ‘business as usual’ on 1 July 2010. 

I carried out the handover of the initial project into BAU under very challenging circumstances. This included undertaking a full analysis of the transition plan highlighting risks and issues and making recommendations for effective delivery, recruiting and developing a creative, cohesive and highly motivated delivery team, and balancing the requirements of some very difficult and demanding stakeholders against the needs and capability of the business.

The transition of the PSC was a very successful exercise which stabilised a product that was over-engineered and in danger of complete failure, rendering it fit for future development.

In order to provide a solid platform for future development I put in place a programme of continuous improvement with the following key milestones being achieved:

  • The overall service was stabilised and the reliability of the technical infrastructure was improved. Also, a fully functioning Akamai Disaster Recovery capability was implemented and all major outstanding  technical issues were resolved.     
  • Outstanding resource issues were fully resolved and sustainable solutions for ongoing data loading activity and new forms creation put in place.
  • Content gaps were identified and plugged and fully documented content management processes were established.
  • A PSC Theme Board was established that was fully representative of cross-government stakeholders.
  • Comprehensive cross-platform MIS reporting was established.
  • A significant backlog of outstanding interactive forms development work was cleared and ongoing production and maintenance processes re-established.
  • Several enhancement projects were undertaken: These include the development of a licence browse facility across UK Welcomes and Businesslink.gov and the implementation of significant Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) enhancements.
  • Technical support to authorities was improved.

  Copyright John Pitman 2018