Defence Growth Partnership Export Strategy & Plan

"Apache iX have been instrumental in developing and delivering one of the major strands of the high profile Defence Growth Partnership,...thanks to Apache iX, we are starting the journey on a sound footing with unprecedented levels of Government and industry consensus."

Client Challenge

As part of their commitment to the Defence Growth Partnership, DIT DSO is running a project to develop strategies and implementation plans to pursue a small number of strategic defence markets. These markets were ranked and selected during the previous phase of work which Apache iX Ltd project managed. Strategic markets offer the greatest growth potential for defence exports over the long term.  The stakeholder environment was extremely difficult politically, and was a challenge in terms of sheer scale and complexity. It included DIT, BEIS, FCO and MOD from government and the UKDSC, ADS, and the 16 DGP member companies from Industry. It also included overseas stakeholders in embassies and high commissions around the world. There was therefore a requirement for careful stakeholder management to address this as part of the strategy development and implementation process. DSO was not set up or resourced to do this type of work so industry secondees were provided by DGP companies to augment and work alongside existing DSO staff. Since these resources all came from different companies they had different approaches, levels of knowledge and experience, and skill sets. This required leadership and organisation and a clearly structured approach in order for the team to deliver the required outcomes. The situation was made more challenging as the post of Assistant Director (AD) Strategic Markets, who is responsible for delivering DGP work on behalf of the DSO, was gapped from Sept 16 to Apr 17. There was therefore a requirement to represent DSO at the DGP Steering Committee and Operations boards during this period, which were chaired by Allan Cook from Atkins.

Our Role

Apache iX Ltd were tasked with project managing a team of up to 8 industry secondees to deliver a number of work packages as part of DSO’s contribution to DGP. The most important work package covered the development and implementation of 3 country strategies and associated implementation plans. The other work packages included the establishment of a collaborative cloud based workspace, and the development of a collaboration framework to govern the way in which the DSO and UKDSC work together throughout the exports pipeline.

Apache iX provided the team with a framework and plan for developing the country strategies. This included the approach to stakeholder engagement to ensure the strategies themselves were feasible, could be supported, and could be approved by both the DSO Industry Liaison Board (DILB) chaired by Steve Wadey (CEO Qinetiq) and noted at  Ministerial level. It also included advice on the scope and boundaries, how to structure the strategy so that it could be turned into an implementation plan, and best practice templates. For the implementation plans, Apache iX Ltd provided techniques for turning a strategy into a plan, and coached a number of the industry secondees on how to adapt and develop them in this context, including facilitating numerous planning workshops. Apache iX Ltd also designed the governance that was required to oversee the delivery of the strategies, including senior cross government oversight, and desk level implementation teams. This included developing Terms of Reference, agendas, and dashboards to help monitor progress, and coaching the team to prepare for these occasions. Apache iX Ltd also made recommendations on DSO organisational structure changes for the implementation phase, including job descriptions and new ways of working. When the project moved into the implementation phase and the AD Strategic Markets post was filled, Apache iX adopted an advisory role and provided advice on how to manage this change to the business of DSO.

Apache iX were also tasked with developing new ways of working between DSO and the UKDSC. This took the form of a collaboration framework which governed how the two organisations could work together across the sales lifecycle, and in particular in the strategic markets for major ‘Team UK’ export opportunities. This involved consulting with the UKDSC CEO, Hd DSO and the Regional Directors to address concerns and ensure the ways of working addressed their respective concerns.

Finally Apache iX were tasked with overseeing the development of a collaborative workspace to support the strategic markets work. This required a cloud based solution that allowed both industry and government stakeholders to access information relating to those markets. Apache iX oversaw a pilot run by DIT and then made recommendations that allowed the UKDSC to begin implementing the permanent solution.

Our Performance

"Apache iX exceeded our expectations and delivered far more than just project management services. They have been instrumental in developing and delivering one of the major strands of the high profile Defence Growth Partnership.  The Strategic Markets work will shape the way HMG and industry work together to support exports into the future and, thanks to Apache iX, we are starting the journey on a sound footing with unprecedented levels of Government and industry consensus. Thank you!!"