Clients often ask “how do we know if our services offer Value For Money?”.
Contesting allows organizations to adopt a structured market based approach to test and drive continuous improvement in terms of cost, quality and customer choice.
The contesting process puts in house services under the spotlight of market based challenge and can range from specific process benchmarking to formal market testing exercises and at its extreme, full outsourcing. However the mere challenge of contestability itself can drive performance improvement and clients should not therefore assume that contesting inevitably leads to outsourcing non core services.
The key issues
Effective contesting requires a structured approach to be designed from the outset. Central to this is the definition of the key criteria on which market based challenges will be assessed. Examples can include:
In addition, the contestability process itself needs careful definition to potentially encompass a range of challenges and outcomes, as well as the ‘rules’ for the process (for example would an in house bid be invited as part of a contesting process and how would this be managed?).
Our approach to performance improvement includes: