Shifting strategies after a global event

Following COP26, businesses will be feverishly re-writing their 5-year plans to include many of the new promises made by global leaders. In the following blog, we identify how large organisations, industries and government departments can manage a shift in focus to help meet wider governmental priorities.

COP26 isn’t the only reason businesses spanning wide industry sectors might be re-thinking their organisational objectives this year. 2021 was the year of recovery, understanding, new beginnings, work-style-shift, innovation, and unfortunately for some, defeat. 2022 and beyond will want to see operations begin to grow and mellow after the rocky ride we’ve all just experienced.

But now comes, arguably, the ‘priority of priorities’; the health and wellbeing of the planet is not just a social issue, but a political one. And organisations that don’t make some amends to their existing goals in favour of protecting the planet from future harm might well see their customer base dwindle as its importance rises and becomes a ‘front and centre’ issue with the world’s population.


Local government organisations:

Local Government organisations are unique in that they face similar challenges to each other, such as social care, education, general wellbeing of the local population, housing, transport etc. However, based on where in the country they are positioned, the environmental challenges they face might be dramatically different, along with some social and economic factors that might also require specific consideration.

Richard Godfrey explains in his webinar, Generalisation kills clarity, how a digital strategy with no direction on how to identify specific obsticles and deliver a plan to overcome them, means nothing. And this is true of a Local Authority organisation. A deep understanding of their local landscape is required and being aware of triggers, weather warnings or just being prepared for a sudden disaster is a must to mitigate crisis situations for maintaining the safety of residents within a particular area.


Central government organisations:

The scale and complexities of Central Government make shifting priorities more of a daunting prospect for disparate departments to align and co-ordinate on. Tracking the progress of smaller agencies and developing robust communication plans for internal alignment as well as for building external confidence requires careful planning and sign-off from various stakeholders. And project managing within strict timelines and frameworks, all happening while the nation watches your every move with great expectation, takes a certain set of skills and an incredible amount of bravado.


The private sector:

Private sector organisations have particular expertise to be proud of, that make them stand out from the crowd and that maintain their competitive edge. Changing their direction as a result of a global movement like COP26 might require significant transformation. Aligning with the government’s plans, while also achieving their own, might require a complete reimagination of their unique selling points, specifically within industries such as utilities, engineering, and construction industries, to name a few. If their company history is fast becoming obsolete, it might be a time of ‘innovate or die’, a challenge that has faced other businesses famously, such as Kodak and BlockBuster, who didn’t pivot fast enough to their detriment.


How Verto 365 can help:

The Verto 365 platform has grown from initially providing customisable and flexible tools specific to the project and programme management industry to becoming a complete work management solution that brings together remote teams of workers, handles complex tasks and activities within major project work and all manageable from within Microsoft Teams.

Verto 365 fully surfaces within Microsoft Teams, providing you with tools such as completely flexible dynamic dashboards for instant and real time snapshots of projects in detail or programmes as a whole. Gantt charts are interactive, easy to manipulate and help to map out progress and timelines in minute detail if needed. Kanban boards, calendar views incorporating risks and issues and full project management operations such as time, resource, and performance management can be performed all from within your MS Teams window.

Verto 365 understands many business challenges faced by companies, and molds to the exact requirements of any organisation of any size.

For larger, complex tasks, it can be tailored to suit the following, non-exhaustive, list of strategic processes, often needed when pivoting away from the original objective:

  • Crisis management – Tactics to co-ordinate information can be stored in one place for easy access when it’s needed. Activation tools are used to facilitate the coming together of teams and support when required. Report easily to understand severity levels, cost of impact, or anything that provides useful analysis and learnings for the next plan. And audit the process to maintain records in one format, from one single place.
  • Planning for change – Generating buy-in from all senior staff members requires a business case that’s going to hold up in all strategic areas. With Verto 365 you can easily scale up as needed and tweak to act in the way that best suits your processes. Make it work for you.
  • Local initiatives – A little from many goes a long way, so when devising initiatives for community members, plan your communication and activities to encourage larger numbers of sign-ups within Verto 365 for maximum effect.
  • Programme management – All projects can be managed within Verto 365, which can then be managed from a programme level. Take stock using dynamic dashboards, see a snapshot of all projects and their progress, any risks, track finances, and map next steps in a way suits all stakeholders.
  • Reporting – Specific reports can be built so that, with a click of a button, the most up-to-date information you need is with you in a format that appeals to everyone who needs it. With all data in one central repository, analysing what matters is simple.
  • Stakeholder management – Track the ideas and aims expected by each of your stakeholders. Build specific dashboards that provide each stakeholder with just the information they are interested in quickly, and offer them their data in real-time whenever they request it.
  • Project management in any way, any style – Make Verto 365 work for you and your organisation. It can be built to support your team and their existing processes.
  • Bringing multiple organisations together and reporting in one single framework – Working across departments, capturing information in one central repository, and reporting in single formats and can be scaled up to include external agencies and even different organisations who need to work together for certain projects.
  • Strategy planning – Bring together the organisational goals to suit the direction of travel for all departments. Align with the whole business, plan your strategy, deliver your project work, and grow your business all within Verto 365 directly from within Microsoft Teams
  • Transformation and innovation management – Large projects that aim to deliver change within a company can be organisaed with Verto 365, however complex the transformation. Information, data, files, team members, tasks, activities and plans can all be kept on track for successful innovation within your organisation using Verto 365 within Microsoft Teams.


Managing a change in direction requires buy-in from the wider workforce and a strong strategy that involves all business functions. Tools such as Verto can be designed to work in the way your business requires for new goals to be achieved and productivity to soar.

Warwickshire Council use Verto to achieve collaboration

Who are Warwickshire Council?

Warwickshire is located towards the heart of England. Containing famous historical towns, it’s nestled just outside of The Cotswolds’ area of national beauty to the south, and big, bustling Birmingham City to the West. The journey for Warwickshire Council has been that of the tortoise. Slowly and steadily they have been moving towards a more robust and strategic framework to make valuable and sustainable change in the way they achieve the goals they have set for their area.  Working with Verto throughout has allowed the platform they chose to grow with them, through their project development and as an organisation.

Their Challenge

Warwickshire Council needed to shift towards a new mindset in a gradual way and Verto allowed them to start small and have it expand as they added more of their project information in, rather than a sudden organisational shift.

Initially, the Council was finding it increasingly difficult to run projects and initiatives proficiently while using a mixture of systems that didn’t connect with each other. This caused a lack of governance and accountability across the workforce. The systems in place at Warwickshire were disjointed, they weren’t providing the data needed; a lack of transparency of any savings resulting from project outcomes, for example, or an understanding of the progress being made from project to project.

Furthermore, all reporting was subjective. Spreadsheets were used to contain the bulk of the data needed, which were found to be an out of date and an almost never accurate system. Project management documents and governance reporting was light on the ground and databases were manual and used to make the detail fit.

Our solution

Verto initially demonstrated to a small team of business analysts with project management experience, showcasing a traditional set of PM tools that allows all project activity to be recorded in one place and in a single format. This led to Warwickshire being able to define a business case for Verto and then spend time testing the system to make sure it could fulfil their needs. Since then, Warwickshire have steadily developed their Verto site, adding and building the elements needed one step at a time.

They initially prioritised the adding of revenue-generating project information into Verto. One of the main challenges that any local authority faces is funding, so it was important to show stakeholders that the money spent was generating successes, even in the early stages. Warwickshire then began re-directing new, and small, project activity over to the new system.
There were a few larger, historical projects, that were far too cumbersome to warrant a move across. Therefore, Warwickshire benefitted from Verto’s ability to stick to their pace while they continued to outgrow these large projects on old systems. Now any new projects, however large, begin their life and are managed throughout, in Verto.

The system was built as tools that the wider team could pick up and maintain. Projects now move through gateway stages as they progress from a proposal, to a gateway group who scrutinise and develop the plans into working activities. Only then is a project manager assigned. During the live stage of the project, deliverables are managed 100% through Verto and once the project is completed, any financial benefits can move into benefits realisation and be fully reported on.

Verto built a system where data inputted at the front end was automatically allocated to inform the right teams of people at the right time. The layered template is malleable and customisable so the person inputting the data could easily direct information using Verto’s intuitive configuration.

The Warwickshire team also take advantage of the detailed, customisable reports, that they themselves generate, as a result of the information Verto now possesses.

The benefits

Verto has now been rolled-out out across the whole organisation, from having a handle on projects such as those to set-up new teams, right through to large transformational huge-scale, huge-investment programmes. Recent projects, powered by Verto, have been focused on their Covid response. They have built custom reports, directly for use by their Cabinet, to show how they have been tackling the pandemic within the area.

Since implementing Verto, the group of Directors at Warwickshire now have a much better handle on project work happening across the organisation and their own departments have better focus on benefits, risk, assurance, and governance. In November 2020, after showing consistent gains in time-saving efficiencies, financial benefits and hitting repeated organisational goals, a fully-fledged project Management Office (PMO) team was created as a direct result of the work with Verto.

Warwickshire County Council Logo

“Verto has enabled a joined-up project management framework, supported by a PMO, with knowledgeable staff in place who understand where upcoming pressures are likely to be, and up-coming savings are likely to be, allowing a much better future-view of the business”

Vix Watson, Business Analyst at Warwickshire Council

Future plans

The next steps involve two parts. The first is to further develop the internal systems and processes, using more of Verto’s functionality over time to build out the system to take on more. The second part is training the wider workforce to be more self-serving to generate reports, create dashboards and store information.

Robust resourcing and performance management elements, are needed, to support the ability to assign staff members to projects, track their time spend against project outcomes and audit effectively.

Project-wise, once the wider team have been fully trained on using the system operationally, they will import larger capital projects (major building schemes) into Verto for complete end-to-end management of every new project. All data captured on huge csv spreadsheets in the future will automatically filter through into Verto, such as data-heavy projects and government-funded programmes. Also, financial strategy functionality, including savings, that are linked to projects will be tracked and monitored as part of the project outcomes through Verto.

Verto 365 is the solution to managing complete projects through Microsoft Teams

Today, VertoCloud (Verto), the cloud-based project management and work collaboration platform, announced the development of Verto 365, a transformative new option for workforces from any organisation, of any size.

What is Verto 365?

Verto 365 is a revolutionary new offering from the Verto team, who previously brought VertoGrid to many organisations. The new development allows for complete project management, from traditional to agile, from within a Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) window, including the use of Kanban-style boards and dashboards, files, Gantt charts, resource planning, system and process management data, risks, reporting, benefits, finances and every other last detail needed to successfully run projects and programmes on any scale. 

Why is this different?

The creators of Verto 365 have turned their thoughts to the users of their platform and identified the dramatic uptake of MS Teams in the past 12 months. By allowing the tools to be fully operational from within a much loved and widely used platform, such as MS Teams, Verto itself takes a back seat for its functionality alone to shine through, and to simply act as the asset it intended to be, to those delivering the work. 

Ross Mardell, VertoCloud Development Director says “We really had to take a step back and look at the pitfalls of large system implementation. Then we had to consider what would increase productivity for a huge number of end users, all with vastly varying skillsets and embedding Verto fully, within Microsoft Teams was the best answer. This is not about selling Verto, this is about improving the ways in which we work, for everyone” 

What are the benefits?

  • Using Verto 365 within MS Teams allows for complete co-ordination of projects run throughout any organisation of any size with Office 365 already implemented with minimal disruption and marginal change. 
  • This is not integration, where systems are just able to connect with one another. Verto 365 is one of a new breed of app with the ability to embed itself completely within the MS Teams system as if the functionality of your existing MS Teams account just had a radical upgrade. 
  • There will be no need to leave MS Teams to sign into Verto 365, or set up a new project or dip out to tweak or manage any settings through Verto 365 or any other system. It will appear as one, single platform for all tasks to operate from within.

How does it work?

The developers at Verto have re-built much of the internal mechanism for it to sync with the exact configuration of MS Teams. Specifically, this is the addition of OpenID, a piece of sign-on source code that matches the particular nature of the Microsoft product. 

Verto had identified the dramatic uptake in MS Teams users across many industries, including those within Verto’s existing client base, such as NHS organisations. Moving with the tide and listening to the needs of clients informed the direction of travel and led the team at Verto to create the opportunity for huge swathes of workers to begin simplifying their work, collaborate more efficiently and managing teams in a vastly more effective way through the use of Verto365.

Latest news

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New user announcements 2021

Welcome Page Header White

Verto are pleased to welcome and reunite with many new partners during 2021

Much of 2021 has seen organisations work closer together to share best practice for the benefit of industry and each other. Whether it be the impending formation of ICSs or simply to aid collaborative benefits that help to drive transformation forward within their sectors.

Thanks to these improved collaboration efforts, we have found our Verto platform, and now Verto 365, being recommended across businesses and we are delighted that so many clients have joined our community in such a friendly way.

2021 - New clients

Central Government

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (Beis)

BEIS is a ministerial department, supported by 42 agencies and public bodies.

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UK Research & Innovation Logo
UK Research & Innovation Logo
Central Government

UK Research and Innovation

UKRI signed a new 3-year contract with Verto, which sees a significant increase in users across their Councils and member organisations.

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Arden & GEM CSU

Arden & GEM CSU have a strong background and passion for integrated working across the social care, voluntary, community and health sectors.

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London Borough of Havering

The London Borough of Havering serves to operate for the local area of Havering, offering information and online services for local residents, visitors and the business community.

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NHS Oldham CCG

Oldham CCG is a membership organisation with a vision is to improve health and healthcare for the people of Oldham by commissioning the highest quality healthcare services, provided near to the patient, in an integrated fashion and representing best value for money.

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NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA)

The NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) is a health authority charged with identifying, investigating and preventing fraud and other economic crime within the NHS and the wider health group.

As a health authority focused entirely on counter fraud work, the NHSCFA is independent from other NHS bodies and directly accountable to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

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Central Government

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champion and develop art across the country to develop creativity and culture. By nurturing connections, they aim to see creativity flourish within the creative sector.

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Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust

Providing quality care services to Cambridgeshire residents and the surrounding area, to ensure people live healthier lives with the care they need close to home.

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Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust works together with the community to achieve happier, healthier lives.

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Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust works in partnership to improve health and well-being by providing high quality, person-centred care.

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Local Government

Oldham Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham in Greater Manchester, England.

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Local Government

Walsall Council

Walsall Council, formerly Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council was created in 1974 to administer the newly formed Metropolitan Borough of Walsall.

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Local Government

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority is the combined authority for South Yorkshire in England, with powers over transport, economic development and regeneration.

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Verto now available on the G-Cloud 12 framework

Verto now available on the G-Cloud 12 framework

Secure Cloud Document Storage 2

What is G-Cloud? 

The UK Government framework, G-Cloud, is an initiative targeted at easing the procurement of supplier cloud-based solutions by public sector organisations in the UK.

G-Cloud compliant software and cloud-based systems that are part of the framework enable the UK public sector to access a wide range of services offering the latest technology amongst other benefits.

The public sector can use Digital Marketplace for a list of all approved suppliers.

Verto is a UK Government G-Cloud Supplier 

Verto has again successfully completed the G-Cloud approval process and is now available as part of the recently published G-Cloud 12 framework. 

Verto is available under Lot 3, Software as a Service.

Find Verto in the Digital Marketplace here: Verto G8

Working with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Plan

Across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, health and care organisations are committed to always providing safe and effective services, however the way some services are run may need to change. This is because they have a growing population and rising demands on services, and they must make sure they can do the best they can with the resources available.

Due to the size of the challenge, health and social care bodies in Herefordshire and Worcestershire (and across the country) are working together to help make sure the NHS is safe and sustainable for the future. This is called the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which is essentially implementing the NHS’ Five Year Forward View.

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP comprises of several footprint organisations, Worcestershire County and Herefordshire Councils, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove, NHS South Worcestershire, NHS Wyre Forest and NHS Herefordshire CCGs, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals, Worcestershire Health and Care, Wye Valley, 2gether Foundation NHS Trusts, 4 Primary Care Collaborations in Worcestershire (covering 64 practices) and the Taurus GP Federation in Herefordshire (representing 24 practices).


Population to serve


Population increase over the next 10 years


GP practices

What Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP wanted to achieve

To achieve their aims, the Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP are delivering a number of transformational programmes of work across several priority change areas. These programmes require project teams from each member organisation to work together at local and regional level, sharing information and reporting on progress to their Boards and Committees as well as the NHS England. To achieve this, they needed a Cloud based programme and project management system which everyone could access to share information to enable collaborative working, and which could also support mobile and agile working.

The STP also recognised that trying to manage their programmes on spreadsheets and word documents was a very manual and time-consuming process, that made visibility of an up to date, single version of the truth extremely difficult to achieve. File sharing tools could not support their requirements, so a new collaboration platform was needed to allow local projects to be managed and reported on by member organisations as well as project teams to jointly work on shared projects and programmes.

As the Verto system was already widely used across other NHS and Local government organisations, a development partnership was set up between TMI Systems and H&W STP to create a regional solution which could support this new way of working.

Collation of the information across these programmes for reporting purposes took several days. The STP required a way to record real-time information and ultimately generate click of a button reporting.

They wanted to be able to accurately track the progress of each project and programme of work to ensure improvement in services for their population were delivered in a sustainable cost-effective way.

How Verto are helping Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP achieve their goals

The H&W STP PMO and TMI are currently working on the reports to share and pull programme information together across the organisations in the STP footprint to facilitate a click of a button reporting, saving several days effort.

  • The flexibility of Verto means that the STP can create a work flow and subsequent programme reporting that meets their specific needs.
  • All the organisations within the STP can be connected to Verto via a shared view called Vertogrid.
  • In addition, these organisations can also use Verto for their local programme management.

“With the flexibility of the Verto system, developing our local instances in partnership with TMI has enabled the development of a virtual team across organisations within our Health and Care System. This is key for the future in terms of integrated working and system development.”

Ali Roberts, STP Programme Manager – Herefordshire and Worcestershire

The benefits Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP are seeing

Šorena Maguire, Programme Officer, uses Verto for management of the STP programmes as well as those of three Worcestershire CCGs.

The Executive support of Verto at the CCGs helped to achieve full organisational buy in. The CCGs delivered briefings to all staff which were led by the Executive teams and the Programme Management Office to ensure everyone knew why the new approach to programme management was changing.

As with the STP, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove, NHS South Worcestershire and NHS Wyre Forest CCGs were also using spreadsheets and word documents to manage their projects and faced the same challenges, so they too chose to streamline their processes and work to achieve standardised reporting via project Highlight reports produced on Verto.

“The greatest benefits of Verto are the ability to share, view and edit programme information without fear of losing anything, instead of multiple spreadsheets and word documents, there is a single view of information that is entered in the system and saved automatically.’’

‘’The TMI staff are always quick and helpful when responding to queries, which is refreshingly different – there is no automated queuing!’’

Šorena Maguire, Programme Officer, Programme Management Office – NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove, NHS South Worcestershire and NHS Wyre Forest CCGs

The CCG uses Verto to deliver and track their financial recovery programmes and are developing automated reports for the CCG Financial Recovery Board.

TMI continue to work with Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP, together we are developing an executive dashboard and intend to make reporting required by the STP and the regulator less labour intensive, standardised with the most up to date, relevant information.

Editors picks

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New user announcements 2020

Welcome Page Header White

We, at Verto, have been delighted to increase our partnerships during 2020

During a tough year, many organisations still decided to invest in their futures by trusting Verto to help them come out the other side as a stronger and more functional business. We thank all those who joined us last year, we’re proud to be working with you all, and look forward to being part of your growth story.

Q1 2020 - New clients

Eastern Academic Health Science Network
Eastern Academic Health Science Network

Eastern AHSN selects Verto for system cohesiveness across the organisation

Eastern AHSN help innovators from research organisations, universities, and industry navigate complex systems, generate value propositions and convene key stakeholders to realise the value of innovations quicker.

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Greater Birmingham LEP logo
Greater Birmingham LEP logo
Local Enterprise Partnership

Greater Birmingham and Solihul LEP chose Verto to support their financial monitoring

GBSLEP’s mission is to drive the economic growth of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, creating jobs and increasing the quality of life for all our residents.

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UK Research & Innovation Logo
UK Research & Innovation Logo
Central Government

UKRI selected Verto as its unified portfolio management solution

UKRI convenes, catalyses and invests in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system.

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Innovate UK Purple Logo
Innovate UK Purple Logo
Central Government

Innovate UK, benefits from Verto as one of UKRI’s member councils

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

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Digital, Data and Technology Profession
Digital, Data and Technology Profession
Central Government

Digital, Data & Technology (DDaT), as part of UKRI, manages projects and portfolios using Verto

DDaT works collaboratively across government to facilitate the development of an integrated offer that helps departments attract, develop and retain the people and skills they need in digital, data and technology.

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Industrial Strategy Logo
Industrial Strategy Logo
Central Government

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), as part of UKRI, manages projects and portfolios using Verto

A fund to strengthen UK science and business innovation and take on the biggest challenges that society and industry face today.

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Science & Technology Facilities Council
Science & Technology Facilities Council
Central Government

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), as part of UKRI, manages projects and portfolios using Verto

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) coordinates research on some of the most significant challenges facing society, such as future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security.

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Kent County Council Logo
Kent County Council Logo
Local Government

Kent County Council selects Verto for programme management within Adult Social Care

Kent County council serves to operate for the local area of Kent in the UK.

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Monmouthshire Housing Tai Sir Fynwy
Monmouthshire Housing Tai Sir Fynwy

Monmouthshire Housing association brings Verto on board to link departments

Monmouthshire Housing Association provides high quality homes & services that put people first.

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Q2 2020 - New clients

Welsh Blood Service
Welsh Blood Service

Welsh Blood chose Verto to support the delivery of change within the organisation

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Lloyds of London
Lloyds of London

Lloyds of London looks to Verto to provide governance and compliance of regulatory documentation

Lloyd's is the world's leading insurance market providing specialist insurance services to businesses in over 200 countries and territories.

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Basingstoke and Deane
Basingstoke and Deane
Local Government

Basingstoke Council identifies Verto to help with strategic alignment across the business

Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England. Its primary settlement is Basingstoke.

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Q3 2020 - New clients

Health Education and Improvement Wales
Health Education and Improvement Wales

Health Education and Improvement Wales chooses Verto, to manage it’s investment programme

We have a leading role in the education, training, development and shaping of the healthcare workforce in Wales.

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Local Government

Sheffield City Region select Verto to manage their programmes

Sheffield City Region invest in delivering transport, housing, business growth, skills and economic development related projects within the Sheffield area.

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Q4 2020 - New clients

Girl's Day School Trust
Girl's Day School Trust

Girls Day School Trust selected Verto to manage their IT, Strategy and Governance Function

The Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) is the UK's leading network of independent girls' schools, with over 3700 staff, and nearly 20000 students.

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NHS North and mid Hampshire
NHS North and mid Hampshire

NHS North and mid Hampshire ICP select Verto for work collaboration across their region

NHS North and Mid Hampshire ICP are working together to provide services that can care for people, supporting them to manage long-term conditions and to live with dignity and independence at home and in the community.

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Avon and Somerset Police
Avon and Somerset Police
Emergency Services

Avon and Somerset Police select Verto to manage their project portfolio

Avon and Somerset Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in the county of Somerset and in four districts that used to be in the defunct county of Avon: Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

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Northampton General Trust
Northampton General Trust

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust chose Verto to manage their programmes

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust provides general acute services for a population of 380,000 and hyper-acute stroke, vascular and renal services to almost 700,000 people living throughout Northamptonshire.

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Verto helps the Innovation Agency

Innovation Agency - Academic Health Science Network

The Innovation Agency is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for the North West Coast.  It is a catalyst for the spread of innovation across the health and social care economies, helping facilitate change to improve health, drive down the cost of care and stimulate economic growth.


NHS providers


Clinical Commissioning Groups



The Challenge for the Innovation Agency

The Innovation Agency needed a tool to help underpin a significant and rapid expansion, from 15 to 64 people in 18 months.  This required a more systemic approach and greater structure and governance to managing their projects and programmes.

They wanted to promote integration between their teams and move away from working across numerous spreadsheets and on shared drives which were not always suitable to the tasks required of them.

The teams also had to organise and report on the vast amount of information held on complex spreadsheets which were bulky and difficult to analyse.  Reporting was also a challenge.

With the rapid growth in staff numbers, the Innovation Agency knew that they needed a tool that would:

  • Be simple to learn, use and understand
  • Break the ‘cultural spell’ of spreadsheets
  • Enable the project delivery teams to work to a consistent process and collaborate effectively
  • Be able to easily and accurately monitor and report on project performance and outcomes
  • Put all their project information in one place without the need for version control and sharing large files
  • Be configurable to their working practice and governance

The PMO wanted to embrace ‘matrix working’ with real emphasis on collaboration. They knew that this meant configuring a system that could be used by a wide variety of users with differing levels of project management maturity. They identified that they needed a system that could cope with the full spectrum of simple to complex project management elements and hybrid methodologies.

Our Solution

The Innovation Agency chose to roll out Verto as it was widely in use across the AHSN Network, especially the South West AHSN who were engaged in using the platform to support decision-making.

Kerrin Whaite, Innovation Agency Project Manager and Assurance Officer, is responsible for assurance and monitoring of projects and programmes for the spread and adoption of innovation, including planning and delivery of various initiatives and supporting communities of practice across the wide network of partners.

“We chose Verto as we were particularly impressed with the flexibility of the system which allowed us to really build it the way we wanted it – it wasn’t a rigid system where you’re just stuck with the way it is. The ability to choose to show or hide functions is great as it means we can start simply and yet we know all the functionality is there as our project management capabilities grow”.

Kerrin Whaite, Innovation Agency Project Manager and Assurance Officer

The Innovation Agency decided to configure their system around their six business goals as this gave them a cross-team view of their programme activity and performance:

Goal 1: Support system transformation through the adoption of innovations that enhance quality and value.
Goal 2: Deliver an Innovation Exchange to accelerate innovation into practice and drive economic growth.
Goal 3: Develop and connect the digital health and care sector
Goal 4: Deliver the NHS Improvement Patient Safety Collaborative programme
Goal 5: Collaborate with the National AHSN Network
Goal 6: Support a culture for innovation

Twenty-five programmes were spread across these six business goals with between 70-80 projects and a mix of local and national programmes.

The benefits

Across the business Verto is being used to manage a varied set of projects for the AHSN Network’s national programmes, including PReCePT, ESCAPE-Pain, the Innovation Technology Payment (ITP) and the Innovation Technology Tariff (ITT), and the Innovation Agency’s local projects, including Connected Health Cities, Population Health and more, which cover the North West Coast footprint.

“Verto has been great in supporting the growth of our business. With lots of new team members and partners, Verto means we can very quickly and easily bring our stakeholders on board across the full range of projects they will be involved with.”

The system has provided a structured approach to creating a project from business case to tasks and milestones, risks and issues, costs and benefits – incorporating all the critical elements to support effective project delivery within a defined methodology.  This in turn feeds the business’ quarterly highlight report which provides a clear picture of programmes and performance across business goals.

Kerrin says: “We have built it so that it follows a simple flow that is intuitive and makes sense across the organisation and enables it to be used by team members who are not professional project managers.  The system is so simple to use and gives us visibility across the business – it’s easy to get a very clear picture of all our project information in one place.”

Verto has helped reduce duplication.  Previously, stakeholders were doubling up on tasks through simple lack of communication and knowledge – now they have a bird’s eye view of all of the activity on projects and can allocate resources much more effectively.

The Innovation Agency has established a Business Operations Group to provide a project governance framework, evaluate proposed business cases and monitor project scope.    They have developed a process to use tasks and milestone data to record and collect data required for the Local Implementation Plan report, which is used to measure quarterly performance of national innovation programmes, saving time and duplication of effort and resources across the organisation.

The information and framework for this report has also been used to configure their quarterly highlight reports which are used in discussions with their partners to track interactions, working in harmony with their CRM system to create a full picture of collaborative projects.

Kerrin says: “It’s been great to see our teams really using the system, really understanding its value – and that in turn is making their lives easier in the practical benefits of easier, faster reporting and an appreciation of what is happening across the business.”

Running a programme management office requires constant review of project management maturity and capabilities.  The Innovation Agency is planning a series of audits to enable them to see which elements of the powerful Verto functionality the organisation is ready to use next through the support of their own coaching academy and moddle software to enable their people and the system to develop together within a supported environment.

The information and framework for this report has also been used to configure their quarterly highlight reports which are used in discussions with their partners to track interactions, working in harmony with their CRM system to create a full picture of collaborative projects.

Kerrin says: “Our experience of the Verto client support team has been an example of excellent service. They have been fantastic, lightning fast responses to any queries we’ve raised and refreshingly proactive – we don’t have to chase – they’re on it!   I wish all of our business systems were supported like that.”

The Innovation agency are now one of eight AHSNs using Verto.  They have created their own Network Group and are exploring how the system will enable them to collaborate across projects, for example through the Verto Grid which is an innovative platform for clients to share and collaborate on projects with a centralised reporting framework.

“With Verto as a common system, we’re looking to give people the confidence – and the confidence of security – to break down barriers, collaborate and share information.”

Into the future

As the health sector continues to face growing challenges, the Innovation Agency will be at the forefront of the search and identification of new innovations and technologies with Verto at the heart of a maturing programme management approach.

Verto will also enable the Innovation Agency to undertake a rolling viability review of proposed future project business cases, supporting system transformation through the adoption of innovations that enhance quality and value.

The Innovation Agency will continue to embrace the culture change of migrating to the Verto programme management system and developing the value it brings.

With the lateral thinking that goes with working in a forward-looking environment, Kerrin was quick to observe:

“Going forward it will be great to use Verto to showcase projects and innovations at the industry events and expos the Innovation Agency attends to show evidence of our programme and project outcomes and benefits. We hope that the evidence will be very persuasive to other organisations to adopt some of the initiatives and innovations that we have developed.  The smart use of Verto to collect powerful evidential data will be a great marketing tool for us.”

The Innovation Agency will continue to embrace the culture change of migrating to the Verto programme management system and developing the value it brings.

Working with Camden CCG

Camden CCG is a clinically led and member driven CCG with 35 GP practices across the London Borough of Camden.  With a population of approximately 254,000 and a predicted population increase of almost 23,000 in the next 10 years the CCG continues to experience growing pressure on local health and care services for which they must assess local needs, agree priorities and commission services.

Camden CCG is one of the five CCGs which now form North Central London CCG, with shared commissioning arrangements that aim to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan as it looks to move to an Integrated Care System.


Population to serve


Population increase over the next 10 years


GP practices

The Challenge for Camden CCG

Camden CCG identified that they needed a tool to help track and monitor their commissioning priorities, including their QIPP (Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention) programme of quality improvement and efficiency savings.

They wanted to work in a standardised way and be able to view, monitor and report on their portfolio of projects across the organisation.  Prior to Verto, reporting requirements were very intensive and laborious.  Information came from multiple diverse sources in varying formats, mainly spreadsheets, documents and emails which required manual and time-consuming co-ordination.   Segments of the organisation held data in siloed parts of the CCG’s intranet system but there was no single place where the whole programme picture was visible.  The CCG also wanted to be able to view and report on information ‘through different lenses’ to be able to produce meaningful information up and down the organisation.

Camden CCG knew that different project leads had varying levels of project experience, so the tool chosen had to:

  • be quick and easy to learn and use
  • enable the project delivery team to work to consistent processes
  • be able to easily and accurately monitor and report on project performance and outcomes
  • provide a birds-eye view of project implementation
  • reflect their working practices and governance

Our Solution

Camden CCG chose Verto’s cloud-based programme and project management solution to manage their portfolio of projects and QIPP monitoring and reporting.   Verto was chosen as it was extremely configurable and gave the CCG maximum flexibility and usability.

“The transition to Verto took place with very little disruption.  Verto was configured to reflect our project management structure and processes and then we blended that with good practice recommendations that the Verto team suggested based on their experience to get the best possible system”.

Stephanie King, QIPP Business Manager, Camden CCG

Stephanie’s role involves encouraging project leads to provide project updates with Verto now used across a number of different programmes of work including:

  • Primary care
  • Community care
  • Unplanned care
  • Planned care
  • Mental Health
  • Children’s and Young People
  • Quality and Clinical Effectiveness
  • Continuing Healthcare

Reporting is now done automatically using configured reports to inform the CCG and NCL Governance Framework.  Verto is used to assess and manage project risks and issues to ensure timely intervention.

The system also provides a substantial document repository which provides organised traceability and project provenance.

The benefits

With Verto, the CCG’s updates on their transformation and QIPP projects are held in one place.  This meant that they can quickly run reports at various levels from sponsor highlight reports to detailed management reports knowing that the information was ‘live’, accurate and able to be analysed at different levels and from different perspectives.

“The way that Verto provides a single version of the truth across all of our projects is fantastic.  At any time, you know that the information you are looking at represents the most up to date view of what’s going on.  The information we get from Verto enables us to swiftly pinpoint projects that need time and attention”.

Stephanie King, QIPP Business Manager, Camden CCG

Verto has now been in use at Camden for over two years now.  Plenty of time to really test the mettle of the system and cement the relationship between the Verto team and the CCG.

Verto gives the QIPP planning and monitoring team reliable and current updates at the touch of a button.  This means they can now measure progress, project future outcomes, track benefits and plan with more confidence.

Camden CCG have embraced the wider significance of the system delivers around business continuity.   Because Verto holds a comprehensive historical record within its change history function, new staff or people covering leave can very quickly see the life-story of a project and are not bogged down chasing an understanding of what has gone on before.

“It’s been so great to hear so many of our users say, ‘that’s really easy isn’t it?’.  They like the look and feel of the system and the fact that it helps make the process of keeping on top of their projects just really, really easy.”

Stephanie King, QIPP Business Manager, Camden CCG

We continue to support Camden CCG within North Central London as partners plan to move towards an Integrated Care System.  The CCG is also developing a borough-based partnership to delivery early integration priorities for 2019/20 which will involve new programmes of work, collaboration and project delivery.

How to get new project sponsors on board

person stands on stage out of focus. People in foreground with their hands up in supportGetting the right sponsor on board is a key ingredient in the success of any project.  Ideally, the sponsor is not just a figurehead or nominal stakeholder, but also an active and involved member of the project management process. The sponsor can help ensure that the project goals are aligned with the organisation’s overall aims and strategy,  build support from other executives and senior stakeholders, and deal with any resistance.  The sponsor plays a vital role. Unlike the project manager, who is dealing with day-to-day tactics and execution, the sponsor takes a more strategic position, overseeing the project rather than managing it, but is just as essential to creating conditions for project success.  It is therefore vital to attract high-quality project sponsors, which is never an easy task.  

Overcome the barriers

Busy, high-level executives can be understandably reluctant to take on the role of project sponsor. This is exacerbated by the fact that many senior executives are not sure how much time it will absorb or what the degree of commitment required will be.  They want confidence in the availability and quality of information that will be available to them when going into bat.   Even those who understand the strategic nature of the role may be concerned about getting involved in the management side of the project. This is where having the right project management software in place can have a big impact.  

Generate information impact

Verto project management software helps project managers demonstrate to potential sponsors exactly how their projects are run. This can help get project sponsors on board, by showing them how the project will operate, with clear data, effective task management, easy updates, and well-defined areas of responsibility. A potential sponsor can see for themselves how the project management process can be centralised, with integrated dashboards, clear visual reporting, and effective risk management.   As regular users know, Verto software has many benefits. It allows for one-touch reporting, instant communication, less time spent in meetings, and automatic version control of all project files. Depending on the project, it can effectively eliminate the need for most one-on-one communication, and integrate all necessary information into shared, easily accessible dashboards that everyone involved can check at any time.  

Don't waste their time (and yours)

A single work management system is going to be a highly attractive way of working to most potential sponsors. They are not looking to add more meetings, phone calls, emails, reporting procedures and paperwork to their schedule. They are looking for a way to make an impact on the organisation by guiding a project to completion through involvement at a strategic and supervisory level. Verto can demonstrate to them exactly how that is not only possible but also easy to implement, with all necessary channels already in place, to aid them in their role.  Verto project management software helps project managers to attract high-quality project sponsors easily. The software clearly demonstrates exactly how the project management process will work, and proves to potential sponsors that they will have all the tools needed to fulfil their duties efficiently and effectively. To find out more, contact us at register for our 30 day free trial!