Verto Case Study: working with Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership 

Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) is one of 38 local enterprise partnerships across England. LEPs are business-led partnerships between local authorities, the private sector, education providers and third sector organisations. They play a key role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of jobs in their area.

LEPs access funding to deliver their plans from a number of central government funds, from European Structural and Investment Funds, and from local partners and the private sector. They have to regularly report on their plans and progress to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to their other funders and local stakeholders.

LLEP aims to, ‘create a vibrant, attractive and distinctive place with highly skilled people, making Leicester and Leicestershire the destination of choice for successful businesses.’ To achieve this aim, LLEP funds a number of projects and programmes through their own grant schemes.

What LLEP wanted to achieve 

LLEP manages a number of different funding streams, grants, and projects. Prior to using Verto, all their project management data was recorded in Excel and Word documents.

This system could be challenging at times as it meant the PMO had no clear oversight across their projects. This made it time-consuming for them to show the totality of the LEP’s outputs and outcomes.

Their system also made teamwork and collaboration harder to achieve as the programme managers for each funding stream could not easily share their data.

The LEP wanted a system that would provide a more robust way to manage public funds and give them easy access to quality management information.

How we’re helping LLEP achieve their goals 

LLEP did extensive research into various project management tools before they invited organisations to tender to be their supplier. As Verto most closely met the requirements LLEP had set out, TMI won the tender.

We started out with a project inception meeting in May 2017 to discuss in more detail what the LEP wanted from Verto and to plan the timescales for installing the software and training their staff to configure the system. Verto went live in October 2017.

“The team at TMI are incredibly amenable. We’ve had, and continue to have, great support from them. Before we went live, if we had any queries or were stuck configuring a particular aspect of the system, we could always call our key account manager.  And Verto is brilliant. It has so much functionality we’re not even using yet.”  

Michelle Hodgson, Local Growth Fund Programme Manager, LLEP 

The benefits LLEP is seeing

The biggest benefit LLEP report is having all their programme data in one place. Verto’s dashboard means the PMO team can easily see the status of all their programmes and projects. This is helping them prioritize their efforts and manage risk.

Verto is also saving the PMO team a lot of time as they no longer need to input as much data or print as many documents. Rather than scrolling through spreadsheets and word documents to find the data they need, they can now see it all on one screen. And as their data is centralised and standardised, they can also run reports at the touch of a button.

The team are finding it much easier to track and monitor the projects they oversee as Verto gives them a clear view of each project’s whole cycle, from its inception to its conclusion. At any time, the team can easily see if a project is meeting its expected targets in terms of outputs, outcomes and spend.

This quality management information is allowing the LLEP to more easily manage its budgets. Grant recipients can claim via Verto and the team can authorise claims quickly, which benefits both them and the organisations they fund.

We continue to support and work with LLEP. They frequently review how they’re using Verto, through their cycle of continuous improvement. This is highlighting areas where we can develop the software and tailor it more to suit the specific ways LEPs work.

To find out more about how Verto can help your LEP please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here.

Meet the TMI Team: No. 4: Lizz Nelhams, Finance Manager

Meet the TMI Team 

No. 4: Lizz Nelhams, Finance Manager

In the latest in our series of staff interviews we meet Lizz Nelhams, our Finance Manager.

Hi Lizz. Thank you for agreeing to take part in one of our staff interviews. We’ll start with the same question we ask everyone first. How long have you been working for TMI?

I’ve been working with TMI since 2008. I was part of the original team that set the company up and continued to work with them as an associate until late last year. TMI has recently been through a period of significant growth so in November I joined the company as an employee.

What do you do, as our Finance Manager?

Anything and everything that’s finance related. This includes paying our bills, paying our staff, budgeting, forecasting, completing all our management and statutory accounts and developing our finance policies and procedures.

My work is varied and gives me a fantastic overview of the whole company.

What skills do you need to do your job well?

Apart from the obvious of knowing how to put together a set of accounts and understanding, for example, the statutory rules that affect TMI, I need to be methodical and organised.

It’s also important that I have good communication skills. It’s important the directors understand the framework we need to operate in as well as how we’re doing against our targets. I make sure they have the information they need to develop the company while effectively managing our risk.

What would people never guess you do in your role?

I think people would never guess how varied my role is. There are so many different facets to finance these days so, as well as the more obvious things like paying bills, I work on all our policies and procedures to make sure we’re following best practice and are managing our risks well.

What has been your most memorable moment working for TMI?

There are two. The day I wrote to Companies House when we first set up the company. And more recently, when we were all at our annual staff conference this January. As part of the  event we played crazy golf and I was sure I’d come home with the wooden spoon, but I didn’t (sorry Mel!). I even scored a hole in one!

The best part of the conference though was having the whole team in one place. We all work remotely, and it was great to spend time together.

If you could switch jobs with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

I’d like to switch jobs with someone from our client services department. Every Monday morning,  as an organisation, we have a catch-up call. We each take a turn to update everyone on what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

The client services department often feedback really positive comments and stories from our customers, about our service and the difference Verto is making to them.

TMI’s clients frequently say how helpful we are. Who has helped you the most in your life and why?

My children. They’ve taught me to be patient, which I’m usually not. And they’ve taught me to be more tolerant. They’ve shown me that life is not about following just one set of rules and that there is always another way.

As a result, I’ve learned not to ‘sweat the small stuff’ but to let things go, draw a line and move on.

Which word do you use too often?

My daughter would say I use the word ‘no’ too much!

When are you happiest?

When I’m with my family. It’s what we do it for after all!

I do love my job with TMI as well though. Years ago, when I first I set up my business (because it was easier to work that way with young children) I worked with a broad mix of companies.  As time passed, I slowly let go of my other clients but couldn’t quite let go of TMI. TMI’s innovation, energy and commitment to making their customers’ lives easier is what’s kept me working with them.

Thank you Lizz.  Here’s to many more years of us all working together at TMI. We’ve lots of exciting developments in the pipeline. And who knows what hidden talents you might discover at our next staff conference!

Next time we’ll meet our Technical Director, Ross Mardell.

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects and more easily work with others please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here.

Meet the TMI Team: No. 3: Paul Hill, Development Manager

person stands thinking in front of backlit sunset

No. 3: Paul Hill, Development Manager (and deep thinker)

In the latest in our series of staff interviews we meet Paul Hill, our Development Manager.




Hi Paul. Happy new year to you! We’ll kick off with one of the questions we ask everyone. How long have you been working for TMI?

It’s seven years now.

What do you do, as our Development Manager?

I help make sure Verto works as well as it can for our customers. Mostly I develop the things that tie Verto together into one coherent project management tool. So rather than developing new features, I spend more time making sure the existing features work with each other. For example, how the reporting function links with databases so reports are always up to date. We call this the system architecture.

I also do some future development work. For example, I worked on our real-time chat feature so messages pop up for people immediately. But my main focus is on how the architecture glues everything together. However, we’re a close team, and everyone works well together and supports each other.

What skills do you need to do your job well?

I need to be able to see the big picture of what the software as a whole is capable of doing, and how all the individual components work together. This involves being able to break a big problem down into individual steps that are easier to solve.

I also need to have a good sense of what our customers want to achieve and work with them to make this happen. So I need to cut through our development process and focus on the goals our customers are after. For example, when people are entering data I need to think about how this data will be used and make sure the system can access it without people having to enter it more than once.

And to fix particularly difficult bugs, I need to have a very strong command of Google!

What’s your favourite Verto feature and why?

It’s the project network, which is in two parts.

The first part represents all the different relationships between any feature or function of Verto.  The second part is what we call Vertosense. Our customers access this by pressing the hashtag button.

When they press the hashtag while typing into a text box, links to different features and functions appear. By saving these links our customers can create a unique project network. It’s a really useful tool and is easy to do as Verto creates it automatically.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on how our customers can share their data and participate in each others’ projects.

Although different organisations that work together may all be using Verto, they’ll be working on their own site that will have its own unique URL. This new functionality will allow them to ‘talk’ to each other – that is see data from other sites.

It’ll be really useful, for example, when partner organisations need to write a shared report as Verto will automatically be able to extract the relevant data and create the report. It will also integrate real-time chat so partners can use the instant messaging function outside of their immediate organisation.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day involves a mix of development work and support work. All our developers are available pretty much whenever they’re needed to help our customers if they have any questions.

Before I worked for TMI I worked for a much larger organisation and it was very different. People weren’t able or as willing to help each other out and work together. It could take a week for a developer to get back to the support team. I’m so glad it’s not like that here and that we all work together so well.

What would people never guess you do in your role?

This is hard to answer as my job is so technical a lot of people don’t know what I do anyway. However, I think it has to be how much time I spend figuring out the answer to problems away from my desk. The answer to something can pop up at the most unexpected time when I wasn’t even aware I was thinking about work!

Who has influenced you, and how?

That has to be my dad. He’s always been a big problem solver and what’s now called an early adopter. He always had new gadgets he was getting to grips with when we were growing up and would show us what they were and what they could do. It was this – and his enthusiasm – that sparked my interest in technology.

What book, film or TV programme do you recommend the most, and why?

Anything by David Attenborough. He’s so good at communicating and making things interesting. He really cares about what he does and this comes through so clearly.

Thank you Paul, that was really interesting. It’s great to get a look at what the development team does and see how, although you’re behind the scenes, you’re completely in touch with and focussed on what our customers need. 

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects and more easily work with others please call us on 0118 334 6200, message us or sign up for our 30 day free trial!

If you can’t bear to read another Christmas-themed blog, read on.

If you can’t bear to read another Christmas-themed blog, read on.

Have you had your fill of advice on how to stuff a turkey? On how to create the perfect mince pie? Or on how to buy the perfect gift for that difficult-to-buy-for man who has it all?

It’s not that we don’t love the festive season and all things Christmas. But, ironically, one of the stresses of this time of year can be the constant stream of advice on how to make this your best Christmas ever.

We could of course join in and write about how Verto can help take the stress out of the festive season, but we did something similar back in the summer. So as our Christmas gift to all of you who are regular readers of our blog, we won’t repeat it (although if you’d like to you can read it here).

However, as we reach the end of 2017, it’s natural to want to look back at everything we’ve achieved, and look forward to what’s to come in the new year.

This isn’t another Christmas blog. It’s a thank you. 

2017 has been another successful year for us here at TMI. And so we’d like to say a big thank you to all our customers, old and new, for the help you continue to give us. It’s your feedback and your willingness to share that helps us develop Verto into the best project management software it can be.

We’d also like to publicly thank our fantastic staff team. You create the energy and positive culture we’re known for. You all deserve recognition and to know we appreciate everything you do.

Looking forward to 2018, we have more exciting developments planned. We’re particularly looking forward to the launch of a new feature that will allow organizations who use Verto to share data, create joint reports and instantly message each other.

We’re developing this in response to a need our customers raised. It will help them build on their partnership working and share information and best practice. We’re sure in the coming year demands on services will continue to grow and budgets will continue to be squeezed, so this is a really positive and welcome development.

All that remains is for us to wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful new year. We look forward to 2018 with enthusiasm and optimism.

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here.

Verto Case Study: working with the West of England Academic Health Science Network

Verto Case Study: working with the West of England Academic Health Science Network

The West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) is one of 15 AHSNs set up by NHS England to deliver significant change in the way the health and care sector identifies, develops and adopts innovation.

The West of England AHSN says of its purpose: ‘We are catalysts, creating the right conditions to facilitate change across whole health and social care communities, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for citizens.’

To meet this purpose they provide a range of support to the region’s health and social care sector. They help develop the very best care and experience for patients and the provision of best value services. Their priority has always been to involve their whole network, which includes all the NHS commissioners and providers and the universities of Bath, Bristol and the West of England.

The improvement West of England AHSN wants to make to its programme and project management

In March 2018, NHS England will renew it licenses for AHSNs. As part of this renewal process, the West of England AHSN wants to improve how it manages its projects.

The AHSN currently uses a paper-based system. And both their staff team and the projects they deliver are diverse. As a result, their projects are managed and reported on in different ways.

To improve this, the AHSN, in response to requests from its staff, is setting up a programme management office (PMO). The PMO team will develop consistent project management practices and support staff across the AHSN in delivering them.

As part of this change, the West of England AHSN knew they wanted to move to a cloud-based project management software system. They also wanted to be able to tailor the software to suit their specific needs and preferences. Having talked to other AHSNs and clinical commissioning groups about the software they use and their experiences with it, they chose Verto.

How we’re helping West of England AHSN deliver this improvement

We’re still in the early stages of working with West of England AHSN. Initially, we ran training with the new PMO team to show them how to configure Verto in line with their needs. They were then able to transfer their offline project data onto the new platform.

Once this build was nearly complete, we ran further training with the PMO so they can roll the system out to their wider staff team before it goes live in March 2018.

“It’s been challenging trying to build an online project management system that works for such a dynamic and varied organization such as ours. The Verto team has been a great support in our goal to introduce a system which gives a repository of information, supports our approach to reporting, and ultimately helps create the right culture to flourish in our delivery of some really ambitious projects across the West of England and further afield.”

Kevin Hunter, Patient Safety Programme Manager, West of England AHSN

The benefits West of England AHSN is expecting Verto to bring

The AHSN is expecting to see a number of benefits from their move to Verto.

Having one clear structure and a consistent approach to how they manage their projects will help them realize efficiencies and work smarter.

One of the ways they intend to work smarter is by using Verto’s instant messaging tool to cut down on the number of emails people in the project teams receive. Where appropriate, using messaging in place of email will make communication more timely and prevent threads getting lost in over-full inboxes.

Linked to this, Verto’s document store will allow the AHSN’s team to store all their project documents in one place. This will make it quick and easy for them to share information and find what they need. And Verto’s inbuilt document control tool means they will always be looking at the most up-to-date version of any file.

The AHSN have configured Verto to measure what they need. So with Verto’s clever reporting tools they can produce reports from the information they choose at the touch of a button. This is key as they need to report both internally and externally to NHS England.

Verto will give West of England AHSN a very clear and detailed view of all their projects. They intend to use this to hold people to account across the organization and improve governance at all levels. They also intend to use this robust data to give them an accurate understanding of what each project, and the different elements of each project, costs to deliver.

The West of England AHSN works in partnership with a number of organizations. Many of these organizations also use Verto. The AHSN is hoping that by using the same platform, partner organizations will be better able to report to each other, share best practice and further collaborate. This is something we are working closely on with a number of organizations nationally to help make happen.

Ultimately, West of England AHSN is expecting Verto to give them clear evidence and a historic record of the change they have delivered. They will use this to demonstrate their achievements, write case studies so they can share best practice and gain national recognition, in part by entering awards. This will help their work have a wider reach and greater impact.

To find out more about how Verto can help your health and care sector organization, please call us on 0844 870 8785 or message us here.

Five commonly confused project management terms and what they really mean



scrabble tiles laying out words "you choose your words"Like any industry, project management has its own language. For example, a wine taster may describe a wine as chewy. To most of us this sounds ridiculous, yet all it means is the taste of the wine is not overwhelmed by tannins. And in the shipping industry, box is a common term for what most of us call a container.

These are examples of jargon, which can be defined as particular words or expressions used by a profession or group that may not be commonly understood by people outside of that group.

We’re often encouraged to avoid jargon. But, used correctly, it helps us communicate in a way that is precise and efficient. If two wine tasters are confident they both understand what they mean when they say chewy, it’s perfectly OK for them to use it.

So, to help you communicate with confidence with your project management peers, we’ve explained what five commonly confused project management terms really mean.

1. Outputs

At its simplest an output is what you do.

It can also be described as the immediate result you see from a single activity. Outputs show what your project produces but don’t show what difference, if any, this makes.

For example, an event you stage is an output, as is the number of people who attend the event.

Outcomes are the change in circumstances or behaviour that happen as a result of your outputs. They describe the difference your project makes in the long term.

So, looking at the event above, an outcome for your project would be a measurable change in behaviour because of what people who attended the event learned.

The key to measuring the success of your projects is how well you can link your outputs to outcomes. With Verto this is easy. You can find out why here.

3. Risk

Risk is used to describe what on a project has the potential to go wrong. For example, if the price of something you need for your project goes up, that can have an impact on the project as a whole. You will then need to take action to keep the impact to a minimum.

The key word here is ‘if’, as the price may not rise and your project may not face that particular risk. Then you won’t need to take any action.

Part of managing a project well is understanding all the risks it faces and having plans in place to deal with them if they happen. Verto makes this easy. Click here to find out how.

4. Stakeholder

A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in a project or who could be affected by its outcomes. As a result, a project’s stakeholders can be diverse and include, for example, people working on the project, people funding the project, government agencies, partner agencies, people living in an area where a project is operating, people using a specific service the project will affect.

The key to working well with your project’s stakeholders is communication. Verto’s instant messaging tool is just one of the ways Verto makes it easy for you to effectively communicate with a wide group of people.

5. Transparent

In terms of project management, transparent means open to scrutiny. When the tasks and responsibilities of everyone involved are clear and available for all to see, a project can be described as transparent. This is particularly important when a project involves, for example, a wide group of stakeholders or public money.

We designed Verto to make it easy for people to work together on one platform and share information. Exactly what you need to support transparent working.

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects contact us or sign up for our 30 day free trial!

And if there are any other terms you’d like us to feature, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Meet the TMI Team: No. 2: Mel Little, Client Services Manager

Person wearing woolly hat stands at foot of snowy mountain

Meet the TMI Team No. 2: Mel Little, Client Services Manager (and weekend warrior).

In the second of our staff interviews we meet Mel Little, our Client Services Manager.

Hi Mel. You work in our client services team, with Simon, who we met in our first interview. How long have you been working for TMI?

Hi. I’ve been here for three and a half years now. I thought I’d been here longer though, in a good way!


Imagine you’re at a careers fair in a school. How would you describe what you do to the children?

I support organisations when they first enquire about our project and programme management software, and then throughout the time they’re our customers. Initially I demonstrate Verto to people who are interested in using it. When they decide to go ahead, I help them work out exactly what they need from the software and help build it to suit their needs. Once it’s live, I help train them in how to use it and how to support their end users.

My goal is to make sure our customers always get the most from Verto. This includes things like visits to see them, sharing information on new developments to the software and being available on the phone or email to answer any questions they have.

What skills do you need to do your job well?

As Verto is a project and programme management tool I need to understand how projects and programmes are delivered.

Because we help our customers configure Verto to suit how they work, I also need to have good listening skills. It’s crucial that I understand what each customer needs Verto to do so I can make sure that between us we build a system that will meet these needs.

What’s your favourite Verto feature and why?

I love how everything is in one place. It makes a real difference when you’re managing lots of projects and programmes that have different people working on them – people who have different responsibilities and use different key documents. With Verto you can simply log in and see in real time what’s going on across everything. You can clearly see where things are progressing well and where you need to take action.

“Verto is very clear and easy to use. Everything is in front of you on one screen and it guides you through the whole process so it’s very easy to learn.” 

Harpreet Riyat, Project and Resources Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council

What does a typical day look like for you?

I don’t really have a typical day and that’s why I love my job – because it’s so varied. One day I could be travelling across the country demonstrating the software, meeting our customers to help them get started with Verto or delivering training. The next I could be working from home, making calls, answering emails, sharing information and planning for the meetings and training I have coming up.

What have you learned while working at TMI?

I’ve learned that no two organisations manage their projects and programmes in the same way. Although what they do is based on the same project management principles, so there are lots of commonalities, ultimately, they are different. This is where Verto’s flexibility – how our customers can configure it to suit what they do – comes into its own.

“The strength of working with TMI has been how they’ve tailored our Verto system to our exact needs – making it part of our organization, not a bolt on.” 

Louise Witts, Interim CEO, South West Academic Health Science Network 

What has surprised you most about working with TMI?

I’m not sure if surprised is the right word, because it’s how generous our customers are. How willing they are to share best practice – how they want to help each other and learn from each other.

Who has inspired you?

I’ve definitely learned a lot from Simon. I’ve always been the type of person who needs to know the details and understand why things work the way they do. However, in my current role it’s the customers who are the experts in how and why they do things and it’s my job to build Verto to support that. Simon has shown me that it’s OK if I don’t understand the customer specific processes because, when we’re building the software for our customers, they know the detail of what they want and need, and I know how to make that happen in Verto.

What’s one of your short-term goals? And a long-term one? 

In the summer I climbed Snowden for the first time. This was something that really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I felt a deep sense of achievement when I made it to the top – despite a few wobbles along the way! I’d like to continue with this next year and climb more.

In the longer term I’d like to push myself even more out of my comfort zone in terms of physical activity. So, I’m going to step up and try a do a few more obstacle runs in 2018. I’ve already signed up for Nuclear Races and Tough Mudder so I’ve got a head start on this.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? And the worst?

The best advice came from my mum. I used to lack confidence and be quite shy, so I found speaking up in meetings hard.  I wasn’t happy with this and wanted to change but didn’t know how.

My mum told me I could be whoever I wanted to be and said I should create a new confident Mel, and be her. She helped me have confidence in myself so that over time, with a few versions of Mel along the way, I did change. Now I’m happy speaking in front of other people, which is good because I do it a lot in my job with TMI.

The worst advice I ever had was when I did my first Nuclear Race this year. Someone told me I wouldn’t get too muddy. They lied. I got so muddy my clothes were beyond saving and I had to throw them away!

Thank you, Mel. Don’t fancy doing your weekend washing! 

Next time we’ll meet Paul Hill our Development Manager.

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects and more easily work with others please call us on 0118 334 6200, drop us an email or sign up for our 30 day free trial!

How Verto helps you link outputs to outcomes and benefits

silhouette person jumping in front a mountain sunsetOutputs, outcomes, key performance indicators, national indicators, costs, savings… the list goes on. When you manage programmes, there are so many different things you need to monitor, count, measure, compare and report on. So it can be difficult to show how your work is value for money and making a difference, both to improving services and to people’s lives. 



You know what you need to achieve. But you also need to know that all the energy, time and resources you put in to your projects are actually helping you succeed.


The difference between outputs and outcomes


The key to knowing if your projects are succeeding is how well you can make a direct link between your outputs – the immediate results you see from a single activity – and your outcomes – the difference your project makes in the long term.


For example, let’s say one of your projects aims to reduce the number of people in a particular area who have high blood pressure. One of the things you could do is run an awareness-raising workshop to educate people on what can cause high blood pressure and what they can do to avoid developing the condition, or to reduce it if their blood pressure is already high.


The number of people who attend your workshop and so now have a better understanding of what causes high blood pressure and how to treat it is an output.  If ten of these people then take action and succeed in reducing their blood pressure, that is an outcome.


How Verto makes this complicated process easy


When you use Verto to help you manage your projects and programmes, you have them all in one place. This can be from a project’s conception and business case right through to its conclusion and evaluation.

Because of this, it’s easy to adopt standard ways of working and present all your projects’ data in the same way. Verto then makes it easy for you to link, extract, compare and review inputs, outputs and outcomes, and monitor progress against your original aims. With Verto you can also produce real-time reports at the touch of a button.

Ultimately you have one clear view across all aspects of a project and all the different projects that make up a programme.

Crucially, these standard ways of working also save time, both for your project management office (PMO) and those working on individual projects. In fact, we’ve helped our clients’ PMOs cut their costs by up to 25% and save up to 30% on their projects’ resources. Across all our clients, Verto is currently tracking £1.3 billion in planned savings.


The right Verto for you


It’s really easy to configure Verto to match the way you work in your organisation. With Verto you can clearly define the outputs and outcomes for each project. Then you can track each project’s progress and see real-time updates on any aspect of any project at any time you choose.

As well as allowing you to measure how your projects perform against your internal indicators, Verto also allows you to measure how your projects perform against external indicators. So you can monitor how you perform against national averages and when compared with your peers.

This can help you target areas where you need to improve, both in terms of performance and spend.


To find out more about how Verto can help you manage and report on your programmes email us or sign up for our 30 day free trial today!

Verto Case Study: working with NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups  

Verto Case Study: working with NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups  

NHS Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group (AVCCG) is federated with NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG). They are among the 207 CCGs across England responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services for their local area. Each CCG must assess its local needs, decide on its priorities and buy appropriate services.

CCGs have to regularly report on their plans and progress to NHS England, to their local Health and Wellbeing Board and to the public in their area. Their success is measured on how much they improve outcomes.

Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs are made up of 52 member GP practices over seven localities. They serve a population of more than 530,000 and have an annual budget in excess of £670 million.

Together the CCGs seek to: “Improve the quality of services provided, the experience of patients when using those services and most importantly to improve the health outcomes for the people we serve.”

They are both part of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which involves 27 health and care organizations: seven NHS CCGs, six NHS trusts and 14 local authorities. In June 2017 Buckinghamshire was announced as one of eight national areas to develop integrated working, known as an Accountable Care System.

What Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs wanted to achieve 

AVCCG and CCCG were using a manual process to manage their many projects and programmes, both within their own organization and for their work as part of the STP. This took up a lot of time and meant they had no way to see all the projects they were involved in or the progress and outcomes each project was making.

It was particularly time consuming for them to produce reports as they had to gather information from a number of places and that was often in different formats.

The CCGs wanted to make better use of their time and be able to more easily monitor and report on all their projects and programmes.

How we’re helping Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs achieve their goals 

We started working with AVCCG and CCCG in September 2016. After we’d set up Verto, we trained their project management office team (PMO) on how to use it and how to configure it suit their needs. The PMO then rolled the training out to staff across the CCGs. They went live with Verto in November 2016.

Because the PMO were able to configure Verto to meet their specific needs, AVCCG and CCCG now have a transparent system that allows them to see the lifecycle of all of their projects and programmes. They also have standard processes that all staff work to.

“With Verto being intuitive and configuration very straightforward, it has enabled us to create a common structured framework that supports project managers in the day to day running of their projects. Verto has very quickly become our central hub for all project information and the reporting ability within the system gives instant real-time data with one version of the truth.”

Elaine Baldwin, Programme Manager, AVCCG & CCCG

The benefits Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs are seeing

Verto has given AVCCG and CCCG the standard processes and visibility across projects and programmes they needed. This means they can easily monitor how each project and programme performs and measure the outcomes they achieve. They can also quickly and easily produce accurate reports, which they use to escalate and resolve issues with specific programmes as well as report on the financial savings they have delivered.

Prior to using Verto, AVCCG and CCCG had to use a number of different tools in different places to manage risk. Now they can use Verto to manage risk across all their projects, and on a corporate scale, as an integral part of their programme and project management work. This means staff only have to enter risks once, linked to their programmes or areas of work.

Now the PMO team produce a Verto update every week. This tells people what is going on with the current projects and programmes, has hints and tips to help users get the most from Verto and introduces new features, such as new reports that are available.

It can be difficult to ask people to adopt a new system and news ways of working. However, AVCCG and CCCG have found it easy to introduce Verto. They have worked directly with staff and have created a local user group so they can receive feedback and continue to develop their use of the system. Though Elaine Baldwin did stress that, “The support invested by our senior management team has been critical and instrumental in making Verto such a success.”

We continue to support AVCCG and CCCG. Together we are working towards having their version of Verto available to all the organizations involved in the Buckinghamshire Accountable Care System and eventually to the whole Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West STP. This will give them a standard management and reporting tool. To date, Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are using it.

To find out more about how Verto can help your CCG, Accountable Care System or STP, please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here.

Meet the TMI Team: No. 1: Simon Hall, Head of Client Services  

Meet the TMI Team 

No. 1: Simon Hall, Head of Client Services  (and rockstar!)

“TMI were amazing with a can-do attitude. They were really responsive and sent people when we needed them, including spending all day in a freezing cold room and a half day on the phone. They went from nothing to complete build in three weeks” 

Ruth Hallett, Programme Manager, BNSSG STP 

We’re so proud of the relationship we have with our clients and the feedback they give us. We understand how much we can learn from them and how they help us develop Verto into the best possible tool it can be. It’s one of the key differences between Verto and other cloud-based project management software.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our outstanding staff team. We’re really proud of everyone who works here so we’d like to introduce them to you through this, our new, occasional feature.

Today we meet Simon Hall.

Hi Simon. So, first question, what’s your job title and what do you do here at TMI?

Hi. I’m TMI’s Head of Client Services. I make sure all of our clients are looked after and, as far as is technically possible, get what they want. A big part of my job is to liaise between our clients and our development team so they understand our clients’ requests and we move the product forward. Most of the best ideas come from our clients!

“The team from TMI provided excellent customer service. They prioritised our change requests and are good at turning things round when we need them to – straight away if they can. And they use our feedback to help them develop Verto so we, and others, can get more from it.” 

Laura Palmer, Portfolio Delivery Manager, the City of Wolverhampton Council

How long have you been working for TMI?

More than six years now, since early 2011.

What skills do you need to do your job well?

My job is all about communication and building relationships so listening skills and empathy are key. I need to be able to put myself in our clients’ shoes and really understand what they need so I can share this with our development team. I also need to work closely with the development team so I can understand what is and isn’t technically possible.

What has been your most memorable moment working for TMI?

It was when I travelled to Australia to set up Verto for a new client. Normally it can take up to a couple of months to do this but I had one week, on my own!  And because of the difference in time zones it was a challenge getting help from the team over here when I needed it.

But we all pulled together and I did it. Although the no messing, direct way Australians communicate was a real help.

What’s your favourite Verto feature and why?

There are loads. But if I have to choose one I’d say it’s the document storage feature.  It’s super simple.

It’s much easier to use than other tools out there or the complicated file structures a lot of people have. And it’s unlimited. It really helps people work together.

What are you currently working on?

We’re developing a tool that will mean our clients can share their databases and create centralised reports. For example, a council can share information with the local NHS and see everything that’s going on in a geographical area. It’s really exciting – as far as I know right now no other software can do this.

The way our clients work now - lots of partnerships and collaboration - means they want to quickly and easily share information with each other. It’s a huge technical challenge but this development means they’ll be able to do that.

What would people never guess you do in your role?

Our clients would probably never guess how hard I argue on their behalf. I represent them inside the company and make sure we do everything we can to meet their needs.

TMI’s clients frequently say how helpful we are. Who has helped you the most in your life and why?

It would have to be Phil James who was one of the directors here at TMI. He’s shown me how to work hard but keep a sense of humour; how to get the job done but make sure work is still fun.

If you could switch jobs with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

Elon Musk, from Space X and Tesla. It would be great to have that insight, to be able to see what’s coming 10 or 20 years down the line.

Do you have a secret talent you’re happy to share with the world? 

Yes. I’m a rock star! I play the drums and guitar. I’ve played in bands all my life and gigged in other countries. I’m also a qualified skydiver.

You’ve just got back from a week’s holiday. Where did you go and what did you do?

I went on a hut-to-hut hike in Bulgaria. We walked for 11 hours a day, carrying everything we needed on our backs. I’ve done hikes like this in Norway and Iceland as well. It’s a tough physical challenge but it’s good to be away from computer screens and out in the elements for a few days.

Thank you, Simon. Back to work for a rest then! Next time we’ll meet Mel Little our Client Services Manager.

“The team from TMI really listen. They’re keen to fix issues and do so in a really short time. They’re open to new ideas and see opportunities for development rather than problems. This makes the whole process of introducing a new system much easier.” 

Reza Rahmani-Torkaman, Head of Programme Management Office, West Cheshire CCG 

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects and more easily work with others please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here.