Worcestershire County Council Case study

It’s achieved the aims, objectives and business requirements of what was scoped initially.

Having joined the Project Management Office after several years working within Worcestershire County Council, Adrian Ash, Corporate Programme Portfolio Lead within the Transformation and Change Team, sat down with us to explain what bringing Verto into his department has meant for him and his team.

Worcestershire Council, like public bodies up and down the country, seek to offer their local communities low-cost, efficient and effective services and support. Part of this initiative involves their own internal functions emulating the same set of rules to maintain sensible levels of resources that do not impact public funds too heavily.

The Transformation and Change Team Project Management Office (PMO), and teams across the same and other directorates; including IT and Digital, Property, and Economy and Infrastructure, used manual labour-intensive processes to manage projects. There was a cross-Council desire to have more efficient working channels and a system that could be universally applied to provide improved project management information, simply, by automated means.

COVID-19 paused much of the PMO activity, including the implementation of a new way to manage projects, but the search resumed towards the end of 2021 for a system that  handled project data more efficiently and effectively.. The Council was moving towards becoming more digitally focused and their visionary approach for the PMO was to be realised as part of that strategy.

The Challenge:

Within the PMO, there was a need for a reliable and standardised approach to the way they reported and recorded their project and programme information. Too much time and effort were being wasted with varied ways of working, leading to duplication of tasks and over-production of certain work efforts.

The teams working on projects were certain they were on track and in scope, due to the effort that was going in. But in truth, there were no standardised, transparent or accessible checks and balances to verify whether a project was over time or over budget. Accountability was subjective and there was ambiguity in the real data being buried amongst a variety of PowerPoint docs and Excel spreadsheets. Information lived across several different platforms so locating specific items was hard, and often repeated when it could not be found.

The team worked hard to ensure their designated field of operations was producing the output required but transparency of management information was needed, so it was decided to find a tool to help standardise work, aggregate data, streamline processes, maintain and contain project scope and build a coherent and logical reporting function that also reduced the time spent assembling information.

Sourcing a Solution:

Initially, the task was to capture the business requirements to find a system that was the right balance of quality and functionality and to use this as a central point to work from. Worcestershire explored the market, identifying potential solutions that met the customer and business needs by assessing for cost, functionality and quality.

One of those solutions was Verto, which they subsequently tested for a month.

The structure and organisation of the system helped to standardise everything. It was clear and compartmentalised

Adrian and his team found that Verto ticked the boxes they required in centralising and standardising the approach to managing projects and programmes. Following discussions with senior stakeholders and a transparent procurement exercise, it was agreed that Verto best met the business objectives set, delivered best value for money and offered additional connectivity with other business intelligence tools such as Power Bi.

It isn’t overcomplicated and there’s the ability to interrogate and drill down into all project information.


In December 2021, the implementation of Verto began where the system was rolled out in phases. The PMO benefitted from starting small and initially training their System Administrators before rolling it out to all PMO users.

Worcestershire also reached out to other Councils who were already utilising Verto, to seek out best practice and key lessons/findings. The advice was to scale up and configure the platform at a suitable pace beginning with fundamental elements needed. Implementation was therefore gradual and iterative, which was a huge benefit as they found they had the time available to address concerns during the early change management process.

Verto is now used at its maximum capacity for the available resource at Worcestershire, with more functionality poised to implement when the time is right.

Stakeholders are excited about recording KPI’s and corporate risks. Timesheets and rate cards to understand resources and prioritisation might be next


Much of the early implementation, and generating buy-in with the teams, was about simplifying the reporting process by showing how project data, when entered in the correct places, would pull through automatically into highlight reports. Now with the advent of Verto 365 and Workspaces, in culmination with Feeds and Kanban Boards, those who are not directly involved in the full project, but their input is required into a prioritisation task, are provided with a Verto log-in where their task is all they see. So those working alongside project teams can now access just what they need to, and provide the information required to run the project.

So much more accessible… It’s achieved the aims, objectives and business requirements of what was scoped initially. It’s done what I wanted it to do

Adrian and his team continue to embrace many of the new developments delivered by Verto by testing them early to assess the customer need for themselves. Sub-Projects (re-configured to be named ‘Workstreams’ internally at Worcestershire) were tested by the team early and adopted as they could see the benefit in enabling mini projects within the main, larger projects run by the Council.

For stakeholders, the management information is now a simple click away. Project documents are online in the Verto database and available to share via a Verto link to see just the information they need to see. Data, through Dashboards, is accessible and quick to obtain, since it is all tracked in the same format, so aggregates up as it is entered into the system making a helicopter view of the work going on accessible and transparent for the first time.

The production of the management info in dashboards and reports are great for senior stakeholders who just need a visual view of the highlights

Ultimately, Adrian and his team have been able to assess the savings made by switching to Verto by, not only consolidating all project information into one single solution, but also by reducing previous lengthy reporting time that has equated to 1/3 of the contract cost of Verto.

Future plans:

Adrian has plans to develop the system further, as resource and appetite permits, by moving much of the governance and financial data into Verto. This will allow him to assess what the project spend is to date and how is it tracking against the budget.

Power BI Integration with Verto is an exciting tool that Worcestershire will be looking to activate to provide another reporting layer, as data analysis will be more of a focus over the next few months.

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