Rapid Response service

Cadence is offering a Rapid Response service to help people and organisations during this unprecedented move to large-scale remote working.

Helping you get to the new normal of remote working,

Cadence Innova ran a series of free webinars, primarily focused on live demonstrations driven by your questions, to help you get more comfortable with Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. If you’ve missed the live webinars, you can watch them and post questions by clicking on the links below.

Please click on the name of the of the session to watch the webinar recording on our YouTube channel.

SessionDescriptionDuration
Overview of TeamsThis session will take you through the features of Teams and what the application looks like.  Ideal for those just starting out using Teams.45 mins
Teams MeetingsThis session will focus on creating, joining and participating in Teams meetings and will be live demo based.30 mins
Collaborating with a Team using TeamsThis session focuses on the Team part of Teams!  That is how to create a ‘Team’ that allows a group of people to chat and collaborate in one central place, with Channels to organise subjects or projects.30 mins
Teams mobile appWhen you don’t have your PC with you, the Teams mobile app has most features of Teams and enables you to collaborate from anywhere.  This session will run through the basics and show some tips for effective working with the mobile app.30 mins
Overview of Skype for BusinessYour company may not have made the switch to Teams yet and is still using Skype for Business as its Unified Communications tool.  This session will run over the basics of Skype for Business.30 mins
Skype for Business meetingsThis session may be useful for those still using Skype for Business meetings.  It will look at creating, joining and participating in Skype for Business meetings.30 mins
Cadence Innova – Anything CollaborationJoin us for a drop-in session handling general questions you may have around collaboration and remote working.  If there is demand we can run this every week.60 mins

If you have any other requirements, please contact us by calling us on +44 (0)20 3858 0086 or email us at challenge.us@cadenceinnova.com

Remote working: the new normal?

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has triggered – through necessity – exponential growth in remote working and the need for more sophisticated and considered approaches to collaboration.  

Although it might seem straightforward for office-based people to simply head home, armed with a laptop and a mobile device, there are some wider implications that should be considered to ensure you or your teams can work effectively in this way, and sustain doing so for a potentially long period. For those unfamiliar with remote working, it may be a significant change.  

Today’s workplace technology forms the basis for remote working, and most organisations will have some systems in place. However, these may be fragmented and/or not fully understood and embedded. Below are some of the key things to consider in preparing for what could be the long-haul. 

Collaboration 

Microsoft Teams leverages the Office 365 suite to provide one place for Unified Collaboration. Functionality include status setting; instant messaging, 121 and group calling, online meetings, document collaboration and more. In taking Teams mainstream, consider the following: 

  • Are all users appropriately licensed? 
  • Does everyone know how to use the tool? 
  • What will best fit your culture? Is audio conferencing enough, or is a comprehensive Unified Communications tool including Calling, Video, sharing or file collaboration needed? 
  • Will people need telephone dial–in access to meetings where Internet access over 4G or WiFi is not available? 

Internal access 

People who normally work on the office network directly (as opposed to remotely) may need additional services to allow secure access to tools that are kept isolated from the public internet. Consider whether VPN (Virtual Private Network) or Virtual Desktop/Applications services are available, appropriately sized and licensed, and that people know how to access the services. 

Equipment 

Whilst you or your team members may already have a laptop and suitable mobile phone, others may have a desktop PC in the office and nothing at home. Early action should establish the devices people have, and any constraints (such as capped internet provision or low bandwidth at peak times). Some other considerations include: 

  • What are the Mobile Device Management (MDM) considerations for personal devices? 
  • How will people get support for broken hardware? 
  • Are there caps on internet provision? And if so, will there be extra charges as people consume and how will people be compensated? If your organisation is policy-driven, specific new policies or policy changes might be needed. 

People 

The psychological impact of sudden change to working practice, particularly under these kinds of circumstances, should not be overlooked or underestimated.  

Mechanisms to ensure people are supported, connected and engaged will become increasingly important as people experience a range of physical and psychological responses and pressures. Your organisation’s unique culture comes from its people and how they work together, so changing the dynamics will have both short and longer-term consequences. Placing your people and their needs at the centre of your organisation’s remote working strategy and support will have long term dividends. 

Environment 

Although technology is important, physical environment plays a large part in longer term remote working.  Sitting at the kitchen table is fine for when you occasionally need to dip into work, but long term, this can have consequences. A survey or other consultation exercise can help bring understanding of the infrastructure and capabilities people currently have to work from home to identify short and medium–term gaps or alarm signals. 

Be aware of: 

  • Physical space: privacy, ergonomics, lighting & power, health & safety, disturbance 
  • Access to resources: suitable internet, Wi-Fi, phone signal, impact on and of others in the apace 

Well-being 

Pressures and strains of personal lives will often be invisible to an organisation, but they will always be there for those working from home and can impact people in different ways.  Long term remote working can increase anxiety and loneliness as the lack of social interaction with colleagues can leave people feeling isolated. It may help if: 

  • The organisation maintains normal working hours, enabling people to structure their working day effectively 
  • During extraordinary circumstances such as these, there is flexibility for the care of others (e.g. children not at school, elderly relatives etc) 
  • There are regular meetings using video, so that people see as well as hear each other 
  • Appropriate changes are made to pastoral care practice, to take account of the changed situation 
  • The organisation openly acknowledges the challenges (including the impact of news and social media reporting), creating space for people to talk and share experience  

Interestingly, when working from home, people are less likely to move, take a break and take exercise. It’s obvious when you think about it – no travel to the office and no contact with others in different parts of the building. Part of caring about wellbeing could mean encouraging people to take walks, eat well and drink plenty of water. Very often, homeworkers feel even more tied to their desks than they would be if office-based, so giving this ‘permission’ can go a long way.  

Getting Started 

Cadence Innova can offer immediate help with our Rapid Response and Business Continuity services. Both look at what you can do to make this challenging time easier. 

Rapid Response 

If you have an immediate or urgent need for training and/or people engagement with Microsoft Teams (or Skype for Business), please contact us for a consultation. We can help with: 

  • Live instructor-led Training and support on remote working tools such as Teams or Skype for Business 
  • Live Q&A sessions for best practices on remote working including help with meetings 
  • High level technical review of your Teams implementation 

PeopleCentric Business Continuity 

The current situation is forcing organisations to act quickly. In the longer term, when time allows, it is prudent to think in broader terms about business continuity.  Traditionally, this has tended to focus on the technology and major incidents, such as a physical office location or critical services being unavailable for a short time.  Typically, this results in a technology-heavy MVP that doesn’t necessarily look to the sustainable longer term with inadequate emphasis on the impact on people.   

Our People-centric Business Continuity service not only considers technical or organisational matters, but also places a trained lens on wellbeing when working remotely. This includes: 

  • A comprehensive Health Check on your remote working and collaboration tools and services 
  • Communications and business changes services on how to effectively and sustainably work remotely 
  • Wellbeing impact assessment and tailored plan to help keep people stay engaged, connected and healthy when working from home 

As part of our Values Commitment to supporting UK business and the workforce, we are able to offer some elements of our Rapid Response Service free of charge.  

For more information please call us on +44 (0)20 3858 0086 or email us at challenge.us@cadenceinnova.com

Most Empowering Female Consultancy

We won the Most Empowering Female Consultancy of the year in CV Magazine’s 2019 Small Business Awards. 

CV Magazine Small Business Awards seek to reward the most dedicated, innovative and hard-working small businesses around the world.  
  
They accolade is awarded after meticulous research and analysis is done to establish what makes Cadance stand out against the other 125 million small businesses around the world!  

CV Magazine told us: 

“Small businesses form the backbone of our corporate landscape despite the trying hardships and obstacles they may face along the path of success! Their continued dedication and innovation is not purely showcased through their size or number of employees but also through the benefits of a tight knit workforce, outstanding customer service and a determination to succeed. The 2019 Small Business Awards will seek out, reward and highlight only the best that this wonderfully vibrant industry has to offer and discards factors which we would consider irrelevant when it comes to running a successful small business! It is our core belief that a successful small business is not only represented through its financial achievements or the popularity of its products and services but also by the relationships they hold within the workplace.” 

Procurement as a Service: End to End procurement delivery for PHE

Geometric glass building
Geometric glass building

Public Health England was investing heavily in new digital initiatives, as part of a wider Digital Transformation programme. Driven by the needs identified in the organisation’s digital transformation strategy, PHE needed to rapidly define requirements to procure a range of digital services but lacked the in-house expertise and capacity to do so effectively. Further complications came from heavy reliance on contractors, an arrangement that needed to change following the introduction of IR35 legislation.

Cadence Innova was commissioned to support PHE’s digital procurement through its nationally recognised Procurement as a Service (PaaS). Through a blended client/Cadence team, the focus was on working together to deliver the digital procurements effectively and transfer knowledge within a collaborative ‘one’ team environment.

PaaS offered PHE a flexible procurement delivery resourcing model blending Subject Matter Expertise with experienced, stakeholder-driven Delivery Consultants, giving PHE the flexibility to react to and plan new business requirements and operating environments. This resulted in increased procurement agility, scalability, capability and capacity, while maintaining the high levels of compliance and quality demanded of modern procurements. As a value for money driven model, flexing resource requirements and scalability was a key benefit of the PaaS model for PHE, which was balancing resources and austerity, with Government digitalisation requirements.

The Cadence PaaS team delivered significant cost savings, as a result of expert contract negotiations, and improved customer satisfaction for the service, as procurements were run expertly, effectively and efficiently, delivering great business outcomes. Cadence’s PaaS expertise in navigating the complex worlds of OJEU, DOS, G-Cloud and other government frameworks, with the ‘one team’ ethos nurtured the development of the in-house team, through upskilling, knowledge transfer and practically observing and managing end to end procurements. In this way internal capacity and capability was enhanced and ensured a legacy of a sustainable procurement service for PHE.

Together with PHE, Procurement as a Service was recognised nationally for its innovative approach to the traditional procurement consultancy model when it was named as a finalist in the National Go Awards in the category Procurement Innovation / Initiative of the Year – (Health and Social Care Organisation).

If you need help with any of the above or just want to chat, please contact us. We would love to hear from you. 

Digital services design and development

Closing the Gender Pay gap (GPG) – the difference in earnings received by men and women – was the top strategic priority for our government client, the Government Equalities Office (GEO). The Office for National Statistics (ONS) calculated the GPG by using the difference in average gross hourly earnings, between men and women as a percentage of men’s earnings.

Cadence was appointed to lead the development of the reporting tool, from Discovery through to Alpha and Beta phase prototypes. Working in partnership with the GEO, effective and wide-reaching user research revealed a complex range of needs from a diverse stakeholder group. This enabled the design of service that not only met the reporting requirement, but also a much wider range of requirements relating to publication and use of the information produced.

Our ‘one team’ approach, underpinned by a culture of trust, safety and mutual respect, exceeded the expectations of our client and made the best use of the combined expertise available, producing a service that successful passed GDS assessments at each stage of review.

Gender Pay Gap reporting, widely discussed in the national media, has led to much greater transparency with increasing numbers of organisations taking action to address the disparity and the causes behind it. This Cadence/GEO project won a ministerial award for Excellence in Project Delivery in the department’s annual awards. This award recognised the quality of delivery, demonstrating lasting positive impact in our wider society, for addressing pay-related inequalities and its economic realities.

If you need help with any of the above or just want to chat, please contact us. We would love to hear from you. 

Creating adaptable, resilient organisations

Our public sector client, a major rail industry organisation, was part of a significant programme at the Department for Transport, focused on transforming ticketing across the national rail network. Working with the DfT, our client’s implementation programme coordinated the rollout of several services across several Train Operating Companies (TOCs).

Several programme challenges led to our client being made responsible for running the implemented services alongside completion of rollout and they recognised the need to change in order to successfully become an enduring service that could not only support its current volumes of business but the additional volumes that would come from significant planned growth. They asked for our support to achieve these goals, to help complete the roll out programme, support the live services and prepare for future success.

Working collaboratively as one team, we helped our client to define what success would look like for supporting an integrated and cost-efficient service. The team analysed current and projected end-user data to assess the potential future demands on the new function. These informed the development of the ‘future state’ organisational structure, processes, and governance framework.

Using our ‘work with’ and not ‘do to’ approach, we joined forces to iteratively develop roles, processes, controls, and metrics for the programme. This was underpinned by a recruitment plan and effective coaching and knowledge transfer approach that ensured sustainability through retention of external resources until effective knowledge transfer and handover had been completed.

Through our work together to develop a user-centric operating model and change management plan, our client is now operating more collaboratively to deliver both the roll out programme and live services that ultimately benefit their customers. Operating silos have been broken down and the function is resilient and set up to deliver sustainable outcomes in the future.

If you need help with any of the above or just want to chat, please contact us. We would love to hear from you. 

Workplace transformation: Enabling smarter working

Our public sector client has an estate comprising more than 300 properties. In order to shift the focus of funding to frontline work, the organisation set an ambitious target to halve the estate footprint through the development of a smarter working approach.  

Our consultants worked hand in hand with client teams across Property and Digital functions, as well as with frontline staff, to make an holistic assessment of smarter working against the unique challenges faced by the organisation. This assessment covered property and flexible workspace as well as technology, working practices, leadership and staff wellbeing.  

Through this work, our client has been able to identify and build on its successes, and fully realise the opportunities presented by smarter working. Agile Sprints delivered tangible, short-term outputs, injecting dynamism and energy as well as enabling practical culture-change. Embedded within this were smarter working assessment criteria, tailored to the specifics of the client challenge, enabling realistic measurement of behaviour and changes to attitude. 

Clear communications helped overcome change fatigue and build energy and momentum into the work, whilst overall, the organisation has been able to significantly improve workspace utilization within renovated building and provide a work environment that is a better fit for the future. 

Our key client said: “Cadence Innova provided our smarter working programme with a structure to swiftly and honestly ‘bank’ our previous achievements. This quickly turned around a flat level of progress with clear sprints of exciting new activity. Their enthusiasm rapidly achieved better working relations with internal senior stakeholders. Importantly, this appreciation is in clear terms that can be used to influence key people to assist in smarter working priorities” 

If you need help with any of the above or just want to chat, please contact us. We would love to hear from you. 

Successfully delivering Covid-19 Rapid Response programme at University of Exeter

The strategic partnership between the University of Exeter (UoE) and Cadence Innova has enabled the university to provide greater education and student support online using technology and innovation. With staff now working remotely, the UoE can ensure they can continue to provide an exceptional learning experience during one of the most challenging periods the University has ever experienced.

With over 30,000 staff and students having left campus to study and work from home across the world, the clock was ticking to get everyone working remotely before March 23rd. The result of bringing together combined inhouse and external expertise to enable remote working and learning has minimised the impact on the student experience, helping maintain the University’s position as a leading institution.

In less than two weeks, project teams were diverted from the Digital Transformation to the COVID-19 response programme. Staff from Exeter IT and Cadence Innova collaborated to deliver new projects at a rapid pace, resulting in some great achievements.

As a team, we have rolled out Microsoft Teams to the whole institution in eight days, increasing from 429 users to over 29,000 and rising. Academics can now live stream lectures to large groups of students using the university’s existing lecture theatre recording software. The live feature was tested, enabled and user guides created in short time. In addition, the tool was updated to enable academics to save their live recordings to the cloud for post-event viewing. The number of lecture minutes viewed has increased by 300%. We launched a new Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that has enabled thousands of simultaneous users to be connected to our network and has improved security and stability for both Windows and Apple users. A mass migration from the shared network drives to OneDrive is now in-flight impacting all staff and we’re about to go live with assessments and examinations online too. This has all been delivered alongside effective and timely business change readiness, notably communications and training, which has seen over 4000 hits on the new IT Homeworking page and 6000 hits on the staff and student IT support pages. A strong Yammer community which harnesses the spirit of community support has also been launched. In truly unprecedented times the two organisations have worked together to quickly meet the needs of their stakeholders.

Alan Hill, Chief Information Officer and Digital Officer, University of Exeter, said “when we entered into partnership with Cadence Innova, it was about being able to respond quickly with the right skills sets to an ever changing demand. But I hadn’t imagined this! We have rapidly redeployed effort to the emergency requirements of remote working and teaching, and are now dealing with the urgent operational requirements to sustain the University through the next few months. Cadence Innova have been an integral part of the team, truly embedded and delivering expertise at pace, when and where we needed it – with great success.”

Tracey Scotter, Digital Director, University of Exeter said, “Our partnerships with our strategic suppliers have always been of significant importance to us and the benefit of nurturing these was truly demonstrated in the response to the COVID-19 virus. The team from Cadence Innova worked side-by-side with our in-house team providing expertise, leadership and the customary blood, sweat and tears that a response like this demanded. The partnership has been seamless and our gratitude and appreciation is extended to every member of the Cadence Innova team.”

Elaine Griffin, Managing Consultant, Cadence Innova, said “It has been inspiring to see what has been achieved at the University of Exeter in a very short space of time. The University of Exeter and Cadence Innova teams have worked together tirelessly over the last few weeks to provide remote working and learning to over 30,000 people. Great collaboration and team spirit have contributed to this amazing effort and the Cadence Innova team are very pleased to be a part of it.”

If you need help with any of the above or just want to chat, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.