New Enterprise and Solution Architecture as a Service (EAaaS) for the Nursing and Midwifery Council
This case study focuses on Searchlight’s second assignment of work with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in expanding the IT Enterprise and Solution Architecture capacity and capability. The focus was on developing an enterprise-wide Technology Strategy and Roadmap, supporting the Modernisation of Technology Systems (MoTS) Programme.
NMC is a non-profit organisation that control the regulation and registration of 745,000+ nursing and midwifery professionals in the UK.
What Were The Key Challenges?
The technology talent shortage meant that NMC lacked the breadth and depth of inhouse capability and capacity, and needed additional support to develop the company-wide Technology Strategy and Roadmap. The IT team had limited experience in establishing and maintaining technology architecture policies, standards, specifications, and governance. There was a need to ensure an efficient, effective, flexible, agile approach to architecture through the planning, preparation and design stages of the NMC’s delivery lifecycle for all of their technology enabled change initiatives.
Through this Searchlight assignment, the NMC wanted to achieve the following:
- Have access to a broad range of business, enterprise and solution architecture capabilities
- Ensure the IT team are accountable and responsible for the design of the overall technology solution, including business applications, integrations and technology infrastructure
- Help the business clearly understand and define their key functional requirements, especially non-functional requirements
- Ensure the IT team directly manage their 3rd party vendors and implementation partners in the delivery of the designed solution, and any subsequently agreed changes.
What Did Searchlight Do?
Searchlight commenced with a rapid architecture discovery – reviewing all existing deliverables, artefacts, and governance forums. This included a number of group workshops, 1-2-1 interviews, and generally spent time getting to know the details of the requirements and understand the business and technology pain points and challenges.
Following the initial discovery, a sprint based approach was adopted to shape an enterprise and solution architecture service, working closely with the CIO and IT Senior Management Team. Together, the groups worked collaboratively to create the prioritised interventions and defined deliverables, ensuring that robust governance controls were embedded, and new ways of working fully adopted.
Principles, Policies, Standards, Specifications and Governance Terms of Reference were created, aligned to the assessment of updates needed to existing documents. These were continuously reviewed and enhanced to ensure deliverables addressed the critical needs of the NMC. Following delivery of the artifacts the ownership was transferred to the NMC owners, to maintain and use within the ongoing delivery of IT enabled change. Architecture and Design Boards were established, to ensure continued compliance to the design principles, policies, standards and specifications, and embedding new ways of working into the Business and IT. This ensured adoption and adherence to best practices throughout NMCs transformation.
What Was Achieved?
The service rapidly increased the technology change capability and maturity as planned.
Tom Moore, NMCs CIO said, “It was very easy to work with Searchlight and their expert Enterprise and Solution Architects. The team integrated well within our team and were proactive and flexible in their approach. This has been a great support to drive accountability and control within the NMC.”
To finalise the process, a staged handover of accountability and responsibility of governance forums was overseen by the Searchlight team, to provide the critical support needed at every step. Following on from this the NMC IT team are now accountable and responsible for the Enterprise Architecture and Solution Design Board. Having this accountability and control drives continued alignment with the Technology Strategy and Roadmap.
Furthermore, the Business Product Owners are now able to engage collaboratively with Architects and Analysts, rather than directly with 3rd Parties Vendors, which was the original ways of working. This ensures compliance with technology principles, policies, standards, and specifications.
Benefits to NMC included:
- Achieved full ownership and control of the technology solution design
- Ensured that deliverables are aligned to the Technology Strategy and Roadmap
- Secured a flexible approach to EAaaS, reducing the potential cost of alternative for full-time consultancy, with consultants engaged when required to undertake specific activities and deliverables.
Following on from the original assignment, NMC extended the work through 2022, with Searchlight focused on enabling further deliverables to be created, the governance fully embedded and creating the high and detailed level designs for the next phase of the MoTS Programme.
Interested in learning more about Enterprise Architecture as a Service? Contact the Searchlight team today.