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Implementing new business models in UK public services

Form must follow function

Form must follow function


Across the UK public sector, structural reforms are changing the provision of public services through a broader mix of public-private delivery models. Many of these models have their origins in the 1980s and 1990s and are already in use across government. What is new is the inclusion of mutuals and payment by results in the mix, and wider use of existing delivery models such as joint ventures and managed services that are now also seen as options for front-line service delivery. These changes are strongly influenced by a common challenge: there is very little money in government. New approaches must demonstrate they can deliver services for less.

Key findings

Our other findings show that to ‘industrialise’ the process of mutualisation or leverage the potential of joint ventures for innovation and improvements in efficiency, a number of technical and cultural challenges must be confronted. We describe these as five critical success factors.

  1. The business case is sacrosanct
  2. Focus on technical detail
  3. Accelerate commercial credibility
  4. Prioritise organisation design and development
  5. Reconfigure risk and relationships


Form must follow function Implementing new business models in UK public services: Form must follow function (PDF)

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