CASE STUDY: Natural England needed a world class Performance Management solution that was both powerful and affordable

The impetus to adopt a world class approach to performance management project came from the top. Natural England’s Chief Executive, Helen Phillips, identified improved corporate reporting and monitoring as key to helping Natural England deliver its strategy and improve its performance. A Project Board of managers and users was appointed to oversee the project.

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Project Scope:
Corporate Plan Reporting, Financial Reporting, Risk Management, Project Management

Project approach:
having identified its requirements, Natural England considered various integrated solutions but were deterred by implementation costs and by the ongoing level of external dependence (and consequential costs).

Europartnership offered an approach which involved Natural England working with independently contracted world class hardware and software providers to develop a tailor made solution – subsequently managed by Natural England with limited external support.

Europartnership facilitated the links between Natural England and the hardware and software suppliers; systems configuration and implementation; roll out across the organisation; and developing a training regime – including inducting the future trainers and support team as part of the project.

Project Deliverables:
Corporate Performance Reporting in a structured cascade down to team level by team and by outcome; Exception Reporting; Financial reporting by team and outcome; Risk Register (Corporate Risks); Project Management Reporting (Tier 1 projects)

Graphic Performance “Views”, “Briefing Books” and “Maps”

On line reporting – underpinning quarterly team and outcome performance reviews

Data Interchange – import expenditure against budget by team and outcome; export Quarterly Review and Reporting

Web based Briefing Books – for non systems users and stakeholders
Natural England team – systems administration, development, user and superuser training

User training – 400 staff accountable for delivery of Natural England objectives, targets and milestones; all those accountable for target setting, monitoring and reporting; the Executive Board in the use of the performance management tool

Superuser training – 27 superusers able to undertake local user support and training; direct data entry; local customisation of features such as maps, reports, briefing books


Financial – reduced cost against current reporting process; resource and efficiency savings against current cumbersome, and sometimes opaque, legacy systems. Longer term benefits should stem from the ability to identify and avoid/solve problems earlier, and from greater transparency allowing for easier prioritisation.

Operational – a tailored system tailored; less bureaucratic, simpler, streamlined and reporting faster; easier tracking of progress; earlier warning and better management of risk; clearer presentation and more targeted information. Longer term improved coherence of contributions to common goals.

Reputation – internal cohesion from a shared understanding of overall goals and achievements; pride in the organisation and a more defined corporate identity. External sponsors and stakeholders have clear reporting and improved communications; demonstrable achievement against objectives and value for money.


The project demanded a lot from a relatively small group of people
project implementation coincided with organisational restructuring. However, restructuring in flight tested system flexibility – judged as having passed the test.
demand for usage, mid-implementation, led to an increase in the number of users and increased costs (due to licence cost per user);
an inevitable variability of use across teams – regarded as something to be overcome by peer and business manager pressure as the system becomes an integral part of business.

“It has been a delight to work with Europartnership on a project that has greatly benefited Natural England and me personally”: Bob Middleton, Project Manager

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