decommissioning – necessary evil or opportunity for innovation?

April 18, 2012

So, you’ve come up with your brilliant idea for a new service. You’ve managed to get it up and running, and the council or community led commissioning group have commissioned you to deliver the service to Lambeth residents. More and more people are choosing to come to you rather than the service the council was previously providing, and you can show that the quality of the service is better.

But here’s the rub – what happens to the old service? Its continuation will ultimately limit the growth and viability of new service. Moreover, the gains to the council of moving to a new service model are limited by continuing to support the older service.

Decommissioning isn’t something that’s often discussed, but this new report from NESTA includes a series of case studies from different public services looking at the opportunities and difficulties of decommissioning, and draws some lessons on how to get it right, with practical advice.

Ultimately, they argue that decommissioning is a discipline that can act as a spark for creativity and innovation. It can encourage commissioners to constantly evaluate and challenge service models for the impact they have, in turn driving innovation amongst service providers.

Definitely worth read 

NESTA decommissioning report

An invitation from the Transition Institute – Spin out camp – Free admission – Thursday, 29 March 2012

March 22, 2012

We are delighted to invite you to our first Transition Institute Spin-out Camp (North West). This is the first of a series of three that will be held throughout the year. Come along to an inspiring and informative day, a neutral space to explore some of the most current debates and issues in public service reform. The event is aimed at both practitioners and commissioners who are delivering and procuring public services respectively.

The event is taking place on Thursday the 29th March, 9:30 – 15:00 at the lovely offices of Hempsons Solicitors in Manchester, at Portland Tower, Portland Street, M1 3LF (venue map can be found here)

The programme consists of an interactive, action-packed day of three practical workshops that are being delivered by experts in the field:

  • Building a viable Business: lead by Ernst & Young
  • Innovation in delivery models: lead by the Young Foundation
  • Legal issues (covering issues such as governance and TUPE): lead by Hempsons Solicitors.

In addition to the practical workshops and networking opportunities, after lunch we will be presenting and discussing our second Transition Institute Starting Point Paper on the theme of Commissioning and procurement with social value.

This paper is intended to set up the basis for a debate to build up a collaborative piece of research. In keeping with this joint approach, we will be hosting a focus group at the event (open to all attendees) to capture thoughts and comments so that we can ensure that this document contains practical guidance for all the relevant issues and concerns. Every person attending the event will receive a copy of the publication beforehand.

Places are limited so please sign up soon. If you wish to register for this event, please go to

If you require further details, please email us at

Also if you want to know more about the spin-out camps please refer to: