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Navigating the Collaborative Journey: Insights from Jared Parkin on Working with External Consultants in Policing


Jared Parkin, one of our newest Principal Consultants with Process Evolution, provided valuable lessons learned from both sides of the spectrum in the collaborative effort between external consultants and police services. With thirty-two years of experience at Dorset Police and the Superintendent tasked with delivering the Force Demand review, Jared’s insights shed light on key aspects of working with consultants.

Initiating the Review: Understanding the Why and How

The journey begins with the initiation of a review, addressing the need for organisational changes. Jared emphasises the importance of understanding the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) framework and PESTELO factors. These factors, including efficiency, outcomes, and value for money, must be carefully considered and documented.

Stakeholder Involvement: A Critical Component

Identifying the influencers and involving key stakeholders is crucial. The Executive, Crime Commissioner, Senior Leaders, Police Officers, and Finance Leads are pivotal players. Parkin stresses the significance of engagement with other stakeholders, including Corporate Development, ICT, and Analysts, to ensure a holistic view of the force.

Communication Strategy: The Key to Success

Communication emerges as a pivotal theme throughout the process. A well-thought-out strategy involves engaging with leaders, operational and police staff, and external stakeholders. The communication plan must be detailed, providing updates to all parties, including the Executive, to manage expectations effectively.

The Plan: A Blueprint for Success

Jared emphasises the need for a written plan, citing HMICFRS – “If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen!” Executive oversight, meeting structures, and selecting the right approach, whether a programme, project, or another methodology, are critical components. Identifying responsible parties, including support functions, operational commanders, and dedicated teams, ensures effective delivery.

Exit and Implementation: Turning Recommendations into Action

The final report serves as an evidence-based document. Collaboration between consultants and the organisation is crucial before the final draft. Recommendations, prioritised based on logical implementation, guide the next steps. Implementing teams, skill sets, and post-implementation reviews contribute to successful outcomes.

Specific Lessons Learned: Practical Insights

Jared shared specific lessons learned, including the importance of forecasting figures, early identification of project teams, and understanding the impact on daily operations. Prioritising recommendations, both qualitatively and quantitatively, is essential. Training analysts, creating time and space, understanding ICT and procurement, and establishing funding streams are also highlighted.

Next Steps and Continuous Engagement: Looking Ahead

The presentation concludes with a call to action, encouraging ongoing engagement with Process Evolution, seeking their advice, and being prepared for organisational changes. Acknowledging conflicting demands and processes, especially during transitions, emphasises the need for continuous communication.

Conclusion: A Collaborative Blueprint for Policing Success

Jared’s presentation serves as a collaborative blueprint for navigating the complexities of working with external consultants in policing. By addressing key themes and providing practical insights, the presentation offers a roadmap for police services to leverage external expertise effectively and drive positive organisational change.

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