October 13, 2021

January 6, 2022

Innovation in Procurement

In 2020 PUBLIC worked with the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) to assess barriers preventing procurement collaboration between London boroughs.

Commercial, Spend & Impact
Local Government


The project aimed to take user-centred design approach to identifying barriers and agreeing solutions to improve technology commissioning, including:

  • Producing practical guidance for commercial teams across the procurement lifecycle
  • Implementing new approaches for sharing procurement plans and pipelines
  • Identifying where collaborative procurement approaches could be applied to future London procurement opportunities


Representing a complex group of stakeholders, we recruited user research participants from 17 boroughs, developing and segmenting user personas according to different needs and functions. We used service design approaches in 30+ structured interviews and two multi-stakeholder workshops to elicit a concrete set of user needs, including business analysis of current business processes. We turned these complex user journeys and interactions, including where needs were being met and not met, into business and solution outcomes.

We worked in the open throughout the project through regularly sharing with a wide audience. For example, we captured and openly published needs and insights in an open-source user research library, categorising problem statements and prioritisation by user group.


The output of this work was the creation of a digital guidance and workflow tool in line with GDS best practice for use by London’s commercial and service teams, supported by the delivery of virtual training sessions for London boroughs. The tool provides guidance, templates and workflow features to allow London boroughs to work together across the lifecycle of the contracting process, from planning and market engagement, to contract management. The tool can be found here:

The Innovation in Procurement toolkit is being used across London’s boroughs and by Transport for London to achieve better technology procurement outcomes, and within a first-of-its-kind collaborative procurement between six authorities for a core housing technology system.Through providing bespoke expert guidance and building a robust peer support network, PUBLIC also created an ongoing community withstanding beyond the project timeline.


Photo by the author

Johnny Hugill

Director of Commercial, Spend & Impact

Photo by the author

Cameron Scott

Former Team Member

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