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Adrian Dale
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Adrian Dale

Personal Profile
Specialist Areas
Recent Projects
Employment History
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Adrian Dale - Managing Partner

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Personal Profile TOP

Adrian Dale is a radical thinker who specialises in the diagnosis of complex organisational information, knowledge and IT problems. He then formulates practical strategies to solve the organisational issues uncovered.

Many of his engagements result in interim directorship posts where he joins the organisation for 6-9 months on a part time basis in a senior line or board position to drive through the change strategies that have been designed. Other engagements result in his appointment as a retained adviser to assist the organisation in steering through the changes they need to make.

Before retiring to take an extended sabbatical, Adrian was adviser to the Cabinet Office, Department for Education, Shell plc, Scottish Enterprise, the National College of School Leadership, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the University of Oxford and the University for Industry (Ufi).

Adrian is an experienced facilitator with extensive experience in the running of workshops, focus groups and seminar sessions for senior management and board teams. He is well known across the profession as a leading public speaker in the field of communications, knowledge management and information science. Until December 2009, Adrian chaired the international Online Conference which set the agenda for the information and knowledge management industry.

From 2001-2010 he was a Visiting Professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business on their international MBA programme. In 2007 and 2010 he was awarded the distinction of “Professor of the Year” across the faculty. To stay at the leading edge in his field Adrian has edited the prestigious Journal of Information Science since 2003, working with internationally renowned authors to publish their research.

Until October 2009 Adrian ran a number of popular information architecture and knowledge management training programmes and master classes including “Breakthrough Thinking in Information and Knowledge Services Strategy” which was attended by delegates from over 50 Government departments and agencies and 40 organisations from the private and third sector.

Adrian is also an experienced communications coach and mentor and ran executive coaching programmes for a number of organisations, helping their senior executives to function more effectively in the information and knowledge economy.

Specialist Areas TOP

Enterprise Information Architecture

Information, system and technical auditing; information analysis; information interoperability; digital identifier systems; information design; process and information flow analysis; XML and schema design; metadata design and development. Adrian ran a popular master class in enterprise architecture attended by over 150 architects and knowledge/information managers.

Web and Intranet Architecture

Adrian has developed web and intranet strategies for a wide range of public and private sector organisations and directed development projects from conception to launch. He also runs a popular Channels/Interfaces Information Architecture training programme attended by over 200 web developers and information managers.

Information and Knowledge Strategy Development

Information and knowledge analysis of business strategies. Development of business architectures, new organisational designs and enterprise information architectures to support business plans. Adrian runs a master class in breakthrough thinking in strategy development attended by over 100 senior information and knowledge managers in the public and private sector.

Portfolio Management

Project/Programme leadership; project/programme plan maintenance; management of green-field and existing systems; requirements and business analysis; conducting feasibility studies and requirements evaluation; creation of functional and design specifications.

Directing IT, Information and Knowledge Units

Financial management; formulating client engagement strategies; creation of departmental procedures; expectation management; team motivation and building; recruiting staff.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge harvesting, knowledge mapping, knowledge capture and structuring, knowledge process design.

Recent Projects TOP

Information Management - South of Tyne and Wear PCT (July 2008 – March 2009)

Adrian coached the interim Head of IM&T in the development of a new Information Management strategy and in the restructuring of the IM&T Directorate to meet the needs of new commissioning and provider arrangements being implemented in the Trust.

Lancashire and Northamptonshire Constabularies (June 2008 – March 2009)

Police forces across the UK need to improve their information management processes in response to the IMPACT and MOPI initiatives. Adrian provided these forces with training and consultancy to increase the in-house capacity in these areas.

Information Architecture - Department for Work and Pensions (Jan-February 2009)

Forty of the Department’s intranet management team were taken through a master class programme in Enterprise Information Architecture in order to prepare them for a major upgrade to the Department’s national intranet.

United Utilities – Enterprise Information Architecture for PR09 (Jan 2007-July 2007)

Adrian ran coaching sessions for senior IM&T staff, helping them to refine their information architecture to better support the work of developing their OFWAT submission.

Enterprise Information Architecture Design –DfE (April 2007 – December 2009)

The Department for Educations’ strategy and architecture group were redesigning the Department’s enterprise application architecture and retained Adrian as a strategic adviser in this process. This work includes the development of their next generation intranet and their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Through this work, Adrian also advised the Cabinet Office and one of the Government’s CTO Council committees on the suitability of various technologies for supporting interoperability across the public sector.

Enterprise Information Management – Shell plc (April 2007 – December 2009)

Adrian was retained by Shell Exploration and Production to design and deliver a 4-day Enterprise Information Management master class to its information management consultants around the world. The programme ran every 6-months at venues in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Russia.

Information/Knowledge Architecture – Scottish Enterprise (April 2005 – June 2009)

Adrian was retained as a long term strategic adviser to the Scottish Enterprise IT, information and knowledge management directorate assisting with the development of their information and knowledge architecture. He acted as a trusted advisor in reviewing technology and services proposals from potential suppliers.

Knowledge Sharing Infrastructure Design – CBI (March 2006 – January 2009)

The CBI were reviewing its knowledge bases and the way in which these were delivered to its staff and to members. Adrian was retained to work with the Head of Knowledge Development to review the CBI information stores and its knowledge management processes and to design a new infrastructure for knowledge based working.

Information Management Strategy - Environment Agency – (May 2003– May 2009)

Adrian was a retained advisor to the Data, Knowledge and Information Management Unit of the Environment Agency. He provided a mix of training, coaching, consultancy and strategic advisory services in the area of information and knowledge management technologies.

Knowledge Archive Development – NCSL (January 2006 – September 2006)

The National College for Schools Leadership had closed its Network Learning Programme and wished to develop an archive of the knowledge created during the programme. Adrian designed a framework for archiving the knowledge and an open standards based mechanism for enabling access to the knowledge base in perpetuity. This became an ongoing relationship with Adrian providing skills transfer and coaching services to its IT and knowledge management teams.

Knowledge and Information Management Audit – DfES (January 2006-July 2006)

This project involved a review of DfES’ strategy for knowledge sharing and information management across the Department together with an audit and benchmark of its effectiveness. The project has identified a number of major challenges for the Department which are now being tackled through a radical restructuring bringing together all the information and IT related functions across the Department.

Information & Change Strategy Development – DTI (September-December 2005)

The DTI was engaged in some major transformational work as part of its response to the comprehensive spending review and the Gershon agenda. In this project a new information and change strategy was developed that will allow the Department to integrate much of its disparate activity into a coherent programme of change that can be implemented without major disruption to existing programmes. The DTI now recognises that it is in the information business and needs to build a 21st Century information process to support this. An appointment as interim Director of Information is currently being discussed to follow through on this strategy.

Director of Information – Learning and Skills Council (July 2004-April 2005)

The change programme was built around a new enterprise information architecture model which brought coherence and simplicity to a highly complex information landscape that had evolved over many years. The changes were made at an unprecedented pace right in the middle of the drive towards FoI compliance. The assignment required the active engagement of 5,000 staff across the organisation, together with officials from the DfES and the Principals of Further Education Colleges across the UK.

The LSC business required the annual collection and analysis of 72million learning transactions from around 4,500 learning providers in England. A complex information supply chain then processed this information to generate reports and analyses that were used to measure performance and guide policy development. Reports and guidance documents were then produced and distributed to stakeholders in a complex publishing operation. In its five years of operation, the LSC had amassed 34million documents – creating a serious records and information management problem that needed to be urgently addressed.

Adrian’s analysis provided a new perspective on the complex and chaotic information processes that were operating and allowed activities to be segmented into a series of discrete business services, each of which could be run in a more coherent and manageable way. Indeed it was identified that when segmented and optimised in this way many of these services could become shared services allowing “Gershon” style collaboration with partners elsewhere in the sector.

Police Category List/Police File Plan Development – PITO (May 2004 – October 2004)

This project involved the facilitating the collaboration of ten police forces from England and Wales in the development of a harmonised classification system for records management and information tagging. The project also involved the development of the police metadata framework – rationalising the inconsistencies between eGMS and the metadata requirements of the TNA.

KM Strategy – Northamptonshire Police (June 2000 - August 2006)

Adrian worked initially with the ACPO team to develop a revised approach to knowledge management for the force as part of their wider strategic plan. He was then retained as a strategic adviser to the Assistant Chief Constable and senior management group.

Information Architecture Strategy – Devon & Cornwall Police (Nov 2003)

As part of planning for FoI implementation the force needed to reassess its approach to document and records management and Adrian facilitated workshops with their IT strategy team to achieve this.

Director of KM – Transport Research Laboratory (October 2002-January 2003)

Recently privatised, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) needed to make a step change in its approach to knowledge and information management in preparation for its move into a purpose built modern laboratory. As an interim senior manager, Adrian Dale brought together the IT and information teams and provided the road map for the transition before recruiting his successor. The new combined KM team has recently been awarded a major industry prize for the successful completion of the transformation programme.

NHS Acute Trust – Director of Clinical Operations (February-June 2002)

This Trust was failing to meet NHS waiting list targets in spite of significant investment in private sector treatment programmes. Top line efficiency was falling and staff morale was at an all time low. TFPL was asked to analyse the situation from the perspective of information and patient flow and to implement new processes to resolve the problem. This work had to be done in the middle of a major strategic review of the hospital’s organisational structure which was creating an unsettled climate for change. The project was led by Adrian Dale with a tight deadline of meeting the government’s targets by the end of March. He found that there was no effective information culture at the sharp end of patient care and that blockages in the information supply chain were responsible for a significant proportion of the inefficiency. Rapid changes were introduced to the reporting systems, e-enabling them where practical, and tight daily performance targets were set and monitored continuously. Many staff had to be briefed and brought on board with significant changes to their working practices. They needed to understand their role in a much more tightly integrated information supply chain and take on board their new obligations. The results began to be seen within two weeks and performance climbed consistently until the government targets were met on time. The Trust has now been awarded three stars for its performance having been a zero star trust in 2002.

NHS Acute Trust – Director of IM&T (July 2001 – January 2002)

In 2000 this Hospital suffered a number of serious IM & IT failures that affected patient safety and operating efficiency. The board of enquiry appointed TFPL to analyse the problem and assess how the technical and management skills of the IM&IT unit should be strengthened. Adrian Dale led the project and found that the core issues related to the absence of IM & IT governance processes across the Trust and the absence of an operations management culture with the unit. Whilst the specific short term weaknesses had been addressed immediately following the incidents, we found that the same underlying attitudes and processes were still in place leaving the operations at serious risk of further failure. We recommended a radical programme of change to the governance and operations processes. Our analysis was confirmed within weeks by a succession of small but serious failures before our recommendations could be implemented. The Trust then appointed Adrian Dale as Interim Director of IM&T with a brief to implement radical change over a three month period to eliminate further risks. This intervention was successful in stabilising the service and in developing a new climate in which IM&T investment was considered more strategically.

KM Strategy – Financial Regulator (August - December 2001)

This strategy work led to a significant realignment and reorganisation within the agency when it was shown that they could no longer sustain a “star performer” culture of bright analysts working essentially independently. Team based project working was introduced supported by well structured knowledge resources. This assignment was particularly challenging as the regulator was formed by the merger of several organisations bring a raft of cultural changes to be managed.

Information Strategy Development - Cleveland Police (January – November 2002)

This work involved a wholesale review of information management strategies for the force in preparation for the acquisition of various NSPIS applications.

International Expansion Strategy – Wholesale Bank (August 2000-December 2000)

This organisation had been very successful in the UK market but their profitability was beginning to level out. This lead to a drive for international expansion. Adrian’s brief was to analysis the organisational processes and knowledge bases to determine whether they were appropriate for this change in direction. After extensive analysis he had the difficult job of reporting that the Board were unwittingly the main obstacles to the expansion plans. Fundamental changes were required to the knowledge and information flows before the bank could be profitable outside the UK.

Previous Employment History TOP

Head of KM and Information Science, Unilever Research (1987-2000)

This was a Senior Management position within Unilever, responsible for the Knowledge and Information strategies of their global research organisation. The role covered six international laboratories in the USA, UK, Netherlands and India with 140 staff engaged in Knowledge Management and Information activities supporting 4,500 research scientists.

There were 6 research libraries with 50 information staff involved in the global sourcing, supply and analysis of research literature. The annual budget for external information sourcing is £2.5M. A team of 45 staff developed knowledge and information systems to manage research data and information produced by the research scientists. The IT Development budget was £5M. There were also 35 Data Scientists who worked and researched in the area of numerical and textual data analysis. 10 further staff worked in the increasingly important area of Competitive Technology Intelligence.

Qualifications & Professional Accreditations TOP

Adrian has a First Class Honours degree in Natural Sciences from Gonville and Caius College Cambridge and a Masters Degree gained through research in information science and inorganic chemistry.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and served on their Executive Advisory Group for Knowledge Management.

He is also a certified practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming – the science of communications – a skills based used in all of his consulting and facilitation assignments.

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