Posted on 20th November 2020

IT Programme Strategy Review Task Force

Phase 1 Report

The Task Force has completed Phase 1 of its Review, the Initial Assessment of British Eventing’s IT systems.


The purpose of the Review is to analyse the current IT situation, fully assess the associated capabilities and risk of the IT programme and provide recommendations to the BE Board for next steps, including a short-, medium- and long-term strategy for the direction and level of further investment.  

During the 11 weeks of Phase 1 beginning on August 27, the Task Force directly canvassed more than 40 organisers, entries secretaries, entries agents, riders, owners and scorers in an open and transparent way to establish the true situation with regard to the effectiveness of the software combined with the supporting functional processes and the training of users.  This was done through 11 different workstreams populated by end-users and BE team members, who gathered and agreed the facts upon which recommendations have been developed for next steps. 

The Task Force delivered its Phase 1 Report to the BE Board on November 17, setting out our findings, risk assessment and recommendations, and highlighting 39 critical issues across all workstreams.  At a meeting on November 19, the Board reviewed the Report, and having considered the 6 Task Force recommendations, approved all of them. 

The three recommendations for immediate action are:

1. Establishing an IT Steering Committee, to be chaired by Di Brunsden and with Terry Miller providing the secretariat, with the following elements: 

  • Membership to include independent persons with key competencies and full representation of all key end users
  • The Committee will function on the basis of openness and transparency, with regular reporting to the BE Board, BE membership, and stakeholders
  • The Terms of Reference will be published on the BE website, providing for the creation and ongoing maintenance and updating of a detailed set of milestones and cost/benefit reporting, and highlighting the objectives of ensuring that the IT system
    • Delivers best possible functionality for all BE stakeholders 
    • Delivers this within an accountable and sustainable IT budget
    • Takes into account the long-term goal of having a sustainable IT environment by mitigating the immediate risks associated with running a bespoke set of IT systems
  • Responsibility for the continued development, management and implementation of an IT roadmap as defined by the Task Force

2. Pending immediate review by BE management of the commercial implications, the enhancement of Eventingscores to provide the additional event management functions of balloting and waitlist management, with no further development of the EARS functionalities for scoring and results, timetabling, balloting, waitlist management, sectioning and times other than to provide the necessary interfaces for Eventingscores to carry out these functions in time for the start of the 2021 season. 

3. Continuing work on the entries function in EARS to address as many as possible of the critical issues before the start of the 2021 season 

The other recommendations will be pursued by the Task Force during Phase 2 of the Review: 

4.The development, as far as is possible, of a mitigation strategy addressing all of the risks currently presented 

5.The development of an outline roadmap for BE’s future IT infrastructure, including short-, medium- and long-term actions. 

6. A review of third-party applications that perform some or all of the activities currently undertaken by BE, for purposes of informing the future roadmap.

The Board thanked all those who contributed to Phase 1 of the Review as Task Force or work stream members, and expressed its sincere appreciation for the way in which everyone had worked together in a constructive, open and forward-looking process, with all the end-users and the BE team contributing time and expertise towards the common goal of understanding and assessing the current situation and preparing the Phase 1 report.  

Phase 2 of the Review will now move forward in the same spirit, with some adjustments to the Task Force membership but ensuring that all relevant end-users are represented, and in anticipation of completing the Phase 2 work and presenting the final report to the BE Board during the first quarter of 2021.   As Chair of the Task Force, Di Brunsden will attend the AGM next week to provide some further details alongside the CEO and COO as Task Force members.  We will continue to keep members updated as Phase 2 progresses. 

Phase 1 Report

Introductory letter to the Board