Plan for the plan with Welsh Water

Case study

Client: Welsh Water
Scheme Value: £21,208.56
Fee Value: -
Start Date: January 2021
End Date: April 2021

Project Lead: Colum Goodchild
Project Team: Ben Morgan, Jack Mumford-Turner
Partners: -
Services: Strategic Advisory

Problem / Opportunity

With the evolving landscape of regulatory expectations, Aqua identified the need for their clients to optimize their business plan development process. The project aimed to deliver concise guidance documents on key elements such as Ofwat standards, needs case development, methodology structures, three lines of assurance, solution development, and costing. Leveraging their extensive sector experience, the Aqua team sought to provide insights and enable discussions with internal stakeholders.


To address the identified challenges and opportunities, Aqua embarked on a strategic solution. Short and focused executive summaries were produced to highlight areas requiring additional effort in transitioning from an Ofwat evidenced plan to a CMA evidenced plan. Specific tasks were delineated for greater detail, addition, or acceleration.

A comprehensive list of tasks for business plan development and supporting background activities was developed. This included assigning tasks to company stakeholders, grouped by team, with clear definitions to encourage engagement. A high-level project plan was generated, mapping key economic regulation milestones, activities, and dependencies against a business plan development timeline. Simultaneously, a high-level assessment of resources and costs associated with the proposed tasks was undertaken.

The project aimed to deliver a report and supporting material to aid business decision-making in developing a regulator or CMA evidenced business case. Additionally, guidance notes on industry best practices for identifying investment needs and structuring Investment Cases were created. A flow chart was provided to aid in the identification of enhancement, growth, resilience, and base maintenance projects. A RAID log template, highlighting key high-level risks, was constructed. An executive briefing note on best practice techniques for business plan assurance, using the three lines of defence, was developed. Identification of specific costing issues was addressed with a short executive note outlining the required scope of work in this area.


Upon successfully concluding the project, a meticulously prioritized task list was delivered. This not only provided valuable insights into high-level resource requirements but also outlined a well-defined plan timeline. The structured task list allowed for a seamless segmentation by the responsible team and theme. Aqua went above and beyond by offering invaluable guidance on identifying enhancement and growth schemes, complemented by a comprehensive collection of best practice documents.

Shared Capability

Beyond addressing immediate challenges, the project facilitated shared capabilities within the organization. It provided the momentum to mobilize the team for PR24 planning and outlined resourcing requirements and team demands for advanced planning. This shared capability fostered collaboration, strategic alignment, and enhanced business plan development processes within Aqua. The case study exemplifies Aqua's commitment to navigating regulatory complexities and adapting to industry best practices for sustained success. The key benefit was businesses gaining a thorough understanding of the material outcomes of the business plan mission. This insight empowered them to identify major risks and benefits, facilitating informed decisions on areas for growth and risk mitigation.

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