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Building the UK Cyber Security Council: the Project Secretariat


12:00 Sunday, 31 January 2021

Sandra Godman, The IET

Where there's a will, there's a way!

The IET has been proud to be lead supplier in delivering the Cyber Security Alliance’s ambition to achieve the formation of the UK Cyber Security Council. After many years of planning and delivery we are pleased to look back on our shared success in completing the UK Cyber Security Council Formation Project – and to look forward to seeing it go on to grow and flourish.

With just 18 months to start a new company and furnish it with all the infrastructure it needs to operate is ambitious; but to deliver a wide-ranging and complex suite of products alongside that, is extraordinary. The fact that we have done so, on time and slightly under budget is nothing short of amazing, and it is testament to the determination and vision of everyone who came together to achieve the UK Cyber Security Council, and all those who have added their support and expertise along the way.

The number and breadth of experience of those involved has been immense – from technical experts, business analysts, project managers, lawyers, and specialists in qualifications and training provision, ethics, communications and PR, thought-leadership, strategy, and so much more. Clearly the Alliance has fielded many of these, but we have been joined by a large team of independent contributors as well our independent Advisory Group and many individuals and organisations who supported our community challenge exercises.

What is clear is that our success has been driven by the shared recognition that the Council is needed, creating a strong will to overcome any issues and build something that will work for the profession and deliver future benefits for UK and beyond.

We should also consider that this was, for the most part, delivered during a global pandemic and almost entirely online and remotely. We should expect professionals familiar with cyber to be able to step seamlessly into the virtual world! However, we should also recognise how that will to succeed also created the flexibility to manage that transition without missing a beat.

By necessity, we had a complex governance structure resulting in a breath-taking number of formal Board meetings - approximately 60 across 18 months for the Advisory Group, the Authority Board, the Project Board, Risk Committee and the Finance Committee. In addition, there were approximately 165 formal workstream meetings, not counting any sub-groups or ad hoc meetings. Some of our groups have never met face to face, yet they helped deliver 33 formal deliverables (along with a couple of revisions/updates). In all there were 118 regular SharePoint users and 2,701 documents uploaded (and probably many hundreds of previous versions since deleted). The sheer number of hours that the attendees of these groups gave is phenomenal.

On behalf of the Secretariat Team and everyone at the IET, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all for their hard work, selfless commitment and willing cooperation. Thank you to everyone who joined us on this incredible journey.