Delivering world class project delivery at Network Rail

Image result for network rail Lets face it, for many people Network Rail is their least favourite organisation, most of us have a tale of misery (we have) about a train journey.

What most us don’t know is that Network Rail is one of the biggest project delivery organisations in the world, investing billions of pounds annually to recover from the historic lack of investment and build a 21st century railway whilst maintaining a Victorian infrastructure. At any one one moment, around 117,000 are employed as part of these investments on the rail network.

This case study tells the story of the performance improvement journey over the last 4 years of Network Rail Infrastructure Projects (not the operations or the train operating companies) and in particular the Signalling division, who has now achieved P3M3 level 4.4 maturity, which is the highest score we have seen after assessing hundreds of organisations around the world.

This case study provides the evidence of the performance improvements that come from the adoption of P3M3 as the improvement framework.

We hope you enjoy it.

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Filed under Articles, Assurance, Maturity Assessments, P3M3®, Project Management

Fresh look – P3M v Corporate risk interfaces

Welcome to another  one of our Fresh Look, these are a series  of articles taking a look at common topics to try to come up with some new ideas and insight into problems that seem to repeat themselves across many organisations.

In this article we look at the dysfunctional relationship between and organisations corporate risk world and the  P3M risk world and offer some ideas on how it could be better. Fresh look – P3M v Corporate Risk Management

 

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Filed under Knowledge Nugget, Portfolio Management, Programme & Portfolio Office, Risk Management

Seven Deadly Sins – Business Case Management

Continuing our series of blogs: Seven Deadly Sins that lead to regular and highly predictable failure on a range of topics.

Today we are focusing on Business Case Management, an organisational ritual that doesn’t seem to stem the tide of failure, despite the enormous amounts of time spent preparing them.

  1.  Failing to maintain the business case. Many failures only come to light late on in delivery because most organisations do not track ongoing viability within the project or programme, or evolving changes in the environment
  2. Thinking that project success is about Time/Cost/Scope – without including benefits and value, the time/cost/scope trilogy can be misleading for programmes in particular
  3. Forgetting that you have to deliver the change, not just get it past the approval committee. So much effort goes into gaining approval, it can come as quite a shock when it has to move from a document into delivery.
  4. Starting with assumptions on what the solution should be blinds you to the best options. So many projects and programmes go wrong because the solution was decided before the business case work started, the business case then becomes the justification for a way of doing it rather than a genuine options appraisal.
  5. Failing to fully engage stakeholders of the full impact of the business case upon them, consequently on the way through the approvals process it is ambushed or once it goes into delivery, unexpected costs begin to emerge.
  6. Hiding the full costs of the initiative will always lead to trouble. The costs of change are invariably underestimated in a business case in the hope that some unsuspecting party will pick up the bill.
  7. Failing to adequately apply risk rating to the costs or the benefits. Without risk rating, both sides of the justification increases the risk of failure, organisations are increasingly applying a risk mitigation to the costs, but few are applying a risk factor to the benefits. Either side can move up or down.

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Filed under Articles, Knowledge Nugget, Magnificent Seven

Lewis Hamilton – business change manager extraordinaire

There was a radio interview last week with the Mercedes team principal explaining how Lewis Hamilton was heavily involved in the technical development and the amount of time he spent with the construction team.

This has made for a great analogy for people trying to understand how the BCM role in Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) is supposed to work.

MSP® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Programme Management

Close up on P3M3

As many of you will know, P3M3® is the world’s number one framework for assessing organisational maturity and performance in portfolio, programme and project management.

If this is a new concept to you, click here for a quick introduction.

This free briefing (pdf) outlines the key concepts of P3M3. Right click this link and ‘save as’ to download the interactive overview, please view it in either Acrobat or Adobe Reader.

We have also put together a video to take you through the history and concepts behind P3M3, we hope you will take a look.

 
P3M3® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Maturity Assessments

Agile project management – 5 lessons for the unwary

Over the last year or two we have reviewed a number of programmes and projects that are using an “agile” approach. There are a number of common problems which have come to light that should be of interest to any organisation setting out on an agile endeavour for the first time.

Agile, Lean or project management are not cures for unproductive or incompetent teams, weak leadership or poor performance management. All methods have their place and can add value and improve performance but none on their own are a panacea as they all depend on the capability of the people involved.

This article sets out some of the key lessons that we have taken from our reviews.

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Filed under Agile, Magnificent Seven

Fresh look: Project and Risk teams

Fresh Look – Is a series of articles taking a look at common topics to try to come up with some new ideas and insight into problems that seem to repeat themselves across many organisations

Risk management should be the star of the P3M show, but it rarely is. In organisations that are forward thinking enough to have risk professionals the relationship between project managers and risk managers is not always optimal.

In this paper, Ed Brown a risk advocate provides some fresh insight into how the relationship could work better.

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Filed under Risk Management