Northern Hub Alliance Ordsall Chord

Credit: Network Rail

Credit: Network Rail

Lean and innovation in an alliance project

The challenge

The £340 million Ordsall Chord project, a major part of the Great North Rail Project, required exceptional levels of collaboration, planning and preparation to deliver the complex works including three major blockades.

To this end the project was delivered under an Alliance Agreement, where the participants worked together from the beginning to set the budget, secure funding and manage the project. They would also then share in the “development of gain and reduction of pain”.

The Alliance partners invited us to introduce lean improvement and innovation techniques to support them in meeting the stakeholder’s expectations, achieving target cost and so maximising gain.

Our response

During the final 18 months of the project we integrated with the Alliance Management Team to support and enable the wider Alliance and deliver lean innovation and improvement.

A wide range of activities were undertaken including:

  • Creating a measurement and review environment to monitor the project outcomes.
  • Focussing and delivering 3 different control rooms, co-ordinating the operational delivery of 3 blockades and enabling all work streams to be collaboratively aligned.
  • Running collaborative planning sessions to give each blockade team the ability to understand integrated delivery, visually review the planned activity, define scope of ownership, identify improvement opportunities, remove blockers and confirm legislative restrictions.
  • Developing a continuous improvement environment and creating Performance Improvement Teams. Deploying lean tools and structured problem solving techniques to reduce lead times and costs.
  • Co-ordinating a wide number of focussed improvement activities to optimise key operational activities including piling, removal and upcycle of historic materials and supporting supplier performance.
  • Formalising the tracking of daily project activity, innovations and improvements including; an Opportunity and Risk Register, a Lessons Learned process, the dissemination of knowledge and sharing of best practise.
  • Investing time to support and share modern tools and techniques developing the competence of the extended team in terms of achieving a state of readiness for the blockade and the ability to respond quickly to the unexpected.

The results

Working as one team this complex infrastructure project was successfully delivered, on time and in budget, and was noted as an example of exemplary Health and Safety performance.

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Northern Hub Alliance Ordsall Chord construction

Credit: Network Rail

An example of exemplary Health and Safety performance

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