Costain in the spotlight
One of the most prominent examples of portfolio management currently in practice in the infrastructure sector must be Crossrail, Europe’s largest construction project. To deliver what is an extremely complex mix of substantial programmes and projects on time, within budget and meeting stringent levels of customer satisfaction, requires an amazingly complex combination of organisational governance, stakeholder engagement and effective management of benefits, finance, risk and resources.
Addressing the UK’s urgent strategic national infrastructure needs, whether it is ensuring the security of future energy sources, providing a safe and reliable water supply or upgrading road and rail transport, has resulted in the implementation of multi-billion long-term investment programmes. These investment programmes provide substantial business opportunities for Costain. New consulting and advisory services director, Nigel Curry, gives his view after almost twelve months following the acquisition of Rhead Group.
As programmes become increasingly more complex, costly and time-consuming, a properly-structured benefits management strategy and plan can make all the difference. Why? Because it helps to tie the outcomes from the individual projects within the programme to the ultimate strategic objectives. It supports sound decision-making throughout the process.
AMP6 began just over a year ago, and for us as a partner on three AMP6 frameworks, it has been a good yet challenging year. The move towards “totex” and the 20% efficiency challenge means many of the water companies have got new outcome delivery models. Every company has a different strategy to drive efficiencies: some have been out of the blocks quickly and are delivering early; while others have used the first year to develop the best way to work together.
In today’s continuing development of the project management profession and increasing stakeholder expectations on delivering project benefits, having a recognised, effective and consistent way to manage the complex infrastructure projects designed to meet national needs is critical. In the last few decades project management has continued to evolve to define the processes, tools and technologies to support projects being delivered successfully, safely, meeting cost, quality and time demands. However there is still much more to do...
Since the early 1970s when project management began to emerge as a recognised profession, customers in the engineering and construction industries traditionally set three core objectives as the basis for project success: time, cost and quality. With the added emphasis on safety over the years, these requirements have been the guiding force for good project managers.
We are all well aware of the challenge facing the UK engineering and construction sectors: it is our job to provide the infrastructure needed to meet future demand for energy, transport and water supply with ever-tightening budgets and stretched resources.
What more is there to write about Thameslink? The project will forever change rail travel through central London for the better, transforming one of the capital’s busiest interchanges and helping to develop the next generation of signalling technology.