One Team Wessex

Dave Hooper, Executive Director for Infrastructure at Osborne , spoke to Rail Technology Magazine and explains more about the collaborative partnership between Osborne and Network Rail.

In December 2013, Osborne was selected by Network Rail to deliver a collaborative framework agreement across its Wessex Route, with a contract value of approximately £250million over the course of five years. The contract is set to strengthen both Osborne’s Infrastructure business and the long-standing relationship between Osborne and Network Rail.

Since then, the ‘One Team Wessex’ has been working hard to successfully mobilise, ready for these contracts, which began on 1 April 2014.

To ensure the framework moved off in the most efficient and effective manner, and set the precedent for all future activity, roles and responsibilities workshops were used to establish the combined Osborne and Network Rail team. The best person for each role was chosen, pooling our skills to provide efficiencies whilst driving an awareness of change in cultural safety behaviours to deliver all projects safer than before. Together, the newly formed leadership team defined what the success of the framework looks like to create an agreed vision, mission and strategy.

The creation and agreement of the ‘One Team Wessex – Line of Sight’ puts safety at the core of everything the team are set to do across the contract. With this in mind, a launch event was held at the Kia Oval. The event was a great success, with excellent engagement from Osborne, design partner Hyder, and Network Rail, which offered the opportunity to challenge and develop their thinking as to how best they can each support one another.

To further reiterate the importance of a collaborative manner, the team have now collocated to their base at Waterloo. 45 people are working on the framework, including 20 from Osborne, 15 from Network Rail and 10 from Hyder. This collaboration is really taking shape, with the initial BS11000 Relationship Management Plan having been produced, and comprehensive sessions held on values and behaviours which will also help develop agreed KPIs.

Further to this, a supplier forum with the key suppliers for the Year One works is currently being established with a Director from each supplier. The aim behind this is to define the behaviour and expectations of the One Team Wessex, and to ensure sign-up by all. The team are working hard with our supply and design partners to look for further efficiencies, ultimately demonstrating our commitment to delivering the required volumes and efficiencies we promised.

I am excited about the prospects going forward. This has been a great start for One Team Wessex. Our people are sharing the same vision – to really make a difference and deliver the efficiencies, innovation and knowledge sharing vision that we promised – not only to our individual companies, but to the wider rail industry and the communities in which we work. This is an exciting opportunity for our up and coming engineers, and it ensures we can commit to developing both the leaders and trades of the future. It’s a truly great challenge and opportunity for which I am proud to lead, and I know those involved will remember this with pride for many years to come.