Prioritise your Risks to Release Value and Minimise Disruption

With any large-scale infrastructure asset the list of works required is long and potentially never ending. New areas of deterioration typically emerge to replace repairs ticked off the list.
The constraints of budget and the disruptions caused by temporary closures mean that it isn’t always possible to tackle everything that needs to be done. So, what’s the solution to ensuring that the most important projects are prioritised and that the budget is used most effectively?

It’s no surprise that close collaboration between the customer, main contractor and designers is absolutely critical. A detailed picture of the condition of the asset is also essential. It is then possible to apply a risk prioritising process.

Risk prioritisation looks at each of the required works and assigns a rating based on the risks to asset, the environment, the economy and possibly the local community of each repair not being done. Typically, a 1 to 5 rating would be used with 5 being the highest risk.

Planning and Coordination

With a clear list of high priority projects, it’s easier to plan better coordinated work programmes. These can clear essential works in short sharp bursts of activity – keeping closures, possessions and disruption to a minimum. The aim is to use integrated thinking and planning between the designer, contractor and asset operator to ensure that urgent and important repairs are tackled first in a carefully planned sequence.

Having a detailed list of all the works required also helps to identify where some lower priority repairs can be incorporated within the agreed closure periods without affecting the timing or budget.

For all of this to work efficiently there needs to a flexible approach to contacting with shared risks and rewards. The One Team Wessex framework Osborne has with Network Rail recently provided a powerful example of all of this in action. Multiple high priority repairs (and some lower priority ones) were completed to the rail line through Poole Harbour over a four day Easter period and over the following weekend.

As a result of detailed planning, the condition and security of the line that had been severely affected by tides and adverse weather has been greatly improved, with low levels of disruption and no safety incidents.

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