Tighter E&P Project Control Eliminates Risk

Electrification and Plant (E&P) works always involve complexity associated with integration of the multiple systems required to keep the railway operating safely and without causing delays to passengers. This must be managed within tight possession windows supported by detailed planning and logistics to ensure that the railway is always handed back safely and on time.

Complexity, when it’s not matched with effective control and accountability, creates uncertainty, risk and increased costs. That’s why it’s important to be clear about which elements of an E&P project can be outsourced and which should be kept in-house.

The weakest link determines the strength of the overall project plan. When there are so many interdependencies, any miscommunication or quality issues can easily cascade. The knock-on effect of even an apparently minor oversight can multiply and lead to overruns and delays in handing back a possession – which is always unacceptable.

An Integrated Project Team

Osborne’s approach to E&P projects, such as HV feeder renewals and switchgear upgrades, is to deploy a multi-disciplined, in-house team at the start of the project, including P6 planners, possession planners and technical experts who have detailed civil and electrical knowledge.

The combined team takes a coordinated view of project delivery that leaves nothing to chance. Typically the team identifies opportunities to simplify both execution and future maintenance needs. Fragmented approaches that treat civils as a discrete project will miss many opportunities, simply because nobody’s looking for them.

Collaborative Delivery

Osborne’s E&P activities benefit from an established collaborative delivery model. Site investigations, surveys, design development and interfaces are carefully and progressively assessed and managed to eliminate costs and uncertainties.

Using this highly collaborative multi-disciplined approach on a substantial HV feeder renewals project brought significant benefits:

  • Agile support from the core functional experts delivered more efficient design, faster approvals, lean planning and better overall performance.
  • Two critical programmed dates for cable installation were achieved with no train delays.

E&P projects have many interconnected operations and activities that have to be coordinated – so complexity is unavoidable. Tight project control and keeping important aspects in-house is the surest way to make certain that complexity doesn’t breed uncertainty and risk.

For more information, contact Paul Welch (paul.welch@osborne.co.uk).