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Gated Framework for TfNSW

Network Rail Consulting (NRC) was commissioned by the Transport Projects Division (TPD) of Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) to develop a gated project management process for “low risk” transport access projects.

These include:

  • enhancements to existing railway stations to improve accessibility
  • improving station facilities such as installing weather protection and enhanced security
  • building new or upgrading existing commuter car parks.

The need for a new, streamlined process is driven by the large number of access projects planned to be implemented by TfNSW over the next few years (exceeding $700 million in value) and recognition by TPD that its existing project management framework is geared towards large, complex rail projects.

TPD could also see the benefit of accessing the experience of Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure. Network Rail operates GRIP (Governance of Railway Investment Projects), a scalable project management framework that can be used across the full spectrum of project complexity. Over the next five years (2015 – 2019) Network Rail will invest £25 billion in railway infrastructure enhancements and renewals, most of it implemented using GRIP.

Gated Framework for TfNSW

The brief to NRC, the international consulting arm of Network Rail, was to:

  • engage with internal TPD staff and stakeholders to gather the required background information to deliver the project
  • develop a phase-gate process to accelerate the delivery of low risk projects whilst still complying with legislative and other requirements
  • develop a risk assessment process that could be used to determine what is a “low risk” project
  • advise on a suitable governance framework for the new process
  • document the new processes.

Gated Framework for TfNSW

The key outputs of the work were:

  • an inception report setting out our understanding of TPD’s existing project management and governance processes and the barriers these might pose to a streamlined process
  • a series of briefing notes addressing particular areas such as system safety and engineering assurance, and the impact different project delivery models
  • a risk assessment procedure based on Network Rail’s “Management Level of Control” to determine which projects are eligible for the streamlined process
  • a phase gated project management framework covering the delivery stage of the project lifecycle between the planning stage and handover to the operator and maintainer.
  • a series of bespoke products to support the successful application of the new framework including phase gate checklists and a draft standard describing the framework and setting out the business rules for its application including appropriate governance arrangements.

Interviews, workshops and meetings with key internal and external stakeholders were conducted throughout the project to elicit requirements and test ideas.

Client: Transport for New South Wales

Location: Sydney, Australia

Start date: 2014 (July)

End date: 2014 (December)

Duration: 5 months

Services provided: Business cases, Constructibility review, Feasibility design