Skip to main content

Organisational Capability Improvement

High Speed 2 (HS2) Ltd


High Speed 2 Ltd is the delivery organisation responsible for overseeing construction of a new railway line, connecting major cities in the Midlands and the north of England with London. The railway line, HS2, is split into two phases, due for completion in 2026/2033, with a budget of over £50bn.

In 2018, HS2 Ltd commenced the planning process to pass through a major programme stage gate – the transition into the construction phase of the project. Through this, providing confidence to the Department for Transport (DfT) in its capability to deliver the multi- phase infrastructure programme.

Deloitte were engaged to complete an assessment to determine HS2 Ltd’s key capability requirements and gaps that required targeted interventions to remediate. The HS2 Improvement Programme (HIP), sponsored by the organisation’s CEO, was established to demonstrate HS2 Ltd’s capability across the programme.

How we helped

The vast scale of the construction programme, combined with the absence of an existing capability framework, required the design of bespoke methodologies and frameworks to demonstrate the required capabilities over the programme’s lifecycle.

As part of HIP, Deloitte developed an industry-first capability assessment framework applicable for large scale capability programmes. Using the bespoke descriptors, 24 capabilities were then assessed against a target maturity level (on a 1-5 maturity scale) by survey, and supported by bodies of evidence. A tailored scenario testing approach supported the organisation in examining its response to major risks or events affecting construction readiness.

HIP conducted a baseline assessment to understand capability gaps. Deloitte develop a tailored portfolio management approach to improving capability, providing targeted support (e.g. Project Controls, Leadership), and project management support to capabilities. HIP also reported progress monthly to a CEO-led steering group.

A follow up capability assessment was conducted 12 month later, and demonstrated considerable improvements. These results successfully progressed through the programme’s three Lines of Defence (LoD) assurance model. LoD3, an independent panel of experts, noted that ‘none had seen such a rigorous and comprehensive approach to assessing and improving Enterprise Capability.’

HIP supported the 24 capabilities to complete outstanding assurance actions. In February 2020, the HS2 Board endorsed HIP’s view that all 24 capabilities had reached target maturity. Our framework enabled HS2 Ltd to demonstrate to the DfT its capability to serve as a systems integrator for the complex infrastructure programme.

Deloitte are currently supporting HS2 with further capability improvement activities beyond NtP, and sharing the methodologies and insights from HIP with the wider industry to stimulate improvement. HIP has also been nominated as a Finalist in the APM’s 2020 Transformation Project of the year.

…supporting HS2 in preparation for a major milestone, where monthly spend is anticipated to double to £300m per month…

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey