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Programme Controls Transformation

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 process to pass through a critical milestone - Phase One ‘Notice to Proceed’ (NtP), which marks the authorisation to finalise contracts for major construction works. As part of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) approval to issue NtP, HS2 Ltd needed to provide the DfT confidence in its capability to deliver the programme.

Programme controls was identified as a key area for improvement, and “Programme ATLAS” was founded to support improvements focussing on data & systems, reporting and process implementation.

How we helped

Following the development of a new programme controls vision and strategy in the form of a high-level operating model, Programme ATLAS was split into three separate projects.

Project 1: re-configuration and integration of existing programme controls systems (PRISM, Primavera P6, Xactium etc.) to support new data structures and best-practice processes.

Project 2: implementation of a data and reporting platform, to ingest, manipulate and analyse programme controls data. The data and reporting platform enabled the auto-population of board level reports through a Tableau visualisation layer. The data platform was hosted on Microsoft Azure with a SQL database.

Project 3: development of new programme controls processes for cost, schedule and risk management, which were then integrated into the newly configured software systems. This project also delivered the business change and training activities required to ensure the step-change in capability was embedded into the organisation.

Following a period of testing and training, the newly configured and integrated systems went live to over 150 programme controls practitioners in July 2019. Consistent data structures across all programme controls systems enabled the integration of cost, schedule and risk data.

Following further data validation and testing, in August 2019, live programme data was ingested into the data and reporting platform, with programme reports auto-populated for the first time.

The benefits of Programme ATLAS were significant – increasing the quality and consistency of programme controls information, an aligned set of data structures across the programme, best practice processes supporting more effective decision making, and a reduction in the level of manual effort required to produce monthly reports. Overall, the organisation was able to demonstrate the necessary change in capability, as determined by the original capability assessment.

…an integrated programme controls capability providing trusted information to support better decision making …

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