Embedding GIRI principles at HS2

9 Dec 22

Embedding GIRI principles within HS2 has helped set the organisation on the pathway towards a right-first-time culture that eliminates problems before they reach site, Richard Strugnell and Andy Swift told their audience at the GIRI members’ meeting in November.

“We have set a mission to build the best railway in the best way,” said Richard Strugnell, head of quality and IMS. “This is significant infrastructure with a significant cost, so it is important we capture the benefits of right first time, because we’ve only budgeted to build it once.

“As a client organisation we need to look at how we enable delivery, how we support the contractors building the railway, and how we monitor progress and performance. So we have set up some quality objectives and we are raising the profile of quality across HS2, giving it equal priority with cost, schedule and safety.”

A key objective is to use quality performance to inform enterprise performance as a whole. This means not only looking how HS2 is performing, but also at the performance of the supply chain. The intention is to report at enterprise, phase and individual contract level to see how each project is performing. “We want to use data that already exists,” said Richard. “And we want a consistent approach so we can use the same performance measures for each contract.”

Another key objective is to provide the foundation for a level 1 quality KPI that is reported to the DfT and included in the end of year financial accounts statement. “Currently we have two KPIs. One is for ‘right first time’ that is a corporate level 2 KPI based on the number of contract deliverables that achieve code 1 [accepted without comment] on first submission. These are predominantly design deliverables so it’s important we get these right. We’ve set ourselves a target of 83% for 22/23.”

The second KPI relates to effectiveness, and measures how well HS2 is supporting delivery – specifically incomplete and close-out of deliverables. “This is important because for us to push the railway into operation, we need what we call a paper railway,” said Richard. “We need to demonstrate to the regulator that the railway has been built in the right way and meets the requirements, so we have to close out the deliverables.”

Last year, HS2 had 22,000 deliverables from its supply chain, and reviewed these on a risk basis. “We’re trying to develop a collaborative approach with the supply chain. It’s not about rejecting things,’ said Richard. “It’s about making sure we are working with the supply chain early on so that when deliverables are formally submitted, they go through the process in the easiest way.” He added that what really attracts the attention of the senior leadership is when you quantify the cost of not getting it right.

However, the biggest prize of ‘right first time’ is the work that is happening on site, as Andy Swift, project client for Euston Station, explained.

Andy has been involved in embedding GIRI principles within HS2. “About a year ago we started our discovery phase, looking at what GIRI was all about and how it could benefit us. Then we moved on to a proof-of-concept phase – how do we prove GIRI can work for us and our supply chain? We created a steering group to look at how we can embed GIRI learnings, then presented it as an opportunity to our senior executive.”

As part of the proof-of-concept stage, HS2 looked at the root causes of error and sought input from the expert working groups that oversee its various asset classes on the things that commonly go wrong. “We quantified avoidable costs in three asset classes: earthworks, tunnels and stations. Many issues were linked to coordination, and we split these between phases – projects in the field now and those that are in design – and looked at potential interventions. Our vision is to implement this throughout the organisation.”

HS2 has developed an error-reduction strategy, which aims to capture the wider benefits of this work, including sustainability, schedule, quality, safety, and reputation. “The first step is error detection,” said Andy. “Then we look at how we resolve issues in an efficient way. Ultimately, we want to develop a prevention programme and create a culture within HS2 where we just don’t get errors because we drive them out at the start. We are very much on this pathway.”

The next step is to develop a baseline measurement of error to monitor and report against. “We will then involve all our key stakeholders and supply chain and subsequently move into the improvement phase where we learn and get better. Because HS2 is split into phase 1 and 2, all the things we are learning from phase 1 can be rolled out in phase 2, and this is a great opportunity to ensure we implement this earlier in the process.”

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