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Eurotunnel Case Study Analysis Psychology

Chapter 9

Project Background

In 1996, London and Continental Railway (LCR) was awarded the concession to build the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) which was later known as the High speed 1 (Hs1) project. Union Railways (UR) was allocated the responsibility to act as the client or sponsor of the project, and Rail Link Engineering (RLE) was appointed as project manager. RLE was a consortium of construction companies formed between Arup, Bechtel, Halcrow and Systra.

HS1 is the first new railway in England for over 100 years and the first highspeed railway (capable of 300 kmph) ever in the UK. It comprises 100 kilometres between London and the Channel Tunnel near Dover, with three stations and two depots. At the height of construction in 2001, the combined workforce of UR and RLE was over 1000, and at the closure stage the figure was 350. The completed £5.8 billion project (excluding the regeneration budget) opened on time and within budget. The scheme was split into two areas. Section 1 was started in 1998 and runs between the Channel Tunnel and Ebbsfleet (near Gravesend) in Kent. It completed on time and on budget in 2003. Section 2 comprised primarily the activities in the north to south network from St Pancras, and was delivered for commercial operation to Eurostar on 14 November 2007.

The original objectives of the project included:

  • To provide the main high-speed railway link between Britain and continental Europe.

  • To provide the transport spine and stimulus to the rejuvenation of the derelict inner city areas around Stratford and Kings Cross.

Quality Management Systems and Procedures

The project sought to ensure that quality was built in from the start. A project-specific quality strategy, designed from existing best practices of the member companies of the consortium, was submitted within the agreed three months of the award of the concession. The knowledge and experience of project methodology (e.g. PRINCE2 and PMBOK) of the partners in the consortium was incorporated into documents as appropriate.

The quality approach of RLE (the project manager), was part of the overall execution plan drawn up by UR (the client). The HSE strategy as shown in the documentation structure is given in Figure 9.1.

The quality strategy aimed to ensure that quality was defined and measurable, and that processes were established and implemented to ensure and demonstrate conformance. The approach included audits and surveillance activities as an independent check to ensure that the defined requirements of the client were achieved. The UR execution strategy was directly linked to a separately specified Health, safety and Environment (HSE) plan of the project. The HSE strategy ensured that all relevant statutory safety and environmental requirements were met with due regard so that risks were reduced to a level that was as low as reasonably possible.

Figure 9.1 HS1 quality management documents structure

Source: High speed 1 Project.

The quality policy statement established the project’s quality commitments including compliance with ISO 9001, and the quality strategy established the compliance with development agreement requirements. The RLE quality plan was underpinned by detailed procedures and instructions and contractor quality plans. RLE procedures were drawn up in compliance with UR procedures where appropriate. These documented processes included:

  • RLE procedures to ensure self-certification by contractors

  • Audit programmes

  • Procedures for process quality control

  • Vendor assessment

  • Inspection and test plans.

The RLE head of quality was responsible for monitoring all aspects of the above strategy and systems, in addition to managing the overall audit process. The head of quality had direct access, if necessary, to the managing director of UR. As project manager, RLE certified that all the works specified in the contract were completed, so that two weeks later the works were taken over by UR, the client. This Client Acceptance Process (CAP) was controlled by UR’s procedures. Based on the fulfilment of the CAP, the head of quality certified compliance to achieve Permit to Use (PtU).

Quality Audit and Compliance

Three types of audit processes were applied for when conducting the management systems audit on the Hs1 project. An additional aim was to ensure quality and environment, health and safety audits as follows:

  • Level 1 audits: designed for auditing management systems related to RLE senior management and major contractors. Auditors were drawn from RLE, UR and the contractor’s corporate organisations.

  • Level 2 audits: designed for auditing management control systems related to subcontractors and associated RLE middle management. Auditors were drawn from contractors and RLE.

  • Central audits: conducted by internal auditors of RLE for auditing design and procurement processes.

Each type of audit has well-defined practices supported by detailed process charts in three key stages (Rail Link Engineering, 2005):

  • Programming and planning

  • Execution

  • Follow-up and close out.

Figure 9.2 shows a simplified flow diagram of the key stages of the audit process for all three types of audit.

The programming and planning of each type of audit starts with a 12-month audit programme at the beginning of each year, and auditors are nominated from each discipline. A Consolidated Audit Plan (CAP) for assessment every three months is e-mailed to interested parties. The plans are updated regularly at the monthly audit coordination meetings. Appropriate checklists are prepared and audit briefs are issued 30 days before each appraisal. The auditors attend a pre-closing meeting to review and agree audit findings and prepare Corrective Action Requests (CARs) and observations of good practice. A Car form comprises three parts: section A is for recording agreed findings, section B deals with corrective deeds while section C concerns the action taken. The follow-up and closure stage includes closing meetings where corrective procedures in section B are agreed, and in subsequent closing meetings the ‘action taken’ box in section C is monitored and completed.

Figure 9.2 A simplified flow diagram of the HS1 audit process

Source: High speed 1 Project.

The audit process is supported by a number of well-designed documents and forms. These include:

  • CAP: the planned dates of three monthly audits are transferred from the annual audit plan to the CAP. The dates are shown on a three-month calendar in the CAP which also contains details on the company or site for audit, the persons responsible and duration.

  • Auditbrief: 30 days prior to the planned audit date, the audit brief is agreed and issued. This remit covers the scope of the audit for systems/process, product and management and takes into account the progress of work and any issues at the time of audit.

  • Auditchecklist: there are pre-designed checklists and guidelines for each type and stage of the audit, but specific checklists are prepared or updated that are appropriate to the brief and scope. The list is prepared in a simple format containing item, requirement, document reference, code (e.g. N – Nonconformity, A – Acceptable, O – Observation), and finding.

  • CAR: as indicated earlier, this is an important document to record and monitor audit results during the execution and closure stages of the audit and contains three sections (A, B and C).

  • Observation record: this is used for recording observations particularly related to points of good practice.

  • Audit report: each audit is supported by a summary audit report with notes on CARs, observations and an annotated checklist of questions. The audit report is agreed for issue within 15 days of closing meetings.

The robustness of HS1 audit processes is underpinned by the involvement of the project team (RLE), client (UR) and major contractors. Government-appointed contactors and auditors (e.g. Mott McDonald) are also involved in ‘spot auditing’. The key indicators from the audit reports compare and validate the relevant recorded KPIs and thus ensure the monitoring and evaluation of management systems in place and the general progress of the project.

During the sign-off at each stage of the project, the detail specifications and documents were checked by a compliance review group. This group was made up of representatives of RLE, UR, Network Rail and Eurostar. Compliance data and documents were stored in a specially designed database called DOORs (Dynamic object orientated Requirement system). As well as providing access to procedures, it also contained a mass of technical information to assist the team in working efficiently. Compliance data with agreements with key stakeholders were monitored by the UR executive every six months.

It is evident from the preceding analysis that the fundamental principles of project audits and health checks have been gainfully adopted and customised to the monitoring and evaluation management systems of HS1, in order to meet the specific requirements of this complex major project. The best practices of project audits and health checks arising from this case study include:

  • Assessing the need of auditing management systems and project progress to design audit processes at appropriate levels. This covers the project teams, major contractors and subcontractors.

  • Detailed design and documentation of audit processes supported by process charts, a checklist, audit brief, audit notification and audit forms.

  • Involvement of key stakeholders in the audit process including government, client, project teams and contractors. This has the effect of thus encouraging the supplier partnership and the proactive involvement of contractors in monitoring and improving project quality and conformance to standards.

  • Audit processes and checklists to span across the key aspects of project deliverables including health and safety, environment, quality, design and procurement.

  • Aligning the audit processes with the project execution strategy, executive reports, health checks and EFQM-based self-assessment.

This case study is an important first step in providing support towards measuring, monitoring and improving safety and quality standards in major projects. The audit strategy and processes of the Hs1 project, having learnt from other major undertakings, have established a ‘best practice’ of the application of monitoring and evaluation of management systems in major projects. This has been done by involving major stakeholders and contractors.

Performance Management

The performance management processes of the HS1 project are centred round key progress reports (e.g. the URN executive report and the RLE progress report). These accounts applied selected KPIs to monitor performance in safety, progress, costs, risks and quality assurance and audits.

Safety was given the highest priority in project management and safety measures were dealt with first. Two KPIs for safety were Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) and Lost Time Accidents (LTA). Both AFR and LTA indicators were measured by the project group and also by site, electrical, rail and plant, and were reported for the period and cumulative. As an example, the executive report ending May 2007 stated that 53.3 million site hours were expended during which LTA was only 194 and AFR was 0.21.

The performance management systems operated continuously from the start of the project. A project-specific management system was designed from existing best practices of the member companies and was submitted to the government. The design standards and processes were developed and discussed between the client (UR) and project management (RLE) and were referred to as the project progressed.

As indicated above, the project applied selected KPIs in the monthly reports and these were jointly reviewed by the client and project manager. The key performance indicators are listed in Table 9.1.

The monthly reports, including the above KPIs, were compiled by both RLE and UR from their databases and earned value analysis. The reports and KPIs were not identical and were prepared from two different data sources. When these accounts are reviewed jointly, they are both beneficial in that they identify more gaps for improvement, but also disadvantageous due to the problems created in the reconciliation from different data sources. It is evident that the systems and KPIs were not structured around the four aspects of the balanced scorecard. A balanced scorecard approach was applied to one single project (Contract 430 Section 1 by Skanska). Massive data were collected and monitored for concrete cover details, but the approach failed because it was too detailed, and it was not extended to the whole project.

Table 9.1 HSl key performance indicators

Programme progress

Planned % complete

Actual % complete

Installation release notices (plan vs. actual)

Compliances (% sign off)

No. of permits to use (Ptu) deliverables

Safety and environment

Accident frequency rate (AFR)

Lost time accident (LTA)

Closure of environmental NCRs

Risk management

Top risks this period

Top risks last period

Quality

Non-conformance reports (NCRs)

Overdue corrective action requests (CARs)

Six Sigma cost savings

Costs

Budget variance

Cost forecasting

Cost performance (earned value analysis)

The absence of a balanced scorecard-based performance management system in HS1 shifted the dependence of performance monitoring to the rigorous and frequent audit processes at various levels. This apparent weakness of the performance management system supports the rationale for a well-designed performance management system as an additional construct for the conceptual model.

Organisation Effectiveness

When the LCR was awarded the concession to build the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), the UK Parliament provided the framework of the project in December 1996. As indicated earlier, the core organisation structure (see Figure 9.3) is underpinned by the client and project manager relationship and roles. LCR allocated the responsibility to UR to act as a client for the CTRL project. UR then appointed RLE as the project manager of CTRL. The two entities, UR and RLE, worked in partnership to deliver the project.

Each of the consortium members of RLE (viz. Arup, Bechtel, Halcrow and systra) possessed specific expertise, and together they covered the skills necessary for the design, development, procurement, construction and commissioning of the railway and associated infrastructure. UR as the client provided the interface with key stakeholders who were the parties affected by the CTRL, including the government, planning authorities, statutory environmental agencies, highway authorities and ultimately, the operators (Eurostar and Network Rail). RLE constituted the interface with contractors and suppliers.

Figure 9.3 CTRL HS1 core organisation structure

Source: High speed 1 Project.

UR and RLE jointly established a project structure whereby each entity had a clearly defined role and responsibility. This approach prevented duplication and ensured a partnership approach, evidenced by the joint mission statement and objectives signed by both parties. UR and RLE possessed a combined workforce of around 350 full-time employees. UR staff were recruited over a number of years to fulfil the requirement of project delivery, while RLE staff were drawn from the parent companies as and when required. The two organisations were virtually mirror images of each other with clear lines of communication (see Figure 9.4).

The government project representatives had members of its team located in the project head office near st Pancras, and also had access to construction sites and to project information on the designated intranet. The co-location allowed continual and informal contact with ‘opposite numbers’, supported by meetings and correspondence as necessary.

Although there was no general partnership concurrence made with contractors (just like the T5 agreement), formal agreements with each contractor were drawn up following the legal framework of New Engineering Contracts 2 (NEC). These contracts included the so-called ‘Z clauses’ of NEC, such as Z16 for transferring work scope to others in the event of non-performance by the contractor. A culture of openness and transparency had been developed by providing common access to project documents through the ‘InfoWorks’ electronic document storage and management system.

Figure 9.4 CTRL HS1 detail organisation structure

Source: High speed 1 Project.

The strong points of the HS1 project organisation effectiveness are centered on the clear role and partnership between UR as Client and RLE as Project manager, and the interfaces with stakeholders by UR. The roles of UR and RLE are summarised in Table 9.2.

Table 9.2 Roles of client (UR) and project manager (RLE) in HS1

Union Railways (UR) roles

Rail Link Engineering (RLE) roles

Client

Project manager

Preparation of client brief and preliminary design

Detailed design and engineering of client brief

Management of stakeholder interfaces

Management of contractors and construction interfaces

Land acquisition programme

Procurement

Compliance to client brief

Project management of construction

Budget and overall contingency

Project delivery and operation

Dealing with stakeholder interfaces (including 14 local authorities and 6,500 neighbours) of the railway project was a complex undertaking by UR. The client and stakeholders had numerous activities to assume both during and after RLE completed their work. In order to manage this, UR developed the project’s Integrated Client Programme (ICP). The ICP was a programme of high-level activities that involved interfaces between the project and stakeholders including Eurostar, London and continental stations and properties. On a four-weekly basis the activities in the programme were reviewed with stakeholders and then updated as necessary. On 14 November 2007 the Queen formally opened the high speed line of HS1 from St Pancras. By this date, only three contracts worth £50 million out of a total £5.2 billion were not fully closed due to the fact that work for ‘snag lists’ arising from IPC reviews was still in hand.

Operational Excellence Concepts and Applications

Bechtel was the first major engineering and construction company to adopt Six Sigma, a data-driven approach to improving efficiency and quality, in major projects. On big rail modernisation projects in the UK, including the HS1 project, Bechtel teams used six Sigma to minimise costly train delays caused by project work, and in so doing reduced the break-in period for renovated high-speed tracks.

The introduction of six Sigma to the HS1 project delivered both cost savings and programme benefits. The Six Sigma programme trained 23 black belts and around 250 green belts and yellow belts. A further 100+ senior managers were educated to act as champions in improvement projects. Over 500 such improvement projects were completed, which in turn led to a cost saving/avoidance of at least £40 million. These projects covered and benefited a wide range of activities across the whole of HS1 undertaking including numerous architectural, civil and railway construction endeavours. Consequently this had the effect of ensuring timely third-party methodology approvals, facilitating procurement, accelerating drawing reviews and allowing the timely generation of construction record documentation. It is evident that some of the improvement projects, such the reduction of lead time in methodology approvals and drawing reviews, also applied Lean Thinking concepts.

UR and RLE jointly submitted qualification reports to the British Quality Foundation (BQF) for an EFQM Award. These documents were submitted in two sections – Part 1 comprising enabling factors (such as leadership, policy and strategy, people, partnership and resources and processes) and Part 2 detailing results factors (such as people, customers, society and KPIs). The proposal was assessed externally by qualified EFQM assessors from the BQF and the HS1 project received the EFQM Award in 2007. The evaluation revealed more strong points of the project in the realm of the enabling factors but weaker aspects in the results factors. The HS1 project also received the ‘Project of the Decade’ award in February 2008 from the London Transport Awards.

The application of supply chain management concepts was relatively limited in the HS1 scheme. Individual contractors managed their own supply chain and procurement. The benefits of a single supplier and centralised procurement (for example for lining segments) were achieved in the tunnelling project.

Self-assessments and Knowledge Management

As part of the HS1 audit strategy, pre-audit health checks were conducted by site teams using the same audit brief and checklist. These pre-audits helped the preparation of the appraisal at each site, and also ensured that the auditees completed the outstanding section B (for agreed corrected action) of CAR forms with scheduled completion dates.

In addition to the pre-audit health checks, the project team (RLE), client (UE) and contractors developed a self-assessment culture as part of their qualification for EFQM accreditation. However, there was no specially designed checklist for self-assessment, only the EFQM criteria were applied. Following appropriate training, periodic health checks were carried out for both enabling and performance criteria of EFQM, and the HS1 project was awarded the British Quality Foundation Excellence Award in 2007. self-assessment was used primarily to meet EFQM requirements but not to identify skill gaps for people development.

When project leaders identified the need to recruit a new member to the team, suitable candidates from member companies were sought. All positions had job descriptions detailing education, skills and experience requirements. The member companies had extensive people resources worldwide and a wide range of specialist skills were available when needed. A survey in early 2007 showed that 23 nations were represented in the venture. According to an internal report, the project worked in excess of 82 million hours without any time lost due to industrial relation disputes.

A clear distinction was made between training specific to the delivery of the endeavour, which was funded by the project and training for personal development, and career progression which remained the responsibility of member companies. A good example of project-specific education was the comprehensive approach to health and safety training including site inductions. Instruction in six Sigma was given to 250 people who were also empowered to identify problems, create a business case, investigate the difficulties and instigate improvements.

Member companies of RLE had their own process for dialogue and sharing best practices. For example, Bechtel used an employee forum with the minutes made available on their own Bechtel intranet. Arup employed a similar process known as ‘Airtime’. Presentations were regularly given by leaders on the progress of the project with a summary of successes and the challenges that ahead.

Even after the opening of St Pancras on 14 November 2007, HS1 maintained a skeleton project team for over six months to ensure the legacy and sustainable outcome of the scheme.

A Comparative Assessment of the T5 and HS1 Projects

Both Heathrow T5 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link HS1 projects have enjoyed high-profile media and public attention in recent years in the UK, and showed some remarkable similarities in their project background and project management best practices. For example, both schemes went through several years of public review before approval. Both were major infrastructure projects comprising rail, roads, buildings and systems linking London with the outside world. HS1 was split into two major aspects: Section 1 (between the Channel Tunnel and Ebbsfleet) and Section 2 (north to south network from St Pancras). Similarly, T5 was also divided into two phases: the T5 A and B buildings as Phase 1 and the T5 C building as Phase 2. Both were mega projects with multibillion pound spends (HS1 had £5.8 billion and T5 with £4.3 billion). section 2 of HS1 was completed with the opening by the Queen at St Pancras on 14 November 2007, and then a few months later, the Queen opened Heathrow Terminal 5 on 27 March 2008.

With this similar background, what is the comparative assessment of project quality and excellence-related best practices between these two projects? Also, under the six components of project quality and excellence, how do these case studies help to explain and support the research questions?

In line with the conceptual research model and further analysis of the two case studies, a checklist for the Assessment of Project Excellence, named APEX, has been developed under the six major constructs/components/categories of project quality and excellence as follows:

  1. Quality management systems and procedures

  2. Quality audits and compliance

  3. Performance management

  4. organisation effectiveness

  5. operational excellence concepts and applications

  6. Self-assessments and knowledge management.

As shown in Table 9.3, each component comprises five questions or items in the checklist. This checklist has been carefully constructed on the basis of findings from the literature review, field research and case studies.

Table 9.3 Assessment of Project Excellence (APEX) checklist

There are 30 questions in total (5 questions in each category) which are ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 = not important and 5 = most important. The overall figures (out of the maximum grade of 130) for the T5 and HS1 projects were 114 (76 per cent) and 121 (81 per cent) respectively. The average scores in each category for both projects are shown in Table 9.4 and presented graphically in Figure 9.5. These results will be called APEX scores.

Table 9.4 APEX Scores for T5 and HS1 projects

Category

T5 project

HS1 project

Total

Average

Total

Average

Quality management systems and procedures

20

4

21

4.2

Quality audit and compliance

20

4

24

4.8

Performance management

23

4.6

14

3.0

Organisational effectiveness

21

4.2

22

4.4

Operation excellence concepts

13

2.6

20

4.0

Self-assessment and knowledge management

17

3.4

19

3.8

Overall

114 (76%)

3.80

121 (81%)

4.05

Figure 9.5 The APEX chart of T5 and HS1 projects

Source: Present research.

The rationale of scoring and the specific strengths of the T5 and HS1 projects are discussed in the following section under the six major constructs/components/ categories of project quality and excellence.

Quality Management Systems and Procedures

Both the T5 and HS1 projects had well-structured and documented quality management guidelines to cover quality planning, quality assurance, quality audit and control and quality improvement of project teams as well as suppliers. As indicated in the case study, the primary focus of quality in the T5 project is the quality assurance of suppliers governed by the quality requirements specification and team execution plan. Furthermore, the quality procedures were continuously reviewed with formally structured forums which allowed the information and decision process to be cascaded up and down the project quality organisation.

In the HS1 undertaking, a project-specific quality management system was designed from existing best practices of the member companies of the consortium. The Bechtel experience of PMBOK and Arup’s knowledge of PRINCE2 were reported to be incorporated in detail procedures. The quality policy statement also established that the project’s quality commitments were in compliance with ISO 9001 in the development agreements of contractor quality plans.

This constitutes a strong area of both projects, and thus the scores varied between ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’.

Quality Audit and Compliance

The processes and execution of the HS1 project excelled in the area of quality audit and compliance. As indicated earlier, the fundamental principles and best practices of project audits and health checks have been gainfully adopted and customised to the monitoring and evaluation management systems of HS1, in order to meet the specific requirements of this complex major undertaking.

The T5 project also exercised a robust audit process at three levels. As indicated earlier, the robustness of the T5 Audit processes was underpinned by the decisions made by the quality management executive to determine the appropriate levels, risk focus, safety, gateway decisions and readiness for key construction events. The audit results were also linked to performance management and improvement priorities.

This also represents a strong area for both projects. The HS1 scheme in particular demonstrated additional strength and rigour in assessing compliance and was, on the whole, an outstanding example of project audit and compliance.

Performance Management

The T5 project demonstrated excellent processes and key performance indicators, incorporating a balanced scorecard approach in managing project performance. This is an exceptional example of the application of a properly designed performance management system in a complex project. As indicated earlier, the best practices of project performance management arising from this case study included the encouragement of the supplier partnership, and the proactive involvement of contractors in monitoring and improving project quality and conformance to standards.

Performance management forms a relatively weak area for the HS1 project. Key performance indicators were focused on monitoring time, cost and safety and were not based on a balanced scorecard approach. The emphasis appeared to be more on control after the event (supported by an excellent audit process), rather than assurance and prevention of non-conformance.

Thus this represents is a strong area for T5 and but a weak zone for HS1.

Organisation Effectiveness

This is another strong field for both projects. The organisation structure of both the T5 and HS1 projects included a steering team (project board), project teams and a support team with a dedicated quality manager and budget for quality.

An additional strong point of the T5 project was its T5 agreement, which was fundamental to the success of the supplier partnership. It appeared that BAA, with its established capital projects department, was in a better position to sustain good relationships with major contractors. The HS1 venture, although not so robust in its supplier partnership agreement, had a consortium under the umbrella of RLE. A major asset of the HS1 organisation was the role of UR as client acting as an effective interface with powerful customers like the government, Rail Track/ Network Rail and Eurostar. It can be argued that in the case of the T5 project, the role of the integrator director as the interface between BAA and BA did not work well, and could be a contributing factor to the problems at the T5 terminal during the early stage of its operations.

This is an area where both projects scored very well and could do even better by complementing and emulating each other.

Operational Excellence Concepts

There was evidence of the excellent application of Six Sigma and EFQM in the HS1 project. As described earlier, Bechtel teams used Six Sigma to minimise costly train delays caused by project work and thus reduced the break-in period for renovated high-speed tracks. The introduction of Six Sigma to the HS1 project delivered both cost savings and programme benefits.

The application of supply chain concepts could be further improved in the HS1 project, while supply chain management was a particularly strong suit in the T5 venture. As indicated earlier, a supply chain management function was incorporated into the T5 project organisation to make the best of supplier partnership in the procurement of supply and services. However, T5 missed the opportunity of applying Six Sigma and EFQM, although the culture of Lean Thinking was evident.

Hence, this is an area where the HS1 project was significantly stronger than that of T5.

Self-assessment and Knowledge Management

Both T5 and HS1 showed workable processes of periodic self-assessment (prior to the audit schedules) and training programmes. This self-assessment was arguably more structured in the HS1 project with the support of checklists from EFQM.

The T5 project introduced an interrelated four-tier approach of embedding a quality culture to project team members and suppliers. In the HS1 plan, training specific to the delivery of the scheme was funded by the project, and education for personal development and career progression remained the responsibility of member companies. Both projects also established their own process for dialogue and sharing best practices. This then can be seen as a good area for both projects.

Apex Model

As discussed above, one significant practical outcome of this research is the development of an APEX (Assessing Project Excellence) model. Qureshi et al (2009) conclude that by conducting an empirical study and checking the impact, a simplified excellence model has the potential to be used as a framework to assess project management performance. The 30 questions in this model have been derived from this research, and supported by the best practices of the T5 and HS1 projects. The questions are comprehensive regarding project quality and excellence, but they are not so exhaustive that they could claim to carry out a holistic assessment of all aspects of project management; it is not intended as a substitute for EFQM or a CMMI type of assessment. However, it is simple, interactive and user-friendly and focused on self-assessment. Even the organisations planning to apply for accreditation by external excellence and maturity models can benefit from using APEX as a first step towards achieving project excellence goals.

The guidelines for considering each question is given in Appendix 1. These guiding principles are focused primarily on major projects and there could be variations depending on the type and size of a scheme. As described by Grude, Turner and Wateridge (1996), the results can be analysed individually, both within and between groups. When analysing within groups, it likely that, in spite of guidelines, there could be variations in the scoring of each question. This variance can be calculated as follows (Grude, Turner and Wateridge 1996):

Where

x is the individual score

N is the number of people in the group

X is the mean score for the question, X = Σ x/N.

When there is a high variance – two or greater according to Grude, Turner and Wateridge (1996) – there is major disagreement among members and the reason for such divergence should be explored. However, the intention of this model is a qualitative exercise to encourage self-assessment, and not to achieve quantitative results focusing on statistics and parameters such as confidence limits.

In order to ease the scoring and assessment process, APEXTM has been developed and is described in Appendix 2.

Exploratory and Explanatory Findings

As indicated earlier, the two case studies adopted both exploratory and explanatory approaches (Yin, 2003). The findings from the exploratory approach identified the best practices followed in the T5 and HS1 projects and responded to ‘what’ questions, while the exploratory approach responded to ‘how’ questions and established its results from the questionnaire survey and PLS modelling. Tables 9.5 and 9.6 respectively summarise the main findings from the exploratory and explanatory approaches.

It is to be noted that the strengths of T5 were the gaps in HS1 and, likewise, the strong processes of HS1 were missing in T5. According to Yin (2003), exploratory objectives of case study research relate to the exploration of a phenomenon through ‘what’ questions, and also develop hypotheses or propositions by analytical induction. Eisenhardt (1989) emphasises the importance of the development of theory in exploratory studies, while Marshall and Rossman (1989) support the need for a better understanding of processes in exploring case studies. The exploratory objectives in this research were focused on seeking and understanding best practices relevant to research questions in the T5 and HS1 projects. A comprehensive list of best practices emerged by adopting the strengths from both the T5 and HS1 projects.

Table 9.5 Summary of exploratory findings

Case study

Main strengths

Main gaps

Terminal 5

Balanced scorecard-based performance management system suppler partnership and T5 agreement supply chain management in major projects

Weak client role (British Airways) in project organisation

Absence of EFQM and six Sigma

High speed 1

Strong client role (union Railways) in project organisation

Application of EFQM and six Sigma in major projects

Retaining a follow-up project team after the formal opening of st Pancras

Absence of balanced scorecard-based performance management system

Less formal application of supply chain management

Table 9.6 Summary of explanatory findings

Constructs

Terminal 5

High speed 1

Quality management systems

Well-structured and documented quality management guidelines to cover quality planning, quality assurance, quality audit and control and also quality improvement of the project teams as well as suppliers

Well-structured and documented quality management guidelines to cover quality planning, quality assurance, quality audit and control and also quality improvement of the project teams as well as suppliers

Audit and compliance

A robust audit process at three levels

Excelled in the area of quality audit and compliance

Performance management

Demonstrated excellent processes and key performance indicators incorporating a balanced scorecard approach in managing project performance

Key performance indicators were focused on monitoring time, cost and safety and not based on a balanced scorecard approach

Organisation effectiveness

The organisation structure included steering team, project teams and support team with a dedicated quality manager and budget for quality supported by T5 agreement for supplier partnership

The organisation structure included steering team, project teams and support team with a dedicated quality manager and budget for quality

Operational excellence concepts

Supply chain management as a particularly strong area

Evidence of excellent application of six Sigma and EFQM

Self-assessment and knowledge management

Workable processes of periodic self-assessment, prior to the audit schedules, and training programmes

Workable processes of periodic self-assessment, prior to the audit schedules, and training programmes and a strong client relationship to sustain longer-term outcomes

There are no fixed recipes for building or comparing explanations (Yin and Heinsohn, 1980). According to Campbell (1975) and Yin (2003), the search for enlightenment from cases is a kind of pattern matching process. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2007) explain Yin’s pattern matching (2003) and suggest the need to establish a conceptual framework, and then test the adequacy of that framework in case studies. In this research, the conceptual research model (see Figure 6.2) was taken as the conceptual framework for the pattern matching and explanation building of constructs. For three constructs – quality management systems, audit and compliance and organisation effectiveness – the pattern of processes and their implications in both the T5 and HS1 projects matched well. The pattern also compared closely for self-assessment and knowledge management. This matching of constructs strengthens the internal validity of the conceptual model. Two other constructs – performance management and operational excellence concepts – were ‘complemented’ in two projects. In other words, the strength in one project in these two constructs appeared as gaps in the second one. Yin and Heald (1975) applied aggregation of factors of case studies to explain urban decentralisation. The aggregate of combined factors from the T5 and HS1 projects in all six constructs provides explanations and logical patterns to support the requirements of the constructs for project quality and project excellence.

The above pattern matching and explanation building processes have helped to link the case study data to support the propositions. The resulting constructs of the conceptual model (see Figure 6.2) are summarised below:

  • The matching of four constructs in case studies – quality management systems, audit and compliance, organisation effectiveness and self-assessment and knowledge management – supports the corresponding constructs in the conceptual model.

  • The strength of the construct operational excellence concepts in HS1 supports the corresponding construct in the model. It is argued (Holmes and Whelan, 2009) that the absence of Six Sigma in T5 might have contributed to the problems during the opening of the terminal.

  • The strength of the construct performance management in T5 underlines the gap in the construct quality, compliance and measures in the conceptual model (see Figure 6.2). This supports the rationale for an additional construct in the model.

Conclusions

The case studies of the T5 and HS1 projects have contributed not only in explanatory analyses of research questions and propositions in the present research, but also to the knowledge and best practices in project quality and excellence. The key conclusions include:

  • Both projects are contemporary flagship schemes in building sustainable transport infrastructures in south-east England and show remarkably comparable project characteristics.

  • The case studies have explained the definition and dimension of qualities, and also the impact of the application of excellence models and operational excellence concepts in major projects. These examples and explanations have helped to answer four research questions and also to support three propositions.

  • The best practices of both projects have identified their strong points and shortcomings in the components of project quality and excellence. These strengths and gaps appeared to complement each project. For example, the T5 venture could have improved its organisation effectiveness by adopting a more robust client role as occurred in the HS1 project, and could have significantly benefited by the application of operational excellence concepts such as Six Sigma and EFQM. Likewise, the HS1 project could have gained from the application of the balance scorecard-based performance management system and supplier partnership (i.e. the T5 Agreement) and supply chain management that occurred in the T5 project.

  • The case study of T5 in particular has supported the need for an additional construct (performance management) in line with the conclusions on additional latent variables by Temme, Paulssen and Dannewald (2008).

  • The case studies have helped to develop a 6-category and 30-question-based, simple but effective process called APEX to assess the key constructs of project quality and excellence. This self-assessment process could be used as the first step of a ‘health check’ to identify strengths and weaknesses in managing quality and excellence in a major project.

The analysis of the practical data of both T5 and HS1 projects has helped to support the conceptual model (Figure 6.2) and the findings of the results from semi-structured interviews, questionnaire survey and PLS modeling. Furthermore these case studies have identified practical pointers to the success of future major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and London Airport extensions.

Мидж подошла к принтеру и, забрав распечатку очередности задач, попыталась просмотреть ее в темноте. - Ничего не вижу, - пожаловалась.  - Включи свет. - Прочитаешь за дверью. А теперь выходи.

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