Infrastructure

Don’t bank on an infrastructure boom – it’s time to work smarter

nick Coaching, Comment, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

Infrastructure is back on the agenda in a big way in the US. There are two good reasons why. First, the current incumbent of the White House has put infrastructure spending at the top of the agenda (well, first after immigration and healthcare reform…); because in a hat-tip to Roosevelt’s pump priming-policies, massive investment infrastructure not only creates jobs (especially Trump’s homespun blue-collar jobs for American people narrative), it also repays dividends in community benefit and long-term regeneration. Second, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has just released its Infrastructure Report Card – a simple assessment of the state …

nickDon’t bank on an infrastructure boom – it’s time to work smarter

Realising efficiency after the Quick Wins are done: A vision for infrastructure in 2017

nick A2B People, A2B Presentations, Benefits Realisation, Coaching, Comment, Culture Change, Homepage, partnerships, Rapid Improvement Workshops, Team Optimisation Leave a Comment

In November 2016 at the Highways UK conference, Jim spoke passionately about the future of major projects and infrastructure in the post-Brexit world of uncertainty. There’s no question that infrastructure is a key element of economic recovery and national pride – but project management offices are under ever greater pressure to cut costs and demonstrate value. We say: The Quick Wins are over. There’s nothing left to trim back. And people can’t work any harder, either – like tired doctors and drained pilots, more pressure doesn’t yield a better result. Yet high-performing organisations successfully complete 89% of their projects, while low …

nickRealising efficiency after the Quick Wins are done: A vision for infrastructure in 2017
2016 and all that!

“2016 and all that”: What just happened, and what’s next?

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At this time of year, most companies do some sort of “look back at the year just gone, and a look ahead to the coming year”. I’m probably not the only MD to be sitting at his desk, rubbing his eyes in disbelief. Twelve months ago, the idea that we would be on our way out of the EU (probably, sort of, maybe, in some way, eventually), that the outsider candidate would win the Presidency, and the idea that our borrowing targets would be out of the window – well, it’s all faintly surreal. Where does that leave us? Well, …

nick“2016 and all that”: What just happened, and what’s next?

Jim Abbatt speaks at Highways UK event

nick A2B Presentations, Benefits Realisation, Homepage, Rapid Improvement Workshops, Training Leave a Comment

A2B Excellence has a rich heritage in civils and construction; but the majority of our work has been in rail. In the past year, we have begun to apply our programme improvement methodologies to highways too – and just in time: Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced over £1bn in spending to improve Britain’s roads. We have been working in partnership with TRL, the UK’s leading independent strategic transport business, to build coherent, forward-thinking highways infrastructure propositions. As long-standing partners in TRL’s highways consortium (also including civil engineering giants, Jacobs and Costain, and environmental consultancy, the Temple Group) we were therefore …

nickJim Abbatt speaks at Highways UK event

Brexit for Infrastructure: Strong Leadership Required

nick Collaborative Planning, Comment, Homepage, Performance Deep Dive, Transformation Leave a Comment

So the people of Britain have pushed the nuclear button on our relationship with Europe. As the analysts (and financial tipsters) pick their jaws up off the floor, let’s examine the effect on the major infrastructure and construction industries. The chances of a Scottish block or a second referendum for England are extremely low, but there’s a big difference between complete disengagement and an arms-length relationship. There is therefore plenty of uncertainty: Right to play: Our right to bid to participate in projects depends on the nature of our new relationship. If we remain in the EEA and still play …

nickBrexit for Infrastructure: Strong Leadership Required
Five Secrets

Five Secrets the Project Management Books won’t Tell You!

nick A2B Presentations, Coaching, Comment, Homepage Leave a Comment

A2B Excellence are regular contributors at the Young Rail Professionals group – an informal gathering of tomorrow’s rail leaders, which now numbers over 1900 members. Our most recent presentation, “5 Secrets the Project Management Books Won’t Tell You” was both well-received and rigorously questioned; and for those of you who couldn’t make it, it’s now available online. We’ll show you: Why successful project management is about people, not processes. Useful things you can do in your organisation right now, at no cost, to improve your success rate and; How to deploy your resources to keep projects on time, on budget and …

nickFive Secrets the Project Management Books won’t Tell You!

See Graeme again at the LCI Summit

nick Clients, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

We love it when our friends and advocates get a bit of recognition. We’ve been working with Graeme Shaw (now Head of the prestigious Northern Line Extension project in London) for several years, and he has unfailingly blown the trumpet for A2B methodologies: empowered staff, inbuilt simplicity and Lean attitudes as well as Lean processes. Graeme will be speaking for the second year running at the Lean Construction Institute UK’s annual Summit (date etc. to be announced shortly). If you can’t wait, see him in action as part of this LCI video of the 2014 event. Graeme is not just an …

nickSee Graeme again at the LCI Summit

An Autumn Statement for Infrastructure

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. The big project in Chancellor Osborne’s Autumn Statement was the announcement that Britain will play a leading role in the international programme for the exploration of Mars. Nothing wrong with a bit of ambition, but let’s focus closer to home. Britain has done quite a good job of commissioning infrastructure projects to prime the economic pump since the recession began in 2008. Whether you agree with the projects or not (HS2, I’m talking about you…), we know that Big Construction brings big benefits. Crossrail is 75% done, HS2 is on its way, there will …

adminAn Autumn Statement for Infrastructure

Another reason why Programme Managers are also HR Managers

admin Homepage, Performance Deep Dive, Transformation Leave a Comment

“Skills to Build”, a new report by KPMG, has hit the headlines in the past couple of days (here’s a link to ICAEW, but you’ll also find the story in the mainstream press – quite exciting for an infrastructure story! The big story of Skills to Build is that the UK faces a critical skills shortage for major projects. KPMG’s focus is on housing (a shortage of which of course makes it even harder for new construction talent, immigrant or home-grown, to put down roots in our cities). But the same is true in other aspects of heavy industry. And …

adminAnother reason why Programme Managers are also HR Managers
TfL

A2B Lean Transformation Presentation at Infrarail

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Over the last four years, London Underground has taken unprecedented steps to allow its staff to make business-changing decisions; to be allowed to practice and experiment. The process, involving every level and specialisation within this arm of London Underground, has had a dramatic effect, creating a paradigm shift that was often thought of as impossible. In this presentation, delivered at Infrarail 2014, you can see how we achieved it. http://prezi.com/_onb-lpvo0p1/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

adminA2B Lean Transformation Presentation at Infrarail