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?

nick Comment, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

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
Sideways 6

Partnership with Sideways 6: Engagement in the palm of your hand

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Here at A2B Excellence, we haven’t stopped banging on about employee engagement for at least four years. We’ve won awards, we’ve changed large organisations and positively affected their futures and outcomes. But as employee engagement has become a buzzword in its own right, it’s easy to forget exactly what it looks like on the ground. So let’s revisit. Long before the term became commonplace, we used to say something fundamental which has become a part of the soul of our business: “The greatest overall improvements in output and efficiency today won’t come from shaving costs, the upheaval of endless reorganisations …

nickPartnership with Sideways 6: Engagement in the palm of your hand
Money Doesn't Always Talk

Money doesn’t always talk

nick Comment, Culture Change, engagement, Homepage, Rapid Improvement Workshops, Team Optimisation Leave a Comment

In this interesting article from the BBC, a fund manager, Neil Woodford, explains why he has stopped paying bonuses to his staff. Instead, his team will get an increase in pay and benefits. I think this is interesting – not because Mr Woodford is doing something new, but because he is being honest. He says that bonuses have become a given; something his employees feel they are entitled to. And in financial services, he is probably right. Therefore, they should not be called bonuses, because they are not incentivising improved activity. There is another argument that in financial services, where the media …

nickMoney doesn’t always talk
EE Award 2016 Finalist

Three years, three nominations – we’ve done it again!

nick Awards, Clients, engagement, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

A2B Excellence are over the moon to announce that our client, Transport for London’s Four Lines Modernisation programme (4LM), has been declared a finalist in the 2016 global Employee Engagement Awards (International Category). 4LM is a huge project – including the world’s largest signalling programme; and features over 2500 team members on three continents spread across multiple main partners and delivery subcontractors. It’s a great example of the sort of structure which is prevalent in complex projects, and where engagement efforts can yield exceptional results in motivation, productivity and outputs. The 4LM management team’s commitment has led to independently verified improvements in …

nickThree years, three nominations – we’ve done it again!

People & Skills 2015 – an A2B Excellence Presentation

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What happened to ‘jobs for life’? Why do some employees want sabbaticals to go travelling while others crave security? Why don’t companies seem to think further than three months ahead? At A2B Excellence, our work on major projects always starts with the people on the team; and this has led us to understand the motivations of a rapidly changing workforce in a rapidly changing world. This is the presentation that Drew Barritt and Cari Hewer of A2B Excellence first gave at the Yong Rail Professionals meeting in September 2015; we have put it in video form for you here.

nickPeople & Skills 2015 – an A2B Excellence Presentation