Programme Controls

 

The Programme Controls Team set out to develop a world-class controls function which, through robust reporting and sound programme management protocols, would support the Crossrail programme to deliver the works safely and to time, specification and cost. To this end, the Controls function was built on four key principles. These were to:

 

  1. Set the standards: Provide the definition of processes and procedures to be adhered to throughout the programme;
  2. Provide integrated information: Provide decision makers and members of the Executive, the Board and the Sponsors with reliable and timely information on the current and projected status of the programme;
  3. Bring foresight and advice: Provide programme level analysis and insight based on interpreting project level data; and
  4. Provide assurance: Support the management and control of the delivery costs, schedule and performance objectives for the whole programme to minimise risk of failure.

Through the delivery of the core base services of planning, cost management, risk management, programme change management and reporting, the ambition has been met, and continues to evolve as Crossrail heads into the final delivery phase. These learning legacy pages seek to share the processes, systems and some templates with the direct intention of helping others establish an approach that delivers effective but efficient programme controls. Below are some of the key lessons that have been learnt to date, including:

  1. Obtaining agreement on the work breakdown structure and implementing it with zero tolerance;
  2. The use Primavera P6 for planning and nothing else;
  3. Keeping the Controls community out of too much detail;
  4. Starting formal programme performance reviews early;
  5. Produce the best management reports you can;
  6. Reinforcing the culture to build confidence.

Crossrail benefitted from the lessons of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Through shared information, Crossrail has maintained simplicity at the heart of its approach. Examples such as the Planning Handbook and the industry leading approach to Performance Management, the use of Earned Value and, later on, Earned Schedule, are all areas of relevance to future projects and programmes.

Crossrail Head of Programme Controls, Richard Palczynski explains Crossrail’s approach to programme controls in this webinar:

Programme Controls Documents:

Summary Publication date Document Type

Commercial Assurance Reporting

Topic area: Programme Controls

A programme controls approach was needed to integrate commercial management information, to support decision making at the programme and sector level. Periodic Programme Controls Working Group meetings, combined with data and trend analysis, facilitated a good understanding of commercial performance across each of the ...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Engaging the Supply Chain in Risk Management

Topic area: Risk Management

Managing risk and uncertainty was identified as being a  critical element from the start of the Crossrail project. The size, complexity, nature of the works, and ‘thin client’ operating model resulted in a requirement to extend risk management into the supply chain. This paper describes the process of doin...

14/03/2017 Micro-report

Risk and Assurance

Topic area: Risk Management

For Crossrail Risk and Assurance played a key role in keeping the organisation on track and within its project delivery targets. As a public sector funded project, Crossrail has to provide assurance to a number of external bodies in relation to its governance and effectiveness of delivery. This paper describes its appr...

14/03/2017 Micro-report

Strategic Risk Management

Topic area: Risk Management

From an early stage of the project, managing risk and uncertainty was identified as being critical to the successful delivery of the Crossrail project. The project’s senior management were strongly supportive and actively engaged in implementing the risk management process, which facilitated the creation of a dedicat...

14/03/2017 Micro-report

Programme Efficiency and Cost Reduction During the Delivery Phase

Topic area: Reporting

Crossrail is committed to safely deliver a world class railway, on time, and at the lowest possible cost. It is required of all involved in the delivery and management of the programme to drive efficiency and maximise value for money. In 2015, the Crossrail leadership team agreed cost reduction targets with key project...

14/03/2017 Micro-report

Programme Controls Webinar – Commercial Assurance

Topic area: Programme Controls Webinar Series

This was the seventh in a series of Crossrail Learning Legacy webinars focused on Project and Programme Management hosted by our partners at the APM. This was the final webinar of the series. The scope of Commercial Assurance spans across the Crossrail Programme, with a particular focus on contracts where Crossrail ha...

15/11/2016 Video

Board Reporting

Topic area: Reporting

Effective reporting is a result of many separate elements of the Crossrail machine working in harmony to transfer understanding rather than transmit information. To do this in a timely and effective way requires supporting systems and structures and for the value of the outputs to be recognised across the Programme. Th...

24/10/2016 Case Study

Programme Controls Webinar- Performance Assurance

Topic area: Programme Controls Webinar Series

This was the sixth in a series of Crossrail Learning Legacy webinars focused on Project and Programme Management hosted by our partners at the APM. A key challenge for Crossrail and its stakeholders was to create a mechanism for assuring that Tier 1 contractors were collectively performing at a level that would enable...

19/10/2016 Video

Cost Management and Forecasting Procedure

Topic area: Cost Control

This procedure is an integral component to the Crossrail Controls approach and toolset, and applies to all functional departments in the Crossrail Programme responsible for managing and reporting cost. This procedure details the systems, processes, procedures and tools required to identify, collect, integrate and analy...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Estimating Procedure

Topic area: Cost Control

This document sets out the role of the Programme Controls Estimating Team and the procedures and approach undertaken in the preparation of estimates and other activities that were identified as being the responsibility of the estimating team. This procedure applies to the central estimating team and identifies the inte...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Risk Management Plan

Topic area: Risk Management

Managing risk and uncertainty is vital to the successful delivery of Crossrail. This Risk Management Plan describes the activities, governance, roles, responsibilities and process which are required to ensure that Crossrail manages its risks effectively. It forms part of a consistent suite of documentation which descri...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Risk Management Policy

Topic area: Risk Management

Managing risk and uncertainty is critical to the successful delivery of Crossrail. This Risk Management Policy was put in place to ensure that risk management is an integral, visible and consistent part of routine management activity across the programme. It also outlines how effective risk management can support progr...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Quantitative Risk Assessment Procedure

Topic area: Risk Management

The purpose of this procedure is to set out how Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) is undertaken on Crossrail. It represents a quality plan for achieving Crossrail risk management objectives. It is written to accord with the: Crossrail Risk Management Plan Crossrail Risk Management Procedure Change Control and Budget ...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Commercial Assurance Procedure

Topic area: Commercial Assurance

This document sets out the agreed process for operating Crossrail’s Commercial Assurance Function. The purpose is to provide a clear and consistent overview of: the vision for Commercial Assurance the process of operating Commercial Assurance accountabilities for the implementation of Commercial Assurance The scope...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Reporting Procedures Handbook

Topic area: Reporting

The purpose of this handbook is to outline the reporting procedures at Crossrail for producing, issuing and amending progress reports on the programme. It provides information targeted at 3 key groups: Sponsor, Board, Executive or Crossrail Function members – providing a high level overview of how reporting is carri...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Work Breakdown Structure

Topic area: Cost Control

This micro-report gives an overview of how the work breakdown structure (WBS) has been developed and how it is maintained and controlled across the Crossrail programme through the Cost Management System (PRISM). It will be of interest to all those delivering major and complex projects.

27/09/2016 Micro-report

Change Control Process

Topic area: Change Management

This micro-report describes the process Crossrail used to control change to the Baseline of scope, cost and schedule at Programme level.

27/09/2016 Micro-report

Contingency Management

Topic area: Change Management

This micro-report describes how contingency budgets were established, delegated and managed by Crossrail, and the different categories of contingency budget. It explains the link between contingency and risk management, and control systems.

27/09/2016 Micro-report

Programme Baseline Control

Topic area: Change Management

This micro-report describes the process to establish the Crossrail Programme Baseline and the components of the Baseline, including the high level Work Breakdown Structure.

27/09/2016 Micro-report

The Planning and Scheduling Handbook

Topic area: Planning

Crossrail Planning and Scheduling Handbook The Planning and Scheduling handbook describes how planning is undertaken at Crossrail. It is an intranet based tool that pulls together the various guidance notes and desktop instructions into one page through a series of linked documents as shown below. This handbook is shar...

27/09/2016 Good Practice Document

Health and Safety Performance Index (HSPI )

Topic area: Health and Safety improvements

The Health and Safety Performance Index (HSPI) is Crossrail’s leading indicator measurement programme, focussed on Crossrail’s 6 Target Zero Pillars, which are considered the foundation for good health and safety management.  These are; Leadership & Behaviour; Design for H&S; Communications; Workplace Heal...

27/09/2016 Case Study

Programme Controls Webinar – Risk

Topic area: Programme Controls Webinar Series

This was the fifth in a series of Crossrail Learning Legacy webinars focused on Project and Programme Management hosted by our partners at the APM. From an early stage Crossrail recognised that managing risk was critical to the success of the programme. Crossrail implemented risk management across the organisation wit...

22/09/2016 Video

Programme Controls Webinar – Planning

Topic area: Programme Controls Webinar Series

This was the fourth in a series of Crossrail Learning Legacy webinars focused on Project and Programme Management hosted by our partners at the APM. The Planning function in Crossrail supports the overall delivery and reporting requirements of the business. The planning methodology is detailed in the Planning and Sche...

15/09/2016 Video

Programme Controls Webinar – Change Control

Topic area: Programme Controls Webinar Series

The third webinar in the series on Crossrail Programme Controls covered the establishment of the programme baseline of scope, cost and schedule, and the process to control change to the baseline at programme level. It described how contingency budgets were established, delegated and managed, and refers to the control s...

01/09/2016 Video

Programme Controls Webinar – Reporting

Topic area: Programme Controls Webinar Series

This was the second in a series of Crossrail Learning Legacy webinars focused on Project and Programme Management hosted by our partners at the APM. As a high profile, highly complex programme with a large number of internal and external stakeholders, Crossrail has diverse user groups for its management information. T...

28/07/2016 Video

Programme Controls Webinar -Overview

Topic area: Programme Controls Webinar Series

This was the first in a series of Crossrail Learning Legacy webinars focused on Project and Programme Management, hosted by our partners at the APM. This webinar aims to provide an overview of the programme controls put in place on the programme. The Crossrail Programme Controls Team set out to develop a world-class c...

15/06/2016 Video

Crossrail Approach to Earned Value

Topic area: Cost Control

The aim of the Crossrail performance measurement regime was to provide a comprehensive, consistent, timely and reliable view of the programme’s performance that predicted performance, and triggered management action to positively influence the outcome. Earned Value (EV) was one indicator of performance and was used i...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Crossrail Approach to Estimating

Topic area: Cost Control

This report summarises Crossrail’s approach to Estimating, to provide predictability around capital investment and operating costs as well as the critical evaluation of affordability and value for money. This report sets out the role of the Programme Controls Estimating Team, the procedures and approach undertaken as...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Schedule Reporting

Topic area: Planning

Reporting is a necessary requirement for all projects and developing the methodologies adopted by Crossrail for schedule management and reporting has been key to the success of the programme so far.  This learning legacy paper provides an overview of some of the key principles adopted by Crossrail in the delivery of t...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Crossrail Approach to Managing Interfaces

Topic area: Planning

Identification and definition of interfaces has been critical to the success of Crossrail so far, especially given the number of different Industry Partners involved in delivering the infrastructure.  This learning legacy paper provides an overview of some of the key principles adopted by Crossrail in the delivery of ...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Key Commodity Monitoring

Topic area: Planning

Crossrail defines a commodity as a measurable piece of work (eg, linear metres of tunnelling, track laying, platform concrete poured etc).  It was recognised that the early identification and monitoring of key commodities was critical to programme success and effective decision making. Undertaking Commodity reporting...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Crossrail Approach to Managing and Planning Design

Topic area: Planning

Planning of detailed design is often seen as abstract and difficult to measure progress against.  This learning legacy paper describes how Crossrail, in conjunction with the design gates in the V-Lifecycle (Validation and Verification)  technical assurance process, developed a detailed design programme in P6 and lear...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Risk Videos

Topic area: Risk Management

A number of videos have been produced outlining the importance of risk management to Crossrail and also detailing how it is important for the project to consider the risk strategy when working with contractors and the wider supply  chain. Each of the videos are linked below: The importance of Risk Management to the...

26/02/2016 Video

Performance Assurance Framework

Topic area: Audit & Assurance

Crossrail’s approach to performance measurement was based on 6 core areas aligned to corporate objectives, using traditional quantitative based KPIs but supplemented with qualitative based assessments of the supply-chain’s maturity to provide a much richer picture of supply-chain performance.  This enabled the tar...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Change Control and Budget Management Procedure

Topic area: Change Management

The purpose of this procedure is to define the processes which apply to the control of change and the management of budgets and forecasts. This procedure covers: the Change Management process to establish a methodology for the review, mitigation and approval of all changes from the approved Programme Baseline. This in...

26/02/2016 Good Practice Document

Example Innovation Period Report

Topic area: Innovation Programme

Example of a report from the Innovation Programme which fed into the Crossrail period report, describing activities and challenges.

26/02/2016 Good Practice Document

Quality Dashboard

Topic area: Quality

‘Right First Time‘ is a key factor in the success of any project.  As part of its quality management process, Crossrail developed a quality dashboard with meaningful metrics that enabled trend analysis and informed decision making to rectify problems and prevent recurrence.  This learning legacy page describes th...

26/02/2016 Micro-report

Managing Cost Risk and Uncertainty in Infrastructure Projects

Topic area: Risk Management

In 2015 Infrastructure UK undertook a review of the cost of infrastructure projects in the UK and how this cost could be reduced.  One workstream researched the management of cost risk and uncertainty throughout the project lifecycle, the incentive being to significantly reduce the cost of projects by curbing unnecess...

30/12/2013 Good Practice Document

Risk Management Critical to Crossrail’s Success

Topic area: Risk Management

Following the positive outcome from the UK government’s 2010 comprehensive spending review, the Crossrail cross-London railway project started awarding its main construction contracts. The author explains how risk management has already benefited the project and why its adoption by the supply chain is critical. Acce...

30/05/2011 Journal Publication

Strategic Risk – A Guide for Directors

Topic area: Risk Management

Strategic risk consists of the most important risks that an organisation faces, i.e. the possible future scenarios that would make a material difference (for better or worse) to its ability to achieve its main objectives or even to survive. These risks differ in magnitude from project risks or operational risks, which...

01/05/2006 Journal Publication
Document type: technical paper

Right First Time Metrics Contractor Performance Report

Topic area: Quality

(Future release)

Organisational set up and project initiation of RFT Objectives will be described.  This paper will also include the results programme wide and by contract for each of the RFT metrics.

30/03/2019 Technical Paper
Document type: case study

Crossrail Approach to Planning

Topic area: Planning

(Future release)

A future case study will describe Crossrail’s overall approach to planning including schedule development and baselining, Organisation, Schedule Structure, Software, Schedule Risk Analysis, Communication & the Planning Page. The case study will incorporate key schedule performance data to support lessons learned ...

31/03/2018 Case Study