Communication of Results, Feedback and Performance Improvement Planning
Author: Richard Wood BSc MRICS
Publication Date: 26/02/2016
Performance data is generally kept within the project or programme landscape to aid decision making and understanding of project risk. Crossrail’s approach was to share data through a multitude of channels, both internally and externally ,leading to stimulation of competition and promoting innovation to support a culture of performance improvement. This micro-report outlines the graphical communication methods and forums through which performance assurance results were communicated and is relevant to other major projects considering their approach to performance assurance.
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IntroductionThe Crossrail senior management team and their stakeholders required a mechanism for assuring that the 1st tier supply chain were performing to a level that would enable strategic objectives to be met – safely delivering a world-class railway on time and on budget, setting new standard for major project delivery, and leaving a legacy of improved supply chain performance within the UK Infrastructure sector. There was a desire to operate a lean client team but also a recognition that Crossrail had to enable the supply chain to perform if they were to be successful in achieving the programmes desired outcomes. In response to this challenge, the Crossrail Performance Assurance model was designed in the early part of 2012. The Performance Assurance model and benefits are outlined within document 1K-001. This report details how these benefits were derived through effective communication of results to the supply chain and with internal and external stakeholders to increase incentivisation for the supply chain to improve performance.
Communication FrameworkAs outlined in the Performance Assurance Framework page, objectively measures both inputs (qualitative, ‘lead’ indicators) and outputs (quantitative, ‘lag’ indicators). The two different types of factors are equally important in driving enhanced performance, as the correlation between the maturity of the processes and procedures and the measurable results of those processes facilitates the identification of best practice and opportunities for efficiency, and allows targeted improvement actions to be allocated intelligently. To assist in this, a suite of reports and communications were developed, which can be categorised into the groups shown below. Example reports and communication fora are listed under each group, which are described in more detail in the following sections:
Executive Summary Executive Committee Industry press
Detailed Feedback Reports Audit Committee Thought Leadership
Crossrail Industry Group PM Forum Knowledge sharing
CEO Forum Tool-box Talks Internal Publications
Suite of Reports and Communication
Executive SummaryIssued to: Main contractor Delivery Directors, Crossrail Project Managers, Crossrail functional specialists, Crossrail project team Overview: A 1 page summary detailing performance levels and performance trends by function, including a short narrative to highlight best practice, key trends or performance improvement requirements. Purpose: Indended for use on site notice boards etc. to highlight contract performance to the wider delivery team at site level.
Detailed Feedback ReportsIssued to: Main contractor Delivery Directors, Crossrail Project Managers, Crossrail functional specialists, Crossrail project team Overview: A detailed report detailing review findings, input and output performance levels against each element of the framework, as well as suggested performance improvement actions. The report also contained an overview of how the contract’s overall and functional performance compared to the rest of the programme. Purpose: This report was the main feedback report to the main contractors, forming the basis of performance improvement action plans that were developed collaborativey by the Contractor and Crossrail teams
Crossrail Industry Group (CIG)
Overview: A presentation on the results including comparative contract performance levels, collective performance levels, functional performance, performance vs. cost and schedule efficiency (CPI/SPI). The CIG was chaired by the Crossrail Delivery Director and consisted of all main contractor Project Directors, or senior management delegates.Purpose: To inform the supply chain of performance movements, stimulate competition to drive performance improvement and improve main contractor engagement.
CEO ForumOverview: A presentation on the results, including comparative contract performance levels, collective performance levels, functional performance, performance vs. cost and schedule efficiency (CPI/SPI). The CEO Forum is chaired by the Crossrail Delivery Director and consists of all main contractor Project Directors, or senior management delegates. Purpose: To inform the supply chain of performance movements, stimulate competition to drive performance improvement, improve main contractor engagement as well as to promote the benefit of the process to the supply chain.
Executive & Investment CommitteeOverview: A presentation on the results of each round of performance assurance assessments. The presentation included comparative contract performance levels, collective performance levels, functional performance, performance vs. cost and schedule efficiency (CPI/SPI). The Executive and Investment Committee sat below the main board, and was chaired by the Crossrail CEO Purpose: To inform the Crossrail senior management team of performance trends, world-class performance areas and areas requiring improvement. The meeting was used to agree the forward assurance strategy and future focus to ensure the process remains aligned with programme objectives.
Audit CommitteeOverview: A presentation on the results of each round of assessments. The presentation included comparative contract performance levels, collective performance levels, functional performance, performance vs. cost and schedule efficiency (CPI/SPI). The Audit Committee was chaired by DfT Non-Executive Director Robert Jennings, and was attended by members of the Executive Committee, as well as external auditors such as TfL and KPMG, with the aim of coordinating audit activity and to share audit findings. Purpose: To share key findings with the wider audit community and how performance assurance supported other audit activity.
PM ForumOverview: A presentation on the results of each round of assessments to the Crossrail Project Managers. The presentation included comparative contract performance levels, collective performance levels, functional performance, performance vs. cost and schedule efficiency (CPI/SPI). Purpose: A presentation of key performance findings, with a focus on how the process can be a key management tool for Project Managers to improve performance and support project delivery.
Tool-box TalksOverview: : A presentation to the wider central Crossrail teams, giving an overview of the process and it’s intent as well as the results of each round of assessments. Purpose: To promote the wider understanding of the performance assurance process, benefits etc. as well a how performance data could be used by other Crossrail departments.
Internal PublicationsOverview: Performance Assurance results were published through various internal communications channels, such as the weekly ‘Connect in Brief’ newsletter issued to the whole Crossrail programme. Purpose: Internal communications were a key tool in promoting the benefits of the process both to Crossrail and the supply chain, as well as in stimulating competition and supporting a culture of performance improvement.
Industry PressOverview: Construction News published a series of articles on the performance assurance process and how it supported the drive for world-class performance levels. Purpose: Articles were published within industry press to highlight the performance improvement achieved by the Crossrail supply chain to assist in differentiation for high performers, leading to further engagement and competition. A secondary purpose was to promote the success of the process to other clients to support performance improvement across the industry.
Thought LeadershipOverview: Articles publsihed in conjunction with academic institutions to highlight the importance of measuring both ‘lead’ and ‘lag’ indicators to provide more robust performance information, support decision making and influence performance improvement in the context of industry requirements. Purpose: To share the benefits of the approach of measuring inputs and outputs to promote adoption of similar process by other major infrastructure clients with the objective of sustaining performance improvement across the industry, and standardising the approach to performance measurement by different clients to deliver supply chain efficiencies.
Knowledge SharingOverview: Engagement with government bodies, other major infrastructure clients and professional institutions to highlight the success of the performance assurance process at Crossrail, and how the improvement in supply chain performance was achieved. Purpose: To support Crossrail’s objective of leaving a legacy of improved supply chain performance, it was imperative to share the knowledge and data on how the improvement was achieved at Crossrail in order to sustain performance improvement going forward on to future major projects and programmes.
Recommendations for Future ProjectsMost projects and programmes will have developed a process to measure supply chain or project performance. However, generally, performance data it kept within the project or programme management team to aid decision making and understanding the landscape of project risk. As demonstrated above, if this data is shared through a multitude of different channels, this can stimulate competition and promote innovation to support a culture of performance improvement.
Associate Director – Turner & Townsend
Head of Cost and Control, Crossrail
Richard has over 10 working on the UK’s major infrastructure projects and programmes, including leading an integrated cost and controls managed service on the £2.5bn T2 redevelopment scheme at Heathrow, and played a key role in establishing cost and controls processes on their £3bn Q6 programme. Richard has worked on Crossrail since 2014, and has held several positions over this time, including Head of Commercial Assurance and Head of Performance Assurance. Richard took on the role of Head of Cost and Controls in March 2017.