Mantra to Method: lessons from managing innovation on Crossrail, UK
type: Journal Publication
Author: Tim DeBarro BEng MAPM RPP, Samuel MacAulay BBus PhD, Andrew Davies, BA, MA, DPhil, Andrew Wolstenholme OBE FREng BSc CEng FICE FRICS, David Gann CBE CEng FICE FCGI, John Pelton MBE BSc(Eng) MA MBA(Open) CEng ACGI Eur lng FICE FInstRE, ICE Publishing
Publication Date: 20/10/2015
This paper describes how the £14·8 billion Crossrail project in London, UK developed and implemented an innovation strategy to support the delivery of the project. The strategy was designed to encourage the supply chain to develop and apply genuinely beneficial new products, processes and services − then to ensure these were shared throughout the project. The authors identify the steps taken, the managerial process created and the lessons learnt in developing and implementing the strategy. The aim is to contribute to a wider discussion on innovation in the infrastructure community: shifting from mantras about the intrinsic benefits of innovation to evidence about the most effective methods for managing it.
Tim DeBarro is an experienced project management professional with a proven ability for working with senior management teams to lead, develop and deliver major infrastructure programmes and projects in complex stakeholder environments. He brings over 15 years experience from roles in consultancy and construction organisations in the UK and globally. Tim’s specialisation and passion is bringing innovation to the delivery of complex, risk inherent infrastructure projects.
Since joining Nichols in 2011, Tim has worked with Crossrail and Transport for London. At Crossrail, he was responsible for resolving significant and emerging programme wide risks and issues raised and prioritised by the Programme Director and Executive. In his current role as Innovation Programme Manager, he has led the strategic conception and implementation of the World’s first innovation programme in a temporary organisation at Crossrail. Tim co-authored Crossrail’s Innovation Strategy.
Tim is a Nichols Innovation Champion, providing thought leadership, knowledge sharing and ensuring innovation is at the heart of all Nichols work. He has published papers on the subject of Innovation published in the Project Management Journal “Making Innovation Happen in a Megaproject: London’s Crossrail Suburban Railway System” (Davies et al. 2014) and in the Institute of Civil Engineers Journal “From Mantra to Method: Lessons from Managing Innovation at Crossrail” (DeBarro et al. 2015). Tim is also a guest lecturer on the module ‘Managing Innovation and Technology’ on the MSc programme in Strategic Management of Projects at University College London.
Tim has worked overseas in Australia with Evans & Peck, on major infrastructure projects such as Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, Traveston & Wyaralong Dams and Port of Brisbane Motorway.
Tim spent 10 years working with Costain Ltd as a Construction Project Manager, where he was responsible for the delivery of a suite of complex, capital expenditure projects for Thames Water on Europe’s largest water treatment works in London.
Sam is currently at UQ’s Business School and Sustainable Minerals Institute. He is also an Honorary Research Associate at The Bartlett, University College London’s faculty of the built environment. He previously taught at QUT, UQ, Imperial College London and the University of Munich.Andrew is Professor of the Management of Projects in the School of Construction and Project Management, the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London. He is Visiting Professor, Department of Business and Management, LUISS, Rome and Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Department of Leadership and Organization, Norwegian Business School. Previously he was Reader in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London, where he was a co-director of the EPSRC Innovation Studies Centre and theme leader of research on innovation in infrastructure projects and systems. Before that he was a Senior Fellow in SPRU, University of Sussex where he was deputy director of the ESRC Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre.
Andrew was Chief Executive Officer of Crossrail from 1 August 2011 until 31 March 2018.
Andrew graduated from Southampton University in 1981 with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering. He served with the British Army for three years as a Queen’s Royal Irish Hussar before resigning his commission in 1984 to pursue a career in business and engineering.
Andrew joined Arup, the international engineering consultants, as a bridge designer in 1987. He was later seconded to Schal Associates in Chicago where he worked on tall buildings along side some of the great American architects. Andrew moved to Hong Kong in 1992 to develop Arup’s project management capability on some of South East Asia’s major infrastructure projects at that time.
Andrew joined the airport operator BAA plc in 1997 as Construction Director for the Heathrow Express rail link. He went on to lead the delivery of the £4.3bn Terminal 5 programme and became BAA’s Director of Capital projects running the £10bn development programme across seven UK airports.
With a passion to improve the UK’s construction industry, Andrew was invited to lead an industry review in 2009. His report, ‘Never Waste a Good Crisis’, has helped steer government policy in this important area.
Andrew joined the Balfour Beatty Group in 2009 as Director of Innovation and Strategic Capability. He was awarded an OBE for services to the construction industry in the same year.
In July 2014, Andrew was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Southampton University.
Andrew is Chair of the Construction Leadership Council and is a Non-executive Director of the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Services Board.
David Gann is Imperial College’s Vice President, leading Innovation. He is a member of the College’s Executive Board.
David is an accomplished university leader, strategist and advocate, renowned for his work on innovation, entrepreneurship and technology management. His academic research spans strategy, management science and systems engineering. His distinctive strength is in building relationships proactively and internationally, to connect ideas, research and solutions with susbtantial funding between academia, business and government
John was the Strategic Projects Director for Crossrail and Director of the Programme Partner Transcend, a JV between CH2M, AECOM and Nichols. As such he lead the innovation programme, specific complex projects and headed up the programme partner JV.
Previously he led the High Speed 2 Efficiency Challenge Programme team, a multidisciplinary team seeking significant savings for the project. The focus was on collaborative working, applying Building Information Modelling, off-site manufacture and optimised design guides and standards. The team identified more than £1b of potential savings from the Phase 1 programme.
Prior to that he led the CH2M UK Government Infrastructure team, primarily focussing on Defence, but he was also active in urban regeneration and economic growth within the UK and in looking at disaster relief and post conflict reconstruction/development.
John spent the first 29 years of his career serving as a Royal Engineer officer. He fought during the first Gulf War, deployed to the Balkans during the 1990s and latterly to Afghanistan and Iraq. He has supported the RAF, trained junior soldiers, built motorways in Australia and completed construction projects in Kenya. He has also been a strategic planner for the Army, both for operations and in the personnel area, and has led a procurement team providing infrastructure for deployed troops before finally leading the development of an infrastructure programme for the Army’s UK bases and helping to design the nascent Defence Infrastructure Organisation.