Heathrow Infrastructure Development

Heathrow Development is responsible for the airport’s infrastructure programmes.  They were running large numbers of complex projects and wanted consistency and accountability.

Oakland worked with the project teams – quality assurance, project managers and team members – to identify critical success factors, agree guidelines for all projects and get the buy-in of junior and senior managers to use them, achieving the consistency and accountability needed.

Mike Turner, Managing Partner at Oakland Consulting, led the project:  “The danger in these projects is adopting a too detailed approach that takes little account of the skills and experience of the project teams. There is a risk that you actually end up producing a lot of documentation that no-one has time to read; it becomes useless.  Our approach was to work closely with the project managers, to reduce the detail in the process and documentation to something that they saw as workable and of value to all levels of experience.”

Oakland ran a series of workshops and identified “sweet spots” – areas where information and processes could be written down as guidelines to give clear expectations and accountability without overloading on the detail.  Mike adds:  “These guidelines were there to use or not but, because everyone had worked together in small groups to understand what was good in a process, it was an easy step to use the guidelines, without being constrained by them.  The client loved this approach.”

The workshops were inclusive and even senior and experienced project managers gave good feedback:  “You guys knew when to halt the conversation, how to move it on but be respectful and allow people to talk”.  They also liked bringing in best practice approaches from other sectors.

The teams identified critical success factors for each stage of a project, helping to ensure quality of delivery, today and in the future.  Now there is confidence in both the consistency and accountability of all individual and inter-linked projects.

The teams identified critical success factors for each stage of a project, helping to ensure quality of delivery, today and in the future.  Now there is confidence in both the consistency and accountability of all individual and inter-linked projects.

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