Maturity Assessment of a Group Function – TFL


Transport for London is responsible for the operation and development of some of the nation’s most critical infrastructure – including the London Underground, Surface Transport and Metro services.

Within TfL, the Commercial team aims to deliver on-time, high value-adding and commercially viable solutions for its internal customers.

The function has recently reorganised, centralising numerous teams in to a single organisation.  As part of this structure the Commercial Centre of Excellence (CCoE) is charged with shaping and enabling the delivery of the Commercial Vision.

Developing Commercial Capability and Building Maturity

The original integration project identified the need to develop the capability of the commercial function. In addition to ‘commercial skills development’ the CCoE team recognised the need to monitor and improve organisational maturity – based on the EFQM model.

As part of a competitive tendering process Oakland was awarded a contract to:

  • Customise Oakland’s existing organisation maturity assessment tool
  • Engage the broader commercial team –  introducing the approach to ensure all stakeholders understood and bought in to the assessment
  • Perform the initial assessment
    • A survey covering all commercial colleagues
    • A workshop process to include all teams
    • Lead the subsequent analysis and options development
    • Leave a sustainable solution that can be repeated with minimal external support

The approach

Configuration of the Model

Assurance Framework

Oakland existing EFQM assessment model was configured around a generic value chain that was applicable to all parts of the organisation.  This was a particular challenge given the diverse types of commercial activity being delivered by the teams (examples include: managing contract delivery for major capital programmes, procuring building services contracts though to overseeing the use of professional services).

The language and assessment criteria were refined to ensure they were accessible to all.

Engaging the Senior Team

The Commercial Community services a wide range of customer needs, covering virtually all conceivable aspects of procurement and commercial management. An intensive period was spent ensuring these stakeholders understood and brought in to the approach.  Once this had been achieved a formal cascade to the Commercial Community took place

Transferring Capability – Train the trainer

An important aspect of the project was that the exercise was to be repeatable with minimal external support.  Dedicated training sessions were held to prepare an internal team who then partnered Oakland in the delivery of the assessment workshops.

Maturity Assessment Exercise

An online assessment was developed to include as many of the commercial community as possible – return rates of over 80% were achieved from a population of over 450.

The results of the survey were used to inform a series of one day maturity assessment workshops. Over 60 colleagues were involved in parallel workshops over a two week period.

Solution Development

The outputs of the workshops were combined with an assessment of the ‘ideal position’ and were refined during a series of prioritisation sessions with the senior management team.

The outcomes of these sessions were developed in ‘mini business cases’ that were subsequently incorporated in to the 2013/14 planning exercise.

The outcomes

The project delivered to the original scope within time and budget.  The key achievements were:

  • The deployment of a reusable maturity model and survey tool
  • The up skilling of the internal team to take on future measurement activity
  • Gaining and maintaining the support of all the key stakeholders throughout the process
  • Providing useable and pragmatic outputs that have been incorporated in to the capability building activity within TfL.

 TfL Said…

Oakland’s pragmatic and agile approach helped us deliver this project and extract real value by involving our people in developing improvement work streams.  .. Providing TfL with sound foundations upon which we can build and improve.