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One Team Wessex

Source: Rail Technology Magazine Aug/Sept 2014

Dave Hooper, executive director for Infrastructure at Osborne, explains more about the collaborative partnership between Osborne and Network Rail.

In December 2013, Osborne was selected by Network Rail to deliver a collaborative framework agreement across its Wessex Route, with a contract value of approximately £250m over the course of five years. The contract is set to strengthen both Osborne’s Infrastructure business and the longstanding relationship between Osborne and Network Rail.

Since then, the ‘One Team Wessex’ has been working hard to successfully mobilise, ready for these contracts, which began on 1 April 2014.

To ensure the framework moved off in the most efficient and effective manner, and set the precedent for all future activity, roles and responsibilities workshops were used to establish the combined Osborne and Network Rail team. The best person for each role was chosen, pooling our skills to provide efficiencies whilst driving an awareness of change in cultural safety behaviours to deliver all projects safer than before. Together, the newly formed leadership team defined what the success of the framework looks like to create an agreed vision, mission and strategy.

The creation and agreement of the ‘One Team Wessex – Line of Sight’ puts safety at the core of everything the team are set to do across the contract. With this in mind, a launch event was held at the Kia Oval. The event was a great success, with excellent engagement from Osborne, design partner Hyder, and Network Rail, which offered the opportunity to challenge and develop their thinking as to how best they can each support one another.

To further reiterate the importance of working in a collaborative manner, the team have now co-located to their base at Waterloo. 45 people are working on the framework, including 20 from Osborne, 15 from Network Rail and 10 from Hyder. This collaboration is really taking shape, with the initial BS 11000 Relationship Management Plan having been produced, and comprehensive sessions held on values and behaviours, which will also help develop agreed KPIs.

Further to this, a supplier forum with the key suppliers for the ‘year one’ works is currently being established with a director from each supplier. The aim behind this is to define the behaviour and expectations of the One Team Wessex, and to ensure sign-up by all. The team are working hard with our supply and design partners to look for further efficiencies, ultimately demonstrating our commitment to delivering the required volumes and efficiencies we promised.

I am excited about the prospects going forward. This has been a great start for One Team Wessex. Our people are sharing the same vision – to really make a difference and deliver the efficiencies, innovation and knowledge sharing vision that we promised – not only to our individual companies, but to the wider rail industry and the communities in which we work. This is an exciting opportunity for our up-and-coming engineers, and it ensures we can commit to developing both the leaders and trades of the future. It’s a truly great challenge and opportunity for which I am proud to lead, and I know those involved will remember this with pride for many years to come.

Call-off contracts totalling £17m are already being agreed, placing the initial building blocks towards gaining BS11000 accreditation.

Considerable quantities of development, procurement and planning work have already been undertaken, with the first site work already underway at Yeovil, Wandsworth and also several other smaller sites.

With the success so far with mobilising the contract, part of the real challenge lies with the sheer volume of development work to get the year one projects to site, with the workload steadily increasing almost daily.

The first contracts include a number of bridge reconstructions and station refurbishments, along with repairs to embankments, structures, scour damage and tunnels. However, with the forward thinking of the One Team Wessex, further projects have been introduced into the year one workbank, with year two development also already underway.

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