Understanding the need for ever-improving performance, Amey Rail trusted Concentric Consulting to design and deliver valuable business improvement processes and tools.
Securing the future for Amey’s Consulting Design and Operations
To achieve Performance Excellence, Amey needed to understand what existing performance looked like across individuals, teams, and the business. This could then be used as the foundation to explore performance improvement and implement methodologies for achieving excellence every day.
Concentric was trusted to establish a standard for performance that all stakeholders could agree on – one that would guide and sustain Performance Excellence for the long-term.
An innovative and award-nominated Performance Excellence program
Concentric’s Performance Excellence program adopts a four-phased approach: scoping, diagnostics, improvement plan definition, and implementation.
In this phase, Concentric agreed the boundaries and content of the Performance Excellence model, based on a deep understanding of organisational strategy and culture. This is used to design a program of research, results analysis, areas of improvement, and an implementation plan that ensured ownership and delivery of new or sustained ways of working.
Concentric interviewed key stakeholders and key clients, using experience and insight to identify what was working and what required improvement. This provided a ‘current state’ picture of performance supported by quantitative and qualitative data. This resulted in identifying six key areas for improvement with clear success criteria.
- Improvement Plan Definition
Concentric agreed an effective governance model including clear accountabilities at senior level and standard processes for change control. Based on the above research data, Concentric and the Amey Working Group defined a set of tools and process that would have a positive impact on performance and add value in real-time. This toolkit was then tested with front line teams to ensure it was both fit for purpose and practical for use including the ability to track tangible, measurable results.
To own and drive the required changes, a joint senior management team from Design and Operations was formed. This was the governance which managed the assurance on deliverables, timelines, owners and KPIs.
The set of tools in the ‘Tool kit’ included:
- Behaviours and Culture Charter
- Rail Specific Newsletter
- Experience days
Amey employees went to work in design parts of the business, operations parts of the business and into the client organisation
- Attitude poll
Tool to facilitate collaboration conversations between Design and Operations functions with measurable results
- Service Level Agreement
A commercial agreement which outlined trading guidelines between the Design and Operations functions
- Rail-specific Graduate scheme
- Meeting Effectiveness toolkit
Bespoke program to target meeting effectiveness and inefficiency, delivering 30% improvement, including Human Factors, costs and decision making.
- Commercial rates review
Implementation of new cost effective rates for charging between the Design and Operations functions
- Shared Strategy & Principles
Definition and implementation of a shared strategy between both the Design & Operations functions within Amey
To verify and track the value of the toolkits, Concentric coached managers and witnessed and measured live pilot sessions. Validation interviews were also conducted with 55% of the original Amey stakeholders and key Network Rail clients.
Improved processes and increased collaboration
Over a 15-month period, Amey saw significant improvement in the six key work areas Concentric had identified as requiring change. The results included:
- An average 4% improvement for each work stream
- A cumulative 25% improvement to the D&B business
- More efficient – and more valuable – meetings
- Over 80% of feedback stated that the Performance Excellence program had delivered real value
- Demonstrative evidence of ownership, governance, assurance and compliance with the Performance Excellence processes
In addition, 100% of Network Rail interviewees recognised the huge value and transformational effect of Performance Excellence within the Amey Design and Build teams
The Performance Excellence approach Concentric introduced was nominated for a National Rail Award in recognition of the tangible and sustainable improvements delivered across a number of the Amey Design & Build projects.