Arnab Banerjee is Programme Manager, Continuous Improvement at Transport for London. He has spent his whole career in heavy engineering - firstly in power generation and now transport. His previous roles have spanned tendering, sales, strategy and organisational development in international environments. His current passion, in addition to change management, is knowledge management and how to create a culture of user-led improvement - particularly in an "old" industry. Arnab is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, has a Masters from Imperial College, London and an MBA from the University of Warwick. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
London Underground has a vision of being a World Class Tube for a World Class City. Even today, it carries more than a billion passengers a year and up to four million a day - the demand will only increase. To achieve the vision requires improvement across the board, from operating the service more reliably to delivering new infrastructure - better stations, new rolling stock, advanced signaling, better track - more effectively.
The division responsible for the infrastructure is the Capital Programmes Directorate (CPD). At any one time CPD runs more than 300 projects on the network. With an annual spend of more than £1bn and a skilled staff of close to two thousand, high-quality project management lies at the core of the renewal.
This article describes one critical part of the improvement change programme - the development and embedment of a new project management system in the CPD. The importance of the work lies in the fact that efficient "hard" project delivery is critically dependent on the environment of delivery - processes, systems, understanding and meeting stakeholder needs. In other words, a disciplined change methodology that:
- Analyzed the current position and put in place a process to measure improvement,
- Addressed the weakness and developed a solution and
- Implemented and embedded the change in a complex organization.