Crossrail Uses ARES PRISM to Manage Project Changes As They Transform the Face of London

This article shares how Crossrail used PRISM to change the face of London by successfully managing change.

Online PR News – 04-August-2016 – Windsor, Berkshire – We all know that managing change is a vital part of project success – but do you really know how much of an impact it makes? Organisations that report being highly effective at change management are 117% more likely to report success with new initiatives. (Project Management Institute Inc., 2012). With odds like that, it is a no-brainer that you should start thinking about more efficiently managing your project changes.

One organisation in particular that took advantage of superior change management is Crossrail, who are now lined up for outstanding project success.

Crossrail is the multi-billion-dollar project that is changing the face of London. At the height of its construction, Crossrail was the largest infrastructure project in the whole of Europe. Evidently managing this monster of a project was going to be a challenge.

Beyond coping with the sheer size of the project, the project management team was challenged by working in the heart of one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas. Construction took place both within and around a complex network of existing underground infrastructure, much of which was so old that it was not fully documented. There were also countless stakeholders that needed to be managed in the execution of the project. Crossrail had to interact with hundreds (if not thousands) of sub-contractors, numerous utility agencies and organisations, live operational rail lines and stations, thousands of impacted businesses, as well as a population of 8.6 million residents; all whose safety and day-to-day activities needed to be considered.

With a project this vast and complex, countless changes need to be made as the project progresses. Keeping track of those changes and understanding their impact on the project can mean the difference between achieving project success and failing miserably. The team at Crossrail realised the best way they could manage these changes was by implementing a project management tool that could automate and track sections of the change management process.
After researching possible tools on the market, Crossrail chose to implement the PRISM G2 software solution. Crossrail commissioned specialist from both ARES PRISM and Deloitte to implement PRISM G2, which is now deemed to be one of the primary systems underpinning their programme transformation and controls systems.

ARES and Deloitte even helped expand the existing change management capabilities within the tool to help Crossrail handle the vast number of complex changes being executed on the project. This resulted in designing, implementing, and deploying an Advanced Change Management module within PRISM G2.

The Advanced Change Management module allowed change approvers to be able to access the system for the sole purpose of reviewing and approving change data. This expedited the change management process and kept the team on track for on-time delivery.

Advanced Change Management gave Crossrail the ability to track, manage, and report on changes in real-time. This meant that there was no waiting for a change record to hit the system and instead Crossrail could report and forecast all potential impacts to the programme from the moment that changes were raised for discussion and review.

The automated e-mail system that came with Advanced Change Management eliminated the need to chase down approval and reviewer signatures from one job site to the next. It also removed the worry of hard copies getting lost in the shuffle or held up on someone’s desk. By defining the programme’s hierarchy and approval authority roles, Crossrail could ensure that all employees followed established lines of communication and authority levels. Change Routing Reports guaranteed that Crossrail always had visibility into whose inbox a change record was sitting in and for how long it had been delayed. Thus, these reports gave the ability to easily follow the status of change records and process them in a timely fashion.

“Crossrail is a complex infrastructure programme with many stakeholders and interfaces which, inevitably, lead to the requirement to accurately and expeditiously administer and manage change in both large volumes and value. PRISM Advanced Change Management module compliments the Crossrail policies and procedures to enable it’s system users and senior management to administer and accurately report the impact of change. Crossrail could not fulfil it’s sponsors requirements without having this facility in place,” said Robert Stockwell, Programme Cost Manager at Crossrail Ltd.

With their improved change management system, Crossrail has confidence in how they handle changes, which affects the success of the overall programme. The automation of the change management process helps to streamline overall project management and reduce delays. Information has become far more transparent and easy to access. What was once contained in over 100 spreadsheets is now condensed into a single source of data. Changes are entered into the system in real-time and monitored throughout their entire lifecycle.

It is clear that change management can be the defining factor in the success of a project. Crossrail took a proactive approach by implementing a robust change management system that standardises business processes and helps them avoid numerous project risks.

About the Authors:
Lateef Daly is the Director of Europe & Middle East Operations for ARES Software UK and operates primarily out of their regional headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf business district. From there, he oversees the business unit’s strategy and business development efforts for both regions, ensuring that ARES PRISM continues growing its presence as the industry-standard for project controls software.
His background brings with it over 17 years of project controls, system integration, and program transformation experience. He also brings a breadth of knowledge spanning across multiple industries, from his start spending 6 years working in Pharmaceuticals for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Followed by 8 years working for Bechtel providing a combination of cost engineering, estimating, and earned value cost system implementations in programme locations throughout 7 different states in the US and 3 different countries. While working with Bechtel, he was involved in projects such as the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands, GMD Missile Defence Programme, Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, Los Alamos National Labs, and various others as part of their Central Programme Controls and Estimating team based in their Frederick, Maryland headquarters.
Since joining ARES in 2011 he has been involved in PRISM implementations and programme transformations projects for some of Europe and the Middle East’s largest programmes, including High Speed 2 (HS2), Crossrail, TFL / LU, and Expo 2020 in Dubai. He has helped drive 100% annual growth across both regions and has played an integral role in growing the London-based office to have a client base that has several hundred users and over £130B worth of scope being successfully managed and delivered through PRISM.

Hani Girgis is part of the Deloitte Analytics Leadership team, where he leads Deloitte Public Sector Analytics efforts. Mr. Girgis also leads Deloitte’s Infrastructure and Capital Projects Technology Practice, where he is in charge of both business development and actual project delivery. He has personally lead and delivered on some of the largest capital projects in both the UK and the Middle East, such as LOCOG, Crossrail, Thames Tideway Tunnel, HS2 and Dubai Expo 2020.
Mr. Girgis has a first class degree in Computer Science and has an extensive knowledge of Analytics and Enterprise Content Management He has just recently been appointed the European Chairman of AIIM’s Executive Leadership Council. Due to his international background, Mr. Girgis speaks Danish, Arabic, and English and has a basic understanding of German.

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