Strategic Activities

This section provides a summary of strategic activities that should be actively programmed throughout the lifecycle of a pilot. Within the stages of the guide there is more detailed advice on the appropriate activities that should be addressed.

A - Project and Programme Management

 B - Stakeholder Management

C - Procurement and Maintenance Strategy

D - Risk Management

A - Project and Programme Management

Project and programme management is the key to ensuring a successful pilot. PRINCE2 [OGC 1998] is a structured project management methodology which provides clear guidance on the effective design and implementation of projects. The Agency is in the process of developing a Project Control Framework based on PRINCE2 principles. PRINCE2 is a project management method designed to provide a framework covering the wide variety of disciplines and activities required within a project. The focus throughout PRINCE2 is on the Business Case, which describes the rationale and business justification for the project. The methodology also helps to manage risk, control quality and change effectively. It is possible that there will be changes both major and minor in the requirements specification before the innovation is developed and implemented. A stringent procedure for tracking and considering these changing requirements should be established. This will ensure that the impacts of modification in one area of an innovation can be considered within other areas and any necessary changes implemented. A guide to configuration management for intelligent transportation systems developed by the Federal Highway Administration (US DoT) (FHWA) [FHWA 2002B] can be referenced for a robust procedure to change management. Whatever the innovation it is essential to control and agree changes in requirements throughout the development process.

Pilot managers should conduct the following activities to ensure successfully delivering pilots:

The HA have introduced the ‘Investment Control Framework’ [HA 2007A] to ensure effective corporate governance regarding investment appraisal, and the control of income and expenditure in the Highways Agency. In particular to ensure;

Practitioners should follow the Investment Control Framework as required for all Agency projects. This means that all projects must be formally approved by an Investment Decision Maker and conducted in accordance with the Framework. The framework ensures that robust and visible financial and contractual delegations exist within the Agency. It also ensures compliance with the newly introduced DfT IAF, and where appropriate, the guidance of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) gateway review process.

The OGC Gateway [OGC 2006A]  process examines a programme or project at critical stages in its lifecycle, to provide assurance that it can progress successfully to the next stage. This will be carried out at key decision points by a team of experienced people, independent of the project team. More information about the requirements for the OGC gateway reviews can be found on www.ogc.gov.uk/programmes_and_projects.htm. Within the Agency the Project Owner is responsible for deciding whether a project requires a formal OGC gateway review.

The GDHP adopts the same principles as the PRINCE2 [OGC 1998] structured project management methodology also provides clear guidance on the effective design and implementation of projects. It is a project management method designed to provide a framework covering the wide variety of disciplines and activities required within a project. The focus throughout PRINCE2 is on the Business Case, which describes the rationale and business justification for the project. The methodology also helps to manage risk, control quality and change effectively.

It is possible that there will be changes both major and minor in the requirements specification before the innovation is developed and implemented. A stringent procedure for tracking and considering these changing requirements should be established. This will ensure that the impacts of modification in one area of an innovation can be considered within other areas and any necessary changes implemented. A guide to configuration management for intelligent transportation systems developed by the Federal Highway Administration (US DoT) (FHWA) [FHWA 2002B]  can be referenced for a robust procedure to change management. Whatever the innovation it is essential to control and agree changes in requirements throughout the development process.

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B - Stakeholder Management Strategy

Stakeholder management is crucial. The purpose of the Stakeholder Management Strategy (SMS) is to ensure internal and external organisations associated with a pilot participate and support its successful delivery.

The specific goals and objectives of the SMS are to: 

The SMS will focus on ensuring the co-operation of all the various stakeholders in achieving the overall aims of the pilot. It will address all the organisations responsible for the processes, the people, the policies and the environments that will be affected by the pilot and must also include the longer term operators of the innovation.

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C - Procurement and Maintenance Strategy

The procurement strategy for any pilot should be developed at an early stage. It is not just about minimising costs, within the pilot but about balancing fitness for purpose, the overall whole life cost and treating suppliers fairly.

The strategy should determine alternative priorities with the choice of procurement options dependant upon the nature and objectives of the pilot. For example, it may be that comparison between or the interoperability of potential suppliers is an objective of the pilot, consequently the procurement procedures must reflect this need for flexibility.

As part of the procurement strategy the assessment framework for potential suppliers should be developed. This will identify the criteria and potential emphasis to be adopted when comparing potential pilot providers. By the nature of pilots the flexibility and known working practices of suppliers used previously may be advantageous but this aspect must be balanced against innovative methods of working provided by new suppliers.

Consideration as to how a pilot will be maintained, through and potentially following the completion of the pilot, must also be considered as part of the procurement strategy. Consideration should also be given to any necessary training required by those involved in the pilot, including any third parties organisations.

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D - Risk Management Strategy

Risk is anything that could hinder the achievement of business goals or the delivery of stakeholder expectations. Risk can arise from failure to exploit opportunities as well as from threats materialising. By the nature of experimentation, it is implicitly more risky than a normal development project as there will be considerably more unknown aspects to its implementation. The consideration of the potential risks and the management of them are consequently key to the successful delivery of a pilot.

Risk Management is the culture, processes and structure aimed at managing potential opportunities and threats to an organisation.

The Highways Agency Framework for Business Risk Management [HA 2005B] determines the strategic elements of the Risk Management framework.

Practitioners should manage risk in accordance with the principles detailed in OGC's Management of Risk (M_o_R) [OGC 2005] .This provides a generic framework for the management of risk across all parts of an organisation and project - strategic, programme, project and operational. It incorporates all the activities required to identify and control the exposure to any type of risk, positive or negative, which may have an impact on the achievement objectives.

Health and Safety Risk Management should be carried out in accordance with the Agency’s Health and Safety Management System (HSMS).

Practitioners should establish a risk register at the beginning of a pilot project, continually review and update it and mitigate the risks while the pilot is delivered. Suggestions as to items to include within a risk register are can be found in the OGC Resource Toolkit [OGC 2006C] The HA Ramp Metering project risk register also provides an example of the areas for consideration [HA 2006H].

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