Project magazine article. Interview with Simon Addyman, the award winning practitioner who helped deliver a novel procurement method. Simon is a project manager for London Underground (LU) and is currently engaged on the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade (BSCU).
He picked up the Project Professional of the Year accolade at the APM Awards 2013 for his work on the scheme, which will enhance the capacity of the station and improve journey times.
The project will also provide customers with step-free access from street to platform and the stationwill benefit from a new fire and evacuation strategy.
The business case for the project was clear,as the current infrastructure simply can't cope with the peak demands on the system.Delays often occur,which can create knock-on effects on the underground system.
Planning to find a solution began in 2003 and some years later,after substantial research,it became apparent that the only real opportunity for development was a large redesign of the underground infrastructure in the area, which included a new 600-metre tunnel.
This required a significant purchase of property around the area. Simon says: "It met the business need but it was very expensive and took a lot of time because of the constraints of worksite availability. We felt we'd produced the
best solution we could do at that time, but the budget and time ran over what our business plan was saying."
The concept design stage for BSCU was coming to completion in late 2011 and the project team began to look at procurement.
"We learnt some lessons from our Victoria and Tottenham Court Road projects around lost opportunities in terms of innovation," explains Simon. "We knew we could get more out of the market." Most of LU's major projects need to go through the Transport and Works Act planning process, which requires a period of consultation and potentially a public inquiry.After that time, the project proposals go back to the secretary of state for approval. Typically,the process can take 18-24 months, which creates a challenge, says Simon. "If the market presented us with an innovation that could save money or increase the benefits of the project, we would obviously want to embed that into the project. However, this would mean going through the approval process again, which would set you back another 18 months or more." It was decided that for the BSCU project, the team would go to the procurement phase earlier, pushing the Transport and Works Act planning process back by two years.
"We designed a process that allowed us to embrace innovation and ask for ideas in advance of going to government for approval," says Simon. "The contractor,quite rightly, would argue that giving up innovation before a contract is awarded is not good for business.So we created a confidentiality agreement, which stated that we would provide all of the information we had and those invited to bid would agree to share suggested innovations."