“In development for the last 18 months, the Systems Integration for Delivery (SI4D) team has recently launched an entirely new framework focused around the delivery of Systems Integration on projects that enhance or deliver new Network Rail railway infrastructure. The framework provides processes, products, tools, training and competencies to enable capital delivery projects to deliver systems integration right first time. Focused on six key components of System Safety, System Security (Cyber and Physical), Reliability, Operational readiness, Maintenance Readiness and Railway performance the SI4D framework facilitates a more cohesive, scalable and risk-based approach to the delivery of capital projects, ensuring all components of the railway system are working well and integrated together. The SI4D framework, and work on applying it to projects/programmes and portfolios received endorsement from Andrew Haines, Network Rail Chief Executive in August 2019 where he stated “…the use of the systems integration approach, planning early and considering the impact of our projects on the railway system is not an opt in option, but fundamental to ensuring we deliver on our promises to passengers and freight users. Since this point, the roll-out nationally has been gathering speed and the Systems Integration team has been engaging with numerous members of project teams from sponsors through to third party suppliers to ensure embedment and uptake amongst all projects, programmes and portfolios that change railway infrastructure. The projects that this has positively impacted so far include the Kings Cross Remodelling projects, Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade, HS2 enabling workings, Heathrow Western Rail link and the East Kilbride enhancement programme. The benefits achieved to date including optimised new infrastructure performance, delivery of an integrated railway system, consistent, clear and simple approach undertaken nationally, availability of a centre of excellence to assist, guide and mentor project teams on the application of the SI4D framework; all ultimately resulting in improved services for passengers and freight.
In going about their work and making the SI4D launch a success, the team have been required to engage with a myriad of stakeholders, working groups and Network Rail business units highlights of which include:
• Update of the GRIP product index to explicitly include the deliverables required by the Systems Integration Framework
• Inclusion of the SI4D framework within the standard Contract Requirement Technical (CR-T) suite used to commonly contract infrastructure upgrade projects
• Acceptance and endorsement of the System Safety process by Network Rail Acceptance Panel (NRAP), Office of Rail and Road (ORR), Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and a number of accredited Assessment Bodies (Abs)
• Acceptance and endorsement of the System Security processes by the Network Rail Safety Technical and Engineering directorate (STE) who govern and set Network Rail policy on Security requirements on the railway.
• A number of Sponsor and Project Management workshops to make these communities aware and empower them to take this approach on their projects, programmes and portfolios of work
In doing so, and to make sure that the SI4D framework was successful the team also made sure that the framework was first reviewed internally by Network Rail regional Systems integration champions and then secondly by engineering directors from the supply base to make sure that the framework was not introducing anything unachievable by the delivery partners and supply chain.
Finally, while the team did have their setbacks along the way, they approached these in a manner that is commendable and allowed further improvement and refinement of the framework to make sure that it truly met the needs of project teams, was not overly complex, captured best practice and ultimately provided a step change and measurable improvement to the delivery of systems integration on projects, programmes and portfolios of work that change or deliver new railway infrastructure. Something that has recently been highlighted as being required in industry reviews such as the Department for Transport and Infrastructure and Projects Authority lessons from transport for the sponsorship of major projects paper.“