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PROJECT MANAGEMENT & BIM


The skills and ideas to deliver Crossrail successfully


RTM speaks to Crossrail’s new strategic projects director, John Pelton, about programme management, innovation, organisational change and skills for the future.


T


he programme partner for Crossrail is the Transcend joint venture of CH2M Hill, AECOM and The Nichols Group.


In his role as Transcend director, John Pelton has recently taken over as strategic projects director for Crossrail, replacing his CH2M Hill colleague Mark Thurston.


Pelton, who has an extensive background in civil engineering and infrastructure delivery (see panel), told RTM about the relationship between Crossrail Ltd as client, Transcend as programme partner, and the consortium of Bechtel, Halcrow (itself now owned by CH2M Hill) and Systra as delivery partner.


He said: “Each brings particular skills. Crossrail hires the key people and the people it thinks it needs in continuity jobs particularly, then the programme partner either brings the programme skills that are difficult to find from open recruitment, or provides the ability to respond to specific challenges, short-term problems, and technical issues – whatever it might be. That’s our role.


92 | rail technology magazine Feb/Mar 14


“We work as an integrated team. The way Crossrail operate it – and I think this is a really healthy approach – is that they understand the skills that each of those three ‘legs of the stool’ brings, and when a requirement for a position comes up, it’s done as the best fit for the role. We often do interchange; there are delivery partner people in roles that you might expect programme partner people to be in, and vice-versa.


“Our key skills at Transcend are in programme controls; we have a role in the systems and systems integration areas, and in design management and in supporting the chief engineers’ group. We also play a role in risk, and in sorting out agreements and dealing with third party stakeholders. There’s also the role I play in terms of the innovation programme.”


Organisational change


He said Transcend is usually less involved in individual projects, such as a given station or tunnel – “but where it’s a holistic programme approach, we’re absolutely positioned to provide support”.


Pelton noted that some people have been working with Crossrail for up to eight years, and as the project has progressed, its core focus has shifted.


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