Taming complexity on major rail projects with a collaborative systems engineering approach

A system engineering approach clearly recognises that projects are delivered through the collaboration of people and organisations. For example, the approach toward the definition and integration of project processes and procedures encourages collaboration from the outset, with project staff working together to agree on the way in which they will deliver the project. Most project organisations, however, are based on vertical structures and organised into the engineering disciplines and functions that are required to deliver the project. Unfortunately this type of structure does not encourage collaboration among various disciplines and functions or even among individuals within these groups - in pursuit of a common goal. The organisation of the project, taking into account the various constituent engineering disciplines and functions and their geographical locations, is a key element of the project design as the vehicle to deliver the system. While a vertical organisational structure is valuable from the outset, allowing like-minded individuals to work together as they develop and refine their thinking, it can constrain the overall collaboration. Groups in such organisations often end up at cross purposes when issues, challenges, and problems arise. In some instances changing from a vertical organisational to a horizontal organisational structure with multidisciplinary and multifunctional teams can greatly improve collaboration. However the timing of the change is important and, as with any organisational change, requires sensitive management.

Media Info

  • Pagination: pp. 76-83
  • Monograph Title: Permanent Way Institution (PWI) NSW, 2010 annual convention

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01708016
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2019 4:57PM