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Network Rail - EPMO

Our principal design ethos combined structured yet flexible governance that was aligned to NR corporate standards and underpinned by a breadth of integrated project and programme data sets.

Our Experience

Network Rail Digital Railway Programme

3 minute read

The challenge

Network Rail’s Digital Railway programme is transforming the operational railway by replacing legacy signalling assets with new automatic onboard signalling that will increase train frequency and timetable resilience.


Given the scale of the network and the sheer volume of work needed to undertake this challenge, it was critical that Network Rail aligned itself closely to stakeholders, suppliers and other surrounding programmes to manage delivery interface risk and to increase certainty. This required a live view of the UK rail delivery and capability portfolio and intelligence around global supply chain utilisation on similar schemes.

Sponsorship & Portfolio Intelligence

Critically underutilised by client organisations and ultimately where project success is won or lost. We strengthened alignment between the project and programme delivery and sponsorship through governance to increase the quality of project and programme business cases.



Assurance, Governance & Stakeholder Consultation

We ran a ‘virtual portfolio team’ that reached across organisations and into the industry supply chain. They came together to look at broader economic and environmental portfolio challenges. This group provided insight and advocacy to increase delivery confidence and mitigate risk beyond internal processes.



Capital Delivery / Change Management

The Portfolio Management Office (PMO) brought together performance data, forecasts, risks and issues, which feed corporate reporting via dynamic dashboards. The PMO wasn’t just gathering data and reporting; it joined the dot’s and reflected back to decision-makers and the Board the combined impact/ implications of decisions made on the deliverability of the portfolio benefits.

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The solution

These sub committees worked collaboratively with each other and their organisations to provide an integrated view on issues that might affect delivery, help to prioritise schemes for funding and support the NR delivery teams with cross-organisational expertise around planning.


To support this process the team developed a digital information portal which was a single source of truth for rich data around delivery, funding and programme information. This facilitated the Virtual Team to work efficiently and collaboratively, able to quickly access the most up to date information which in turn made it obvious which issues needed to be discussed and resolved.


The driving ethos behind the design of this critical function was to be simple, collaborative and inclusive. Too many times we have seen complex or messy out of date information get in the way of seeing and dealing with the real issues. It is also clear that clients can no longer ‘buy certainty’ from the supply chain on complex projects and programmes.


It was fundamental that this was not soley a technology solution but that the people and culture factor was at the forefront of the operating model.


Combining structured yet flexible governance aligned to NR corporate standards underpinned by a breadth of integrated data sets from inside and outside business was our principal design ethos.

The impact

This method of integrated information and governance gets everyone on the same page and all pulling in the same direction. The teams were able to identify key interfaces and optimise the phasing of discreet programme works around a holistic view if supply chain and partner capacity.


This approach enabled a view of the delivery landscape that was achievable and had buy-in from both internal and external parties, a cross-organisation ‘Virtual Team’ using simple, clear, integrated information to revolutionise the railway.

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