The Metro Tunnel Project will transform Melbourne’s rail network. How can RPV manage the thousands of requirements of this AUD 11 billion initiative and deliver it on time and on budget?
By using a software as a service (SaaS)-based requirements management solution, RPV gained a single, collaborative and security-rich environment to help define, trace, analyze and manage requirements in real time.
Provides a collaborative, security-rich cloud environmentwhile enabling all parties to selectively share and update data in real time
Helps mitigate risks and delays stemming from changesby identifying interdependencies between requirements
Allows repeatability and consistencyby enabling RPV to standardize its approach and requirements set
Business challenge story
No place for spreadsheets
What does it take to construct two 9-kilometre long rail tunnels, five underground stations, a train-tram interchange and dedicated control centres to support 55 kilometres of high capacity signalling? And deliver it all on time, on budget and while working within a bustling metropolitan area of 4.8 million people?
It takes coordinating nearly 7,000 construction workers and hundreds of civil engineers, archaeologists and electricians; ongoing collaboration among a consortium of contractors to deliver multiple work packages; and timely communication between numerous stakeholders, utility providers and alliances.
This is the Metro Tunnel Project, an AUD 11 billion infrastructure development program that will, upon completion, transform Melbourne's rail network into an international-style metro system. The project scope is so large that construction is divided into four key packages of works: early works, tunnel and stations, rail systems and rail infrastructure. Since the Project’s launch in early 2015, thousands of workers and civil engineers have already logged millions of hours.
When it comes to requirements management, this is no place for spreadsheets. To keep everyone and everything on track, Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) — the Victorian government body responsible for overseeing every aspect of the massively complex project — required a considerably more advanced solution.
Marc Chadwick, Manager, System Architecture, Integration and Assurance at RPV, explains: “With the Metro Tunnel Project, it’s up to our packages and contractors to discharge the project requirements. We needed a tool to manage the complexity, a collaborative environment where the contractors can update and share required information in a protected way and to allow the whole project to be pieced together and form a consolidated view.
“Without the proper tools, all of our contractors would be using their own methods, so it could take weeks to process that information — which then puts you weeks behind the actual state of the work.”
In addition to increasing collaboration and avoiding data silos, RPV needed to mitigate the risks that can stem from interfacing requirements and dependencies across multidisciplinary teams and contractors. “When multiple packages are involved, there are a lot of interdependencies between them,” says Mr Chadwick. “If a contractor proposes or initiates a change, it’s important to readily understand how that change could impact the overall project.”
A collaborative environment in the cloud
To manage the complex requirements of the Metro Tunnel Project, RPV chose Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next technology, a software as a service (SaaS)-based solution delivered through the IBM Cloud platform.
“The IBM brand is well known,” says Mr Chadwick. “I had no concerns about getting their support and expertise, and that’s proven to be the case. From the beginning, we wanted to embed this tool as the way for RPV and our contractors to perform their requirements management work. So we specified in our contracts that DOORS Next was the required management tool.”
For RPV and its contractors, cloud-based Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next technology delivers the best of both worlds. RPV gains a single, collaborative and security-rich environment that allows it to manage project requirements in real time across the project lifecycle.
Concurrently, all individual parties involved in the project, from contractors and engineering teams to stakeholders, can connect to project-wide data while also working within their own areas of the tool and preserving their data privacy and intellectual property. RPV also uses the report builder publishing functionality of the software to generate deliverable documents and reports containing requirements data.
Mr Chadwick adds: “Within DOORS Next, we have a system level which is where we share information between the packages. But each package also has its own private areas where it manages its own DOORS Next project and has full administration procedures within that project.”
For change management, RPV relies on IBM Engineering Workflow Management Contributor SaaS software (formerly IBM Track and Plan on Cloud software). When changes to the requirements are needed, RPV can submit a change request that can then go through its own workflow. For its requirements specifications, RPV uses IBM Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Publishing software (formerly IBM Rational® Publishing Engine software).
Safety is a top priority for RPV. The project must comply with specified local and international safety standards and these are applied by contractors, noting that each contractor can be at different stages of their development lifecycle. As such, instead of having to gather updates from multiple contractors and disparate systems, RPV and its contractors take advantage of the solution’s environment to be able to manage dependencies and relationships and form integrated hazard logs and interface registers.
The features deliver a real-time, single source of truth for risk and interface management activities that RVP can securely control and selectively share with work packages, depending on their functional areas and responsibilities across the project.
“There’s a lot of hazard analysis that needs to take place and DOORS Next provides the type of collaborative environment that we need given that mitigating hazards may require controls from multiple parties,” says Mr Chadwick. “So we’re using the system to capture the hazardous events and consolidate the hazard analysis and link controls through to the contractors to discharge.”
Real-time information and visibility
According to Mr Chadwick, none of this would be possible without the cloud.
In addition to increasing visibility and traceability across the project lifecycle, IBM technologies are helping RPV recognise and mitigate risks, delays and unwanted expenditures that can stem from unforeseen changes.
“Change management is key — the ability to have all our relationships and contract requirements in the database,” says Mr Chadwick. “If a contractor proposes or initiates a change, you can readily understand the interdependencies between requirements. You can see how a proposed change could impact the project and what it may mean to RPV and our client.”
Moving forward, RPV is applying the knowledge and technical capabilities gained from the Metro Tunnel Project to develop a standardized requirements management framework. By applying and replicating the framework across other projects, including Regional Rail Revival and Melbourne Airport Rail, RPV and its contractor industry will realise greater efficiencies through the project lifecycle.
We’re evolving our definition of the framework and trying to establish generic contract requirements,” concludes Mr Chadwick. “But already we have a far better foundation for future projects than we’ve ever had before.”
Rail Projects Victoria
Originally formed in 2015 as the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA), RPV is a government agency responsible for planning, managing and delivering several major infrastructure programs, including the Metro Tunnel Project, Regional Rail Revival program, the Fast Rail to Geelong project and Melbourne Airport Rail. In 2018, along with its name change, the agency became one of several project teams comprising the Department of Transport's Major Transport Infrastructure Authority. RPV is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and employs more than 375 people.
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