The long timeframes of major infrastructure projects such as light rail can be challenging; construction taking a decade or more with a life of half a century of more beyond that. Short-term thinking - including the ‘cheapest’ option temptation - is easy to fall into. Above all, we need to remember we are not doing this just for ourselves, but mostly for future generations.
How do we manage a project of this size and complexity?
The scale and complexity of light rail projects makes them difficult to manage and deliver. At all stages of a project, good quality, rapid decision-making is needed, which in turn requires the right information at the right time. Traditional programme management capability has not kept pace with the demands of these projects, so, new thinking is needed.
A ‘systems approach’ is increasingly used for large and complex projects, an approach we think is extremely well-suited to this project. Systems thinking means understanding how all the component parts of a project work together to meet a common objective. System Integration (SI) is the practical task of bringing together all these components and taking them into service as a single, fully functioning system.
But for SI to work you want to be thinking about integration well before construction starts. At the same time, you need to know where the project wants to go – the why, what, and how. So, you need to start SI with the end clearly in mind. In this light, we think it’s very encouraging that Tamaki Makaurau seems to know what it wants, and why. We are now ready to figure out the “how” and bring it all together.
The time to create a sustainable future for Aotearoa and Tāmaki Makaurau is now. With thoughtful guidance, smart investments, and engaging community outreach we can build a truly accessible city for future generations.
Sean Myers, Head of Rail and Transit
Sean leads rail and transit infrastructure projects in the Australian and New Zealand market. He is an industry leader in strategic planning for urban networks, including option selection and feasibility assessment for new corridors. Sean has advised clients on capacity enhancement assessments for existing networks and step-change asset management programs. He has led numerous multi-disciplinary projects in New Zealand such as City Rail Link, Papakura to Pukekohe and Wiri to Quay Park business cases.