My youngest daughter and her husband had the usual holiday pleasure of an overcrowded and slow train journey.. instead of 2h10m direct they suffered 4 hours and 2 changes; one was late and so the 4 hours became 4h30! On the way back it was only one change including a walk between stations made the elapsed time 6h 30.
Other commuters had a big shock when the rail work overran by several days actually 3 ..a week turns into 10 days... The Daily Telegraph article British tax-payers deserve better railways
"Network Rail blamed the delays on a shortage of engineers. This should not have been a shock. Why didn't it hire a full team before starting the work? The answer, it seems, is that there aren't enough to go round.
Brian Clementson, a visiting professor at Newcastle University's NewRail, a railway research centre, says that the industry is simply running out of quality engineers and other specialists. "With the decline of British manufacturing, we are at risk of losing our basic skills."
Add to that Labour's dumbed-down education system, in which subjects requiring a high level of numeracy (such as electrical engineering) are sneered at as "elitist", and it won't be long before the bulk of our railways' maintenance schemes will be dependent on immigrant workers."
which reminded me of that I had written
2. if the team leader has done a similar project but the team hasn't
then AT= ET x pi, approx 3 times ET
3. If all the team have worked together on a similar project then
AT= ET x pi/2, approx 40% greater than estimate.
It seems that British Rail drop into the second category; if they had declared this time then no doubt there would have been protests from the train operating companies. I often thought splitting the track from the trains into two companies seemed weird. Then we do see a similar effect in IT where IT services are outsorced from a company and so the pace of development slows and home computing becomes more powerful and innovative than company activities. It also reflects the efficiency vs. effectiveness of innovation funnels and stage-gate processes, that also deliver efficient management but not effective output.
So in 2008 we need to think process leadership in a big way; also insight/foresight, technology mastery and people networking management.