Systems engineering on HS2
Joint event with INCOSE UK.
Event to be held in Room 1.12 of the Chancellor's Building.
High Speed 2 (HSE) Phase 1 Major Works Civils Construction (MWCC) follows the typical form of a Large Infrastructure Project (LIP) by consisting of two main stages; the development of an engineering solution in the form of a detailed design and, the delivery of the design solution through procuring contractors to build or construct the solution. These types of projects face their own challenges in the implementation of Systems Engineering, specifically, good Requirements Management. Since HS2 Phase 1 received Assent in early 2017, a few interesting challenges have already been faced in implementing appropriate requirements management. Many projects face similar issues, with teams going ahead into delivery before thinking clearly about requirements.
In the case of a Rail industry project such as HS2, it is not always possible to develop or test a prototype. The challenge faced by the MWCC work is that this phase of works is setting the foundation for not only successful delivery of HS2 Phase 1 but also the future successes of HS2 Phases 2a and 2b. The design is, to a large extent, circumscribed by standards and codes. The technical solutions will be based on those of recent projects, are also being challenged to be innovative, future proof and to deliver value for money. Due to these factors, the design processes for HS2 MWCC will be based on relatively well established and reasonably optimized processes currently used by industry. The complexity to be addressed lies more in issues of interfaces, procurement and constructability, given the specific political, commercial and local conditions, than in the design of a certain type of bridge or the particular alignment of a railway.
Specific challenges that need to be addressed in developing an appropriate Requirements Management Process include:
- The Contracting Strategy being used by HS2, particularly its impact on the management of interfaces between different system.
- The Organisational breakdown of the suppliers (for example, delivery of the different packages) and the impact of this on a Requirements Management Strategy.
- Ensuring of clarity around handover at the completion of different stages such as MWCC, and across the different geographical packages
- Enforcing the requirements hierarchy and enabling the appropriate decomposition and V&V to be developed to ensure successful delivery - Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV) will have to develop a strategy for ensuring that the requirements for N1 and N2 packages are correctly derived and communicated to its supply chain.
The number of stakeholders and consequent number of requirements in a LIP such as HS2 mean that the consequences of inadequately managed requirements could include: contractual and regulatory commitments being overlooked, requirements not flowing down to subcontractors or suppliers and are incomplete, unclear, not regularly updated, and subject to widely varying interpretations. This could lead to the supplier (BBV) having have difficulty in demonstrating requirements were met. Therefore, making the time to develop a requirements management strategy will allow a greater understanding of the responsibility for who is managing and how to manage the requirements.
Solving these and other issues drive the need for a more formal approach to managing requirements. Such a strategy will need to cover various topics, which will include: identifying and documenting why the end product or system needs to exist in terms of value provided to the end user; gaining Client and Stakeholder agreement on the written statements and on the measures of successful completion; ensuring that regulatory requirements are understood by all parties.
This will allow BBV to explicitly show how the proposed designs are directly traceable to providing the system’s value within constraints (e.g., cost, regulatory, and social constraints) and to continue derivation and decomposition such that derived requirements can be allocated to system and components. Another aspect that BBV will have to consider is the implantation of a change control process for requirements that will facilitate change through a prescribed process and appropriate levels of authority, and to ensure that approved changes are propagated to all affected items. A way to manage this will be through the development of a baseline, that is, a configuration controlled set of approved and correctly allocated requirements which are established sequentially and used to control change and reduce risk. This will form the basis for integrated Verification and Validation (V&V) planning and successful delivery of HS2 Phase 1 MWCC.
Implementation of a successful Requirements Management Strategy will enable BBV to show to HS2 that it has correctly understood what is needed to deliver HS2 MWCC. The exercise is more than just a paper ticking exercise. By showing our client that we have understood what is important to them, that we have understood the constraints and issues that are important, will we be able to engage with them to develop innovate design and construction solutions for a project which is heavily in the public eye. Successful delivery will help facilitate the longer term development of HS2 and future extension programmes, and enable BBV to demonstrate their capability in this market sector.
26 Mar 2019
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Somerset and West Wiltshire Local Network
University of Bath
18:00 Arrival and registration
18:30 Start of lecture.
NOTE earlier start time than other Bath University events. Event to be held in Room 1.12 of the Chancellor's Building.