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Recently Agonis Group were seconded into a Business Case Development team for the redevelopment of a large and significant piece of Railway Infrastructure. We are still bound by confidentiality regarding this assignment as it is still navigating its way through the halls of bureaucracy, but there are a few valuable lessons that we have found and could be applied to our future business cases.

In a heavy brownfield railway environment, this project being developed is complicated and involves demolition of the existing infrastructure and the construction of large footings and complex new structures. Over the past several decade’s various options had been developed for undertaking different machinations of this project – however, none of them has been successful. The full reasons behind this are not fully known but one common theme has been the stakeholders have never reliably addressed the impact on train operations from its construction. The agency we have been working with to develop the business case contracted Agonis Group to provide constructability advice to the architectural and structural teams. The team was structured to work collaboratively to develop a range of options that fully articulated the impact to train operations which were then able to be communicated to stakeholders with a high level of confidence. Furthermore, by working closely with the architectural and structural team we could develop the concept designs that sized structural elements and footings that are able to be constructed in the most efficient manner possible, with equipment that can complete the works within the brownfield railway environment.

In the end, the business case was able to narrow all the options down to 3, which all were well thought through providing enough detail for a business case estimate to be developed to a high level of confidence including a detailed level of staging. In our opinion, this process and team structure was a major success and an excellent example of the benefit of engaging a construction advisor early in the project life cycle.

In a related topic the podcast ‘Freakonomics’ earlier in the year released a podcast in a similar vein called ‘Here’s Why All Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It’ Given the large infrastructure boom and the business case cycle that more and more of us are being involved with it is timely to consider the presentation of information to our decision makers. The full article can be found —-> Here

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