Understanding the key components of Business & Operational Readiness

Business & Operational Readiness

When projects introduce new capability to the existing business and operations, there is a transition to a new Operational State, which needs to be understood and managed by the business.

Accordingly, there must be an approach to identifying and understanding the impact of the project on the current People, Processes, and Technology. 

It is critical this is done throughout the project lifecycle.

To identify and define project impacts from a business and operational readiness perspective on the entire system, HKRP considers three key aspects:

  1. Technology - physical assets, hardware, software and their programming
  2. People - the staff and customers using defined processes to manage/use technology
  3. Process - applied by people to manage/use technology in a way that delivers the customer charter, cultural, and strategic objectives.

Following the identification of impacts to technology, people and process, HKRP has elicited the activities to manage these impacts and allocated them to one of five components. These five key components can then form business and operational readiness work streams throughout the project lifecycle.

These five key components include:

  1. Safety assurance / safety in design and human factors - rigorous identification of safety risks and the process to evidence that all risks are managed to a point of safety So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable (SFAIRP). Identifying and managing interactions between humans and elements of a system to optimise system performance and identify and mitigate risk 
  2. Operational readiness - ensuring the right people, using the right processes, are in the right place at the right time to use fit for purpose systems from the first day of operations - The Operator must be in the loop for the change to succeed
  3. Network readiness - addresses maintenance needs throughout the design and implementation phase and maintenance team preparedness prior to commencement of operations – The Maintainer must be in the loop for the change to succeed
  4. Change management, culture and communications - the approach to communicating
    and transitioning individuals and organisations from current state through the various project implementation phases to final state is key. If this does not occur, then even the best designed system will fail
  5. Competency and learning - the process of role impact and process assessment, Risk Based Training Needs Analysis (RBTNA), training delivery methods, rostering/resourcing and the implementation of training. This is especially valid with competency frameworks that are not designed for the new technology currently being integrated such as ATP, ATO and Trackside worker protection systems.

Business Readiness is a lifecycle problem – not just a handover issue

HKRP has found projects that do not pay enough attention to the detailed operational and maintenance concepts and requirements at the start of the project as well as keeping them up to date with change, often find Business and Operational Readiness a significant challenge.

As such there are often changes to scope required to deliver the intended outcomes. Business and Operational Readiness, much like Systems Engineering and Safety Assurance, is a lifecycle issue.

This is described at a high level below and grouped into deliverables aligning with the appropriate project lifecycle phase:

  • Initiation/Concept Phase - ensures that the Project Business Case and the Business Requirements Specification have properly addressed all Business and Operational Readiness elements prior to system design commencing. Through this review, the Business and Operational Readiness team in collaboration with the key stakeholders, can properly define the detailed Business and Operational Readiness scope for a project.
  • Development Phase - during the development phase, the technology and processes are designed in accordance with the business and system requirements, master schedule and contract obligations. The transition strategy will be developed and help to identify the Business and Operational Readiness team’s work packages, including design reviews, testing and commissioning activities, training, and the production of required reports. 
  • Implementation Phase - This phase is focused on delivering the system, supporting operations and maintenance strategies and all associated Business and Operational Readiness activities defined within earlier phases.
  • Finalisation Phase - The finalisation phase involves the post-implementation review (lessons learnt) and benefits realisation assessment.

If you would like to understand how HKRP can assist your next project's Business and Operational Readiness needs or to improve an existing project, please contact us to set up a meeting where we can discuss effective solutions to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

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