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Dynamic Project Management Evolution: Aligning Methods with Auckland Light Rail’s Growing Complexity

October 30, 12:00 pm - 12:40 pm AEST

The Auckland Light Rail (ALR) Project has experienced significant transformations since its inception. Originally funded and housed at Waka Kotahi (NZTA), it later transitioned to becoming a unit within the Ministry of Transport, and eventually evolved into ALR Ltd, a Schedule 2 Crown Company. Throughout this journey, the ALR Ltd Project Management Office (PMO) has faced the challenge of navigating the platforms, policies, and procedures of each organization involved. This necessitated the novation of contracts and the implementation of bespoke spreadsheets to ensure consistent processes that met requirements and maintained accurate records. To bring diverse expertise to this unique project, JV partners Arup and Aurecon joined forces with ALR Ltd under an Alliance Agreement. The Non-Owner Participants (Arup and Aurecon), along with ALR Ltd as the Owner Participant, collaborate to enhance Aotearoa (New Zealand)'s capabilities in urban regeneration and transport integration. The PMO plays a vital role in the management systems of both participants, carrying out various functions and delivering on specific objectives. Management plans are used by the PMO to communicate established plans and processes necessary for effectively running the project. As the governance, funding, and onboarding of the alliance progressed, the content and structure of the management plans evolved alongside them. Initially, ALR Ltd's perspective on management plans was more separate and focused on the managerial aspects of the alliance. However, as time went on, it became more integrated and collaborative, fostering increased clarity of scope and mutual trust. The current goal is to ensure that processes owned by the most appropriate participants are cross-referenced to achieve the best project outcomes while complying with the stipulated requirements from the Crown and Sponsor. Furthermore, as the project advances, it is expected that the participants' management plans will undergo revisions to remain aligned with the evolving needs of the project. This flexibility allows the participants to adapt to changing circumstances, incorporate lessons learned, and optimise their approaches to efficiently achieve project objectives. The effective coordination among the participants is crucial for the overall success of the project. This coordination may involve weekly stand-up meetings, various discussion forums, fortnightly sprint delivery sessions, and the establishment of clear lines of communication and decision-making authority. By fostering open communication and a collaborative environment, the project can overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and effectively achieve its goals.

Senior Associate, Frequency
Senior Project Manager, Arup
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