“Work together with people in the right way”

Foster the right culture and capability. Have the people with the right capabilities and mindsets and work with relevant partners to
take decisions. Invite challenge at appropriate moments. Spread best practice.

Unlike the strategy, explore and examine sections of the toolkit, which are designed to be used in sequence, this section will be useful to you right from the very beginning of your project idea, used alongside the other sections of the toolkit.

Past experience of project performance has shown that working culture and the capabilities of the people and organisations involved have a big impact on a project’s success.

Involving the right people with the relevant skills at each stage, and developing a good working relationship, can be crucial.

Capability assessment

It is important to consider how to build and empower people from the very beginning, recognising the need for growth in capacity and change in capability throughout.

The capability assessment helps you consider what you might need for your project.

Read more about capability assessment.

Download the assessment.

Complexity assessment

Depending on the scale, scope and novelty of a proposal, different approaches will be needed to managing the work and the necessary support and advice. This assessment helps you think about what kind of management arrangements your project needs

Read more about complexity assessment.

Download the assessment.

Common assessment

Self-assessment is an important form of assurance and can be used at an early stage within the project team to assist promoters.

The common assessment can be used concurrently alongside the tools from any of the other sections.

Download the assessment.

Planning your organisation

Once the skills that will be needed are identified the next step is to identify:

  • when people are needed,
  • how many people are needed
  • where the people will come from
  • how resources will be secured and managed

Rail projects tend to have long lifecycles due to their complexity and that they are usually delivered while keeping the railway open and operating. However, they are still temporary in their nature and not delivered as business as usual activity.

Consider using a framework to make the choices about whether how to buy, build or borrow the necessary capability.

Creating good cultures

Culture is often described as ‘the way we do things here’. Project culture is set by the Client and Sponsor and is one of the strongest indicators of project success. It is vital that you consider the culture that you want to create from the outset.

How priorities are set, which behaviours are accepted and what is rewarded by incentives are all drivers of culture within projects. Culture is set by deliberate choices which may have unintended consequences on the behaviour of a project team so it is important to continually assess and review what type of culture is being created on the project. This allows for corrective action to be taken if needed.

All projects face really challenging times which strain everyone’s emotions, resilience, energy and behaviours. It is how the team manage to collaborate, behave and support each other that will hinder or help the project in these times.

It is important that the parties in a project work together constructively, but still provide each other with appropriate levels of challenge to avoid ‘group think’ developing.

Case studies

The Access for All Programme has been included as a case study on embedding and sustaining healthy project cultures and can be found below.

Use the links below to explore case studies showcasing positive culture development