It is the remit of the rail industry to deliver a high performing railway.
To enable this to happen, an industry wide approach to drive rail service performance is required.
So, in order to consistently deliver high train performance, it is necessary to ensure that the frameworks are in place to support understanding and decision making where train performance is a primary consideration.
Initiated by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), the Network Performance Board (NPB) is driving a cross-industry programme to enable the improvement of rail network performance and, therefore, customer satisfaction with rail services. Nick King, director of Network Services, is part of the NPB, along with representation from the Routes and the Train and Freight Operating companies (TOCs and FOCs).
Working within Network Services, the Performance Improvement Management System (PIMS) is a programme to determine performance management frameworks that will introduce tools, policies, behaviours, culture and guidance to support the structure of teams and management across industry to enable them to deliver improved rail service performance.
The scoping and thinking behind the performance improvement deliverables has come from industry wide participation, with input from both TOC (train operating company) and Network Rail performance teams, as well as TOC operations teams. Focus has been on three main areas of governance, risk and opportunity, and capability, with work also begun on delivering a suite of key performance indicators (KPI) that support industry wide decision making for performance.
Network Services and the PIMS programme team attended an RDG hosted rail industry event on Wednesday 6 November 2019 aimed at engaging with performance and operations managers from both Network Rail and the TOCs. Uniquely, each region and TOC team were asked to invite frontline colleagues to bring more voices to the conversation and spark new ways of thinking about how we all ‘do’ performance.
The PIMS team used this opportunity to engage with the target audience to test the new maturity model self-assessment tool (RM3P) which is designed to support organisations and teams understand their approach to key drivers of performance. The audience responded well and there was a determination to use it broadly in the businesses as a baseline for improvement.
Nick King joined fellow eminent industry representatives Nick Donovan, chair of NPB, Tim Shoveller, regional managing director, NW&C, Susie Homan, director of planning, engineering and operations, RDG and Steve White, COO, Govia Thameslink Railway, as key speakers at the conference.
Sam Beeson, business change manager, Network Services, tells us: “Whether a train is on time or not, is the passenger’s primary experience of using the railway. If we are really going to focus on our freight and passenger customers, then we need an industry wide structured approach to achieving high train performance. It is great to be involved in the PIMS programme as we establish the overarching governance and practical tools that we all need to be doing well to drive performance.”