Lower Thames Crossing Case Study
How do you get four companies to work together, to deliver a single project?
The Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) will be a new road crossing between Thurrock, Essex and Kent, through a tunnel located east of Gravesend and Tilbury. This new crossing will offer improved journeys, new connections, better network reliability, and unlock economic benefits. The route comprises a bored tunnel under the River Thames, a new road north of the river joining the M25 and a new road south of the river, which will join the A2 east of Gravesend.
To deliver the crossing on time and on budget an 800 strong workforce is required. The workforce however has two distinct characteristics, that require a digital toolkit to support how they work.
Firstly, the project team is transitory, with those on the project changing through the different project phases.
- Work in progress, knowledge and decision making must not be forgotten as project members come and go. Key decisions need to be captured and shared with team members involved – present and future. A collaboration platform is needed that can facilitate this.
- There is a need to communicate with the project team about ongoing activities and project status. A communications platform is needed to meet this objective.
Secondly, this major UK infrastructure project is a joint venture between Arcadis, COWI and Jacobs, for Highways England.
- A collaboration environment for LTC ensures multiple delivery partners have access to a shared collaboration space, as they work together to build the crossing. This empowers all parties to work together seamlessly and complete project activities.
- Highways England has a further requirement, to ensure all work is centralised for the LTC project and does not reside within partner company information systems. This centralisation of intellectual property (IP) is important as the project is owned by UK PLC.
Colin Shedden, Systems Architect at LTC, chose Office 365 as the communication and collaboration platform for the LTC project. “We wanted a secure platform that could be stood up quickly and came with a rich set of tools out of the box. The availability of SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and OneDrive was a big driver for us in choosing Office 365 because we wanted to make it easy for those on the LTC project to co-author documents and work together in a transparent way.”
The LTC team then looked for a partner to on-board LTC project members to Office 365 collaboration and communication services. Shedden continues, “we selected AddIn365 because they offered a set of products that enhance Office 365 out of the box capabilities, rather than replicate them. They also have a roll-out method that would help our project teams to on-board and use the Office 365 collaboration services, Microsoft Teams and OneDrive, consistently. This is vital to the retention of our project IP.”
AddIn365 worked with LTC to:
- Define an Office 365 Operating Model for Office 365 communication and collaboration services such as SharePoint, OneDrive and Microsoft Teams.
- Roll-out AddIn Intranet which is a feature kit that enhances Office 365 SharePoint Modern. This has provided a central communications portal for the LTC project team. AddIn365 design and information architecture services were used to set up the intranet. AddIn365 content and launch services socialised this new tool to LTC project members.
- Roll-out AddIn Work Hub which is a productivity toolkit for Office 365 that supports employee adoption of Microsoft Teams and OneDrive. The AddIn365 on-boarding method helped all groups of LTC workers to use Office 365 productivity services consistently.
- AddIn Analytics has been used to measure on-going adoption.
“AddIn365 products have helped our employees to use Office 365 services first, which is what we wanted from AddIn365, to get value from our investment in the platform. The AddIn365 on-boarding method really hit the mark for us because it has helped the LTC team to use Office 365 Teams and OneDrive consistently. This project was the opposite of how many IT projects run where IT teams conduct closed door exercises and adoption is an after-thought. We were out within the LTC teams getting hands on! We have made a really positive difference to how the LTC project is running.”Colin Shedden
“The LTC is a vital infrastructure project for the UK. Using Office 365 and partnering with AddIn365 to get the best out of this platform has helped us to give our LTC project teams the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently. Highways England is always looking for innovative technologies and ways of working to help us deliver our projects on time and budget for the British public. This LTC project is a great example of innovation delivering project value – quickly and at a fixed cost.”Alan Perkins
Uptake of Microsoft Teams and OneDrive
Delivered in weeks
Monthly adoption of the digital workplace
Organisations working together
For Highways England and the LTC team, key objectives have been met:
- LTC has its own dedicated collaboration space for the joint venture partners which acts as a central repository for LTC project IP. Since launch there has been 100% uptake of Microsoft Teams and OneDrive.
- LTC have a communications platform that keep the transient project team informed of project status and updates. Each project member consumes news once or twice a week, which is in line with the volume of content published.
- Overall adoption of the new AddIn365 digital workplace has sat between 83.5% – 100% each month since launch.
- LTC and Addin365 worked together to deliver a communications platform to the LTC project team using AddIn Intranet, over a two week period.
- Collaboration on-boarding was speedy and only took a further four weeks.
- AddIn365 delivered on spec and for a fixed cost.