Business Case

A state government body established to oversee the construction works to remove a series of railway level crossings across a major city in Australia at an estimated cost of $12B.

The client had recognised that the design review process was a significant obstacle in effectively delivering this multi-billion-dollar program due to its lack of control and associated inefficiency. Due to these issues, the client forecast that the process would cause considerable delays and overspend.


ORBIZ were engaged in facilitating a week-long Breakthrough Event to engage stakeholders from across the program to examine the design review process and identify opportunities for improvement.

Project Summary

The client had chosen the alliance contracting model as its method of procurement to deliver this $12b construction program. As is customary in alliance contracts, the major parties have incentives to improve their performance throughout the contract.

In early delivery packages, the efficiency of the design process was inconsistent. One characteristic identified was the common problem of management silos. These silos were leading to a breakdown in communications between the design team and the reviewers resulting in a slow pace of throughput.

The design packages were quite complicated with each pack generating circa. 6.5 workflows which must be reviewed by different stakeholders at each stage of design (Preliminary Design, Detail Design, Final Design, and Issue for Construction). As an example, a signaling package may contain a single drawing that is four meters long and can take 100 person-hours to review.

A further challenge was natural human behaviour to try and keep everyone happy. Much of the designing was being completed in the review process as reviewers commented, and then designers responded with corrections. This cycle occurred habitually and continuously increasing inefficiency.

ORBIZ facilitated a five-day Breakthrough Event that was supported by a broad range of more than fifty stakeholders from across the program who interface with the design review process.

This activity involved a detailed mapping and analysis of the current state process to identify all of the failures of communication, bottlenecks in information flow and generally inefficient activities. Once the group had a shared vision of the current situation, they worked together to agree on what could be changed to create an improved future state. A Transformation Plan developed to visualise this future state.


  • Transformation Plan created containing 42 initiatives that would be implemented across the program
  • The event supported industry alignment that enabled the program to remove a review stage from the design process
  • Significant reduction in the number of comments generated through the design review process leading to estimated efficiency savings of millions of dollars (actual savings TBC)