Collaborative Approaches in Railway Tunnel Engineering

While the use of railways is estimated to increase by about 50% by the mid-2030s, maintenance costs are said to increase. On the other hand, financing to increase capacity and maintain infrastructure continues to be squeezed. Railway operators and asset managers therefore face challenges to work efficiently under tight budgets when transforming the legacy network to meet the future needs of an integrated transport network. Research shows the need for change in industry culture, and a number of performance improvement suggestions have been put forward.
The emerging theme is that fragmented renovation projects must change and adopt collaborative approaches working at CDE powered by technology to improve performance in the planning, design, data management and return of projects delivered in a complex and fragmented railway industry. This will further impact trusted asset data quality in flagging decisions regarding asset status and maintenance requirements, and will help improve future decisions about maintenance requirements.
Collaborative research covers a range of inconsistent areas such as organizational and social psychology, human factors, computer science, management science, education and healthcare. In March 2009, the University of Nottingham, a partner of the European Funded CoSpaces project, published the qualities that influence and create collaborative work, as well as developing an explanatory model to provide a unified understanding of what collaboration is. and how this is best conveyed to the industry and how to support collaborative work based on this understanding. The technical method used to check the validity of this research was semi-structured interviews with CoSpaces user partners and benefiting from the extensive experience of working with various industrial organizations. Collaborative Approaches in Railway Tunnel Engineering
It provides an overview of the main factors (individuals, teams, interaction processes, roles, support, context, and overarching factors) and sub-factors (with supporting references), their suitability and importance for collaborative work. In addition, a series of card sequencing studies were conducted with human factors experts to evaluate the significance of the factors in the model. The study showed that there is general agreement on the main factors proposed for the cooperation model. What’s more, groups of human factors experts reviewed 27 different representation styles for a collaborative working model and included factors taken into account during card ranking.
In particular, the external factors that influence the creation of collaboration in a business environment and a project are:
• Confidence,
• Time,
• Performance,
• Administration,
• Conflict,
• Goals,
• Incentives,
• Limitations
• Experience
Internal factors that affect the creation of cooperation in a business are:
• Teams,
• Individuals,
• Context,
• Support,
• Tasks
Interaction processes
A number of different activities, behaviors and skills must be developed so that external and internal factors can be applied throughout the project life cycle. Employees’ social behavior has a huge impact on an organization’s effectiveness in the construction industry. Many aspects of social behavior occur in project managers interacting with team members. Moreover, working in teams magnifies and intensifies behavioral characteristics as a result of members’ close encounters with each other in terms of both formal and informal attitudes where clear responses and decisions are required for problem solving. Proactive behavior as a social behavior influences project and organizational effectiveness, but the research in this article demonstrates the need to explore and explain how proactive behaviors of project managers can be improved on a project.
Proactive behavior means “taking initiative to improve existing conditions; It involves challenging the status quo rather than passively adapting existing conditions ”. He also defined proactive behavior as “self-initiated and forward-looking action aimed at changing and improving the situation or oneself”. As it is a relatively new field, there is no precise definition of proactive behavior, and current definitions are somewhat vague and even controversial. However, recently there seems to be a consensus emerging on the definition of proactive behavior as suggested. Dictionary definitions typically emphasize two key elements of proactivity. First, they identify an element of foresight that involves acting before a future situation, such as acting with predictions about future problems, needs, or changes.
Second, definitions emphasize taking control and causing change, for example: “controlling a situation by causing it to happen rather than waiting to respond once it happens”. Proactive behavior is defined as “forward action taken by employees to affect themselves or their environment”. Proactive behavior in particular has three main characteristics: Collaborative Approaches in Railway Tunnel Engineering• Expectation: It involves acting in advance for a future situation rather than simply reacting.
• Change-oriented: Being proactive means taking control and causing something to happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen.
• Self-initiated: The individual does not need to be asked to act, nor detailed instructions.
The dynamic view of successfully managing projects is to develop the project manager’s skills in checking and making better decisions. With the increasing number of projects delivered in the BIM environment, the skills of project managers must be adapted to suit this. What is essentially needed to develop the skills of the project manager is the ability to interact with other participants or members of the organization or project in order to foster a culture of collaboration. This interaction improves communication and collaboration and builds trust between the project manager and participants. “Innovators should trust themselves, trust the people they work with, trust their partners, and balance their progress in an environment that is both self-doubtful and requires self-confidence,” said Estrin.
Communication forms the conceptualization of the processes through which people navigate and assign meaning and is a fundamental element of collaboration. Communication is also understood as an exchange of understanding. Montiel-Genel defines collaboration as “a trusting relationship between two or more equal participants involved in sharing thinking, shared planning and shared creation.”
In the research, he supported the claim that the following skills should be built in order to increase trust, communication and collaboration: predictive skills, change orientation and self-initiation skills. From now on, these skills will lead to the development of proactive behavior. Therefore, a successful project manager needs to be self-initiated, forward-looking and visionary. This behavioral situation will be used as a driving force to initiate change in a company’s operational and organizational system. This approach will provide an added value to the state-of-the-art technology available in project management. The concept of proactivity helps project managers think and act before, during and after a meeting.
He also captured and analyzed the proactive cognitive model on paper. The model consists of proactive personality, job autonomy, colleague trust, supportive control, self-efficacy, flexible role orientation (organizational commitment) and control assessment. The description of each element of the model is listed below:
• Flexible role orientation shows to what extent the various issues that affect the long-term goals of projects will be of personal interest to an individual rather than another.
• Peer trust means trust between members of a project team.
• Self-efficacy refers to how confident a project manager is in performing a range of proactive, interpersonal and integrative project tasks.
• Control evaluation refers to the belief that a project manager can control and have an impact on project results.
• Change orientation refers to project managers who have the intention to initiate / propose changes to a project / task to optimize projects, engagement procedures, or performance.Collaborative Approaches in Railway Tunnel Engineering
• Job autonomy refers to the extent to which the project manager is involved in making decisions within the team.
• Proactive personality refers to the relatively stable tendency to anticipate problems.
• Supportive supervision means enhancing the leader’s effectiveness in a self-management context.
What should be understood from the above is the need to focus on low project knowledge maturity to increase the progress of a project. Using BIM and supporting tools ensures that project information is of the correct quality and shared from a CDE, ensuring that team members have access to the same information. The behavior of the proactive project manager helps to develop the project knowledge maturity to deliver the project that meets the client’s requirements. The added value is making better quality decisions based on more evidence and better control of the project throughout the delivery and operational life cycle of the delivery team.
There is consensus that collaborative approaches are part of the solution to improve project performance. However, as collaboration and is emphasized in the comments, the words cooperation and partnership are often used interchangeably, making it difficult to have a clear meaning and difference between them. Although it is a widely used concept, there is no clear understanding of what collaboration is.
The complexity of cooperation in the rail industry can also be seen from the purchasing perspective, where various forms of partnerships appear to be the preferred option in road renewal projects and are supposed to work in collaboration. Collaboration has been shown to improve project performance, and its effectiveness can be increased with the support of good technologies and processes that add more value to the delivery of renovation projects.
Technology-powered CC adoption in railway asset maintenance projects using IDMS in a collaborative environment can no longer be overlooked when looking for solutions to reduce maintenance costs, value for money and provide efficient services in the face of dwindling budgets. It will also facilitate the integration of the UK transportation network to provide future customers with a world-class travel experience in connected transportation powered by Big Data. It illustrates the collaborative environment requirements that should be supported by Senior Management in renewal projects and an appropriate form of contract / procurement process based on a renewal case study.


Author: Ozlem Guvenc Agaoglu

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