Navigating the productivity ramp-up

Ramping up your Australian and NZ summer projects? Maximise your productivity over summer with our latest blog.

Winter weather conditions have hampered - and in the case of recent flooding even created the projects we have in the pipeline. The summer season is a great time to catch up on lost time, kick off large programs of work and 'make hay’ while the sun is shining. 

However, a familiar pattern presents itself every summer.  Just as roading and construction works begin to ramp up… the public hit the roads and begin to make heavy and often unpredictable use of our main roads and highways across Australia and New Zealand.

We have a few practical insights to help you deliver projects more effectively and make the most of this summer.  We share a copy of our Mooven framework designed to help you review and prioritise focus areas and some thoughts on how to gain learnings and step changes in delivery methodology during this season to springboard you into the following year.

Gaining focus 

One way we work with our customers is to start a conversation about their desired future state and where that sits in relation to their current state and imminent focus areas.  We have developed a framework for this conversation that makes it easy to determine the next best step to take from any starting position.  It's been a useful framework to think about where an organisation or delivery team sits now, and where they want to move to in the future.

As we kick off summer works and a season of activity, this framework has proven particularly useful in picking a core focus area for the season and maintaining this.  

Often as activity ramps up and opportunities arise we can get excited about doing everything all at once and it can be hard to find our north star in such a dynamic environment.  Remember that 'slow is smooth, smooth is fast', and focusing on the basics first generates momentum.

You'll be amazed at how far you can get if you focus on one area and fully embed it.

From there teams have the opportunity to build upon these improvements over the summer to start the conversation around alternative delivery methodologies with the intention of eventually having a transformative effect on how you are undertaking works across the network. 

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

Ramping up works and embedding new methodologies is often uncomfortable and the trick to working through this is 'slow is smooth, smooth is fast'.

During program delivery, there are many productivity opportunities and situations when we want to react quickly and start moving.  However, in our efforts to change and move so quickly, we end up slowing things down - and the consequence of getting things wrong is very real.

Here are our tips for integrating 'slow is smooth, smooth is fast' over the busy seasonal period of delivery:

Adaption and live iteration doesn't have to imply high risk

I hear what you're thinking as you read through this list - in the busyness of the ramp-up and a backlog of delivery programs, how can you integrate feedback loops and agility into your current methodology?

The trick is to take one small step first.  Within the summer season, take the opportunity to choose a low-risk project to demonstrate a small change.  This act helps you test your thinking and also brings any further benefits and wider stakeholders into play - building trust and understanding along the way.   

Fig 1. Common Summer Test Scenario "What are the best working windows for us? We expect a dual peak but we're in the dark here"

  • Evidence-Based Reality: There were only morning peaks, allowing for a wider working window in the afternoon.

  • Action: Using an evidence base of time delay data and other congestion profile insights from Mooven, permission was granted to extend works through the late afternoon instead of stopping at 3pm to start again for night works. 

  • Result: The project was completed in 6 days instead of 15, materially reducing the impact on the surrounding community and creating space for the next job.

Test scenario went well?  Continue to refine your project using real data and evidence-based insights, rather than anecdotal, to refine and bring learnings into your wider ways of working.  Before you know it, you have innovated your construction or maintenance methodology into something that can produce sustained holistic outcomes.  

See our typical outcome timeline below, with a focus on delivering immediate results linked to testing and building ongoing repeatable, and predictable outcomes.

Gain learning during this season to springboard you into the following year

Don’t waste a perfect opportunity to cement lessons learned and map these to next year's summer session.  As you draw into winter, use this time to reflect as a team on what worked well, what didn’t, and what you’d like to do differently while the experience is fresh in everyone’s mind. This is a great opportunity to build trust with your stakeholders.

In seasonal businesses there is a wealth of opportunity to use last year's learnings, particularly around holiday periods to inform next year's planning. Check out this copy of Mooven's summer webinar last year to get some further tips for capitalising your works over summer:

Mooven's methodology helps our customers identify the “lowest hanging fruit”, and at the same time adopt an agile approach to prioritization throughout the year combined with clear reporting.

Feel free to reach out to myself or the wider Mooven team to help you understand how you can get the most out of your summer programs and leverage learnings forward into 2023.

Micah Gabriels

CEO and Co-founder, Mooven


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