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Move on to cabinet responsibility

This campaign tip (no. 43) was published on Tuesday, 12th February 2019
At the early stages of your campaign, solicit all view / ideas - positive and identify the negative too. But then as you work out and press for the solution / change you want, it can become the time to say "we have discussed this to ad nauseam - let's just F***** do it. The railway has a way of going through all of this in GRIP (defined just below) which initially looks horrendous, but yet maps quite well to JFDI (with lots of extra bells as whistles).

GRIP - Guide to Rail Investment Process - rail system for larger projects
1. Define the output for the project. For example, connect new terminal.
2. Define the scope of the investment and identify constraints. Confirm that the outputs can be economically delivered and aligned with network strategy.
3. Develops options for addressing constraints. Assesses and selects the most appropriate option that delivers the stakeholder requirements together with confirmation that the outputs can be economically delivered.
4. Initiation of the development of the chosen single option.
5. Produces a complete, robust engineering design that underpins definitive cost / time / resource and risk estimates.
6. Delivery to the specification and testing to confirm operation in accordance with design
7. Transfer asset responsibility from the project team to the operator and maintainer.
8. Closeout in an orderly manner. Contractual accounts are settled and any contingencies or warranties are put into place. Assessment of benefits is carried out.

JFDI - Just Do It principles
1. Work out what you want to do
2. Work out how you can do it using established technology and resources
3. Think about what else it would do or enable
4. Ask yourself and informed others the questions (with a cutoff date):
-a are these outcome that we want?
-b will it work?
-c is there a (much) better way?
-d are there any show-stoppers?
-e does it muck up anything else?
If outcome of 4 doesn't throw up any problems
5. Work out who's going to lead the capital works and have them do it
6. Work out who's going to operate and who's going to maintain, and have them do it
7. Help promote, market, and tune the project and its planned outcomes
8. Pass on the completed project to the long term custodians
JFDI principles have been previously used in rail station construction - for example Workington North

Now ... with projects such as extending the TransWilts onwards from Westbury to Salisbury and Southampton, we pretty much all on board. There has been talk of going via Frome and Yeovil, but general agreement on direction and everyone is pulling in the same direction with "Cabinet Responsibility"

The thorny question of "buffet or trolley" is way beyond option selection ... not to everyone's liking but views remain split. And that's really unfortunate; we can end up campaigning against a faction when the real thing everyone wants is a decent train service. The best question is now "how can the trolley be made to work better / for people who would have preferred the buffer AND THE OTHERS"

And ... how to bring robustness to train services headed further south west than Exeter ... with "strengthen the sea wall", "dig a tunnel behind Dawlish" and "reopen the line via Okehampton and Tavistock to Plymouth". I have also heard "build a rail bridge across the estuary from Exmouth to Teignmouth". I don't know what the best / long term solution is, but without all communities and campaigners pushing the same way, there's a dilution of community input - the powers that be don't have a steer and have no choice but to go against a lot of public opinion.
Discussion via Coffee Shop forum

Contact details

These pages are written by Graham Ellis of Melksham, Wiltshire. Overlapping a life in IT and IT training, with running a hotel and campaigning for improved public transport, Graham has never been quiet - though he's starting to wind down gently now. He no longer takes overnight guests and has stepped doen from the "Community Rail Officer" role which he accidentally aquired. So he now has more time to write pages such as these and to travel in the UK. He'll be delighted to speak with your group or take a look through your case or camapaign, but be alerted that his time is not limitless even now, and he still has to keep the wolf from the door.

Postal: 48, Spa Road, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 7NY
Phonal: 01225 708225
Emailal: graham -at- wellho.net
Or reach me on the Coffee Shop Forum (User Grahame) facilities


What a difference a campaign makes!

It probably wouldn't have happened without a strong community campaign with which I have been involved. Most days through 2019 I'll be sharing a thought, an idea, a way of working or an experience. Come back here for the links. Discussions via the Coffee Shop Forum - Graham Ellis, 31st December 2018


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done