A couple of adjacent projects, one to look at complex R&D projects conducted by the rail industry and explore what could be done to improve implementation, and a second to see whether using test results from other sectors or railways could accelerate innovation in UK rail.

In both projects we used case studies to keep it real.  And in both projects the most striking element was the differences in perspective – where you sit dictates what you see.  One man’s “considerate caution” is another’s “risk-aversion”.

The best outcomes are achieved when stakeholders understand the value to them and hence why they should co-operate.  But in an industry as fragmented as rail, the value you can extract from innovation isn’t always obvious and unless you can identify upside for everyone you’ll always have some who are understandably reluctant to invest in R&D or innovation.

Both projects developed guidance about how to build shared pictures of value and so trigger action – one in R&D projects and the other in testing programmes.

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Asked to consider different development routes and scenarios, we considered technology development options, supply chains and partnering choices for a global company.  We laid out a set of development pathways and the people with whom I was working built economic models of the development and manufacturing options.  I worked up criteria and considerations for the primary strategic alternatives as a decision-tree.  Now the client has a clear map through the costed options and can make a robust decision based on clear trade-offs.