Transport for London: London Underground – Interim Head of Quality

Prior to this assignment Oakland Consulting LLP were engaged by several major stakeholders of London Underground Capital Programmes Directorate (LU CPD) to investigate the potential development of a formal quality system. The purpose of the work was to improve project and programme delivery performance. Specifically reviewing processes, systems and behaviours of the delivery element in LU CPD.

An in-depth 12-week study delivered a scalable picture of ‘what quality could look like’ and the steps required to achieve these objectives. That picture used Oakland’s Quality framework [Performance, Leadership, People, Processes, and Quality & Culture/Values]. One of the Leadership actions was to provide a single visible leader of quality.


Supporting the client

Consequently, Oakland was asked to provide an experienced quality professional to provide interim cover for the new role, Head of Quality.  The interim cover was expected to last about 10 months and focus on:

  • Developing a Quality Target Operating Model;
  • Developing a Quality Policy Statement
  • Conducting an end-to-end review of systems and processes to identify where quality should be better integrated with project delivery;
  • Creating a quality implementation plan in readiness for the appointment of a Head of Quality;
  • Preparing a job description and person specification for the new Head of Quality role;
  • Planning and participating in the recruitment process


The Outcomes

The interim Head of Quality role ran for 9 months before the appointment of the permanent Head of Quality.  As a result, by the end of that period we had:

  • Established a Quality Steering Group and supporting working groups;
  • Established a Quality Team structure and developed existing quality related personnel;
  • Formulated a clear definition for the Quality Policy and Vision;
  • Raised the profile of the Quality Function;
  • Prepared the organisation for the adoption of ISO 9001: 2015 based quality systems;
  • Successfully recruited a permanent Head of Quality.

Our handover report to the Directorate provided recommendations for the next steps to improve quality across CPD’s operation.


London Underground said…..

During a period of organisational change Oakland were adaptive, went the extra mile and brought innovative and very practical tools to the business. They brought technical knowledge and were very professional. One very positive aspect of the interim role was that Oakland cared – they took on work areas as if they owned the problem, showed passion and were self-motivated.