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Are you ready to launch?

Operational readiness ensures success from day one


How can you reduce the risk that comes with opening a new or upgraded facility like an airport terminal, or with a business change such as organisational re-design? That’s where operational readiness comes in.

There’s nothing more important than a successful launch day - if a customer has a poor first experience, they won’t be rushing back for their second. And the best way to guarantee everything goes to plan is preparation.

Our operations consultants use a comprehensive methodology we call operational readiness, activation and transition (ORAT), working alongside your people, processes and assets to ensure successful business outcomes. The result? Everything runs smoothly from day one - as it did when Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 opened in June 2014.

The importance of people

If you want your business to be ready, you need your people to be ready. That’s why we believe preparing your team is the most important part of operational readiness.

ORAT - people at work

“If you want an asset like an airport terminal to be operationally ready, it’s incredibly important to get people on-board, engaged, trained familiarised and inducted.”

Alan Newbold, Transport Leader for IT and Operations Consulting

You need your team to know exactly what to do – because the smallest unexpected change in even the tiniest of details can transform success into failure.

For instance, imagine an unfamiliar new system means it takes airport staff a few seconds longer to allow each passenger through the gate to an aircraft. The total delay would be several minutes, with potentially severe knock-on effects elsewhere.

Applying organisational psychology

Preventing things like this happening on day one requires carefully planned training. Our organisational psychologists design targeted training that gives people the opportunity to understand the changes ahead and practise new processes in advance.

 ORAT marketing materials

Never was this approach more necessary than in the opening of the world’s biggest airport terminal - Dubai, Terminal 3. Our training programme had to familiarise its staff and shareholders with new specialist technology, as well as more than five million square feet, split over eight floors. When the terminal opened, they were ready to process 43 million passengers in year one. 

“Arup has always been about technically brilliant people solving problems for our clients. Today, that technical brilliance also embraces the science of organisational psychology. By applying this scientific rigour, we ensure that people involved in a new asset or with a business change can perform at their very best from day one.”

Stephen Pollard, Global Operational Performance Leader

Indeed, our experience in this area was built ensuring some the world’s biggest and most complex airport terminals, and the people who work there, were operationally ready. Heathrow Terminal 2, Dubai Terminal 3, Mumbai Terminal 2 and Perth Terminal 2 are just a few recent examples.

From our approach we have developed five learnings for ORAT projects

Succeed from the start

Our ORAT service isn’t just for the aviation industry - the team’s knowledge and experience have helped clients across a wide range of industries.

When Transport for London (TfL) needed to keep public transport running smoothly during the 2012 Olympic Games, we helped them create the 24/7 Transport Coordination Centre.

We are working with the team at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, giving them the expertise they need to succeed from the start. Before the new site opens, ORAT thinking and methodology are contributing to ensuring that staff workflows are ready, and scenarios and logistics have been tested  - allowing the hospital to open its doors to the public with confidence.

With our help, we can ensure you’re ready too.

Heathrow T2 explored

In June 2014 Heathrow T2, one of the largest privately funded construction projects in the UK, opened seamlessly on day-one.

Over a two-year period we designed and delivered training for 25,000 staff members and involved 14,000 volunteers in 175 readiness trials, to ensure a smooth transition, leaving the airport with a world-class performance legacy for the future.

Hear more from some of the key people who made that happen.

Meet our people

The ORAT team at Arup
The ORAT team at Arup

Alan Newbold - Director Transport Leader for IT and Operations Consulting

Alan is a Director specialising in transformational change programmes within the transport sector. He has worked on a number of major technology, process and people-led change programmes, including leading our recent work in supporting Heathrow in opening Terminal 2 at London Heathrow.

Stephen Pollard - Global Operational Performance Leader

Stephen is the leader of our Operations Consulting business and heads-up our UK and Middle East business within the healthcare sector.  With a background of 20 years in the IT industry, Stephen specialises in the delivery of complex change programmes, and is accustomed to working with clients to bring about improvements to their quality, productivity and customer service

Kate Fairhall -Heathrow T2 People Lead

Kate is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist who specialises in integrating the technical aspects of psychology into the design and delivery of organisational change. She led the people workstream on the Heathrow T2 ORAT project, ensuring that every training session was relevant for each stakeholder organisation.

Philip Fisher - Senior Project Manager

Philip is a Chartered Civil Engineer with proven technical and leadership experience within multidisciplinary transport design teams in the UK and internationally.  He has extensive knowledge of the entire ORAT delivery model, engaging with clients and stakeholders from the initial strategy development through to its full implementation.

Second row

Jane Goslett - Associate, Management Consulting

Jane is an experienced Project Manager with an excellent track record in delivering complex projects. Her most recent ORAT experience was on Heathrow Terminal 2, where she worked with the operational team to design and document all standard operating processes to be used in staff training and proving trial design

Tim Hawley - Associate Director

Tim is accustomed to project managing the successful openings of large-scale airports, having recently led the team  launching Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’s New T2 Terminal in Mumbai, India. He is accustomed to collaborating with a wide stakeholder base, as well as managing staff training plans. Tim coordinates and facilitates steering group meetings, and leads on the design and implementation of transition plans to ensure a seamless cutover of operations.

Annabelle Woods - Operations Consultant

Annabel has extensive experience in designing, planning and delivering trials for the proving stage of our ORAT process. Her most recent experience was at Heathrow Terminal 2, where the trials successfully identified a range of issues, which could then be resolved or mitigated before opening.

Jonathan Peats - Senior Consultant

Jonathan has been heavily involved with the development of the ORAT process for airports and terminals. He spent two years working on the successful launch of the world’s biggest airport terminal in Dubai, as well as the recent Heathrow Terminal 2 project.

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