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How we prioritise our work

How we prioritise our work

Adrian Fails

Head of Business Planning and Performance

RSSB is continuously having to balance demands on its time and resources, weighing up the importance against the complexity of its delivery so outputs are always maximised to meet the needs of our members and the wider industry.

We question potential activities to test how well they meet the needs of our members, the reputational risk and the implication to rail safety. These are then balance against our technical ability to undertake the work, clarity of scope, and availability of funding. Weighing up these aspects enables us prioritise effectively within the constraints of delivering an affordable service to you.

The weighting we use is biased strongly towards meeting our members’ needs. This is our primary consideration. It is accompanied by testing whether the work aligns with one or more of our strategic objectives, because those objectives are a guiding expression of the totality of what we set out do for our members. Our next most significant consideration on how the work relates to the context in which the work will be done. We look here to the wider industry needs; the importance of joining-up where needs may span gaps between the particular needs of individual members; and the views from stakeholders who are not members but who play other key roles in our industry. Lastly, we take account of ancillary drivers such as the need to respond to externally-imposed legislative or technological changes which create a new urgency, and the need to take opportunities where additional funding can enhance the portfolios funded by – or lessen the financial burden on – members and government.

We look also at managing the risks of delivering the work. Where tasks present a relatively straightforward challenge we look to prioritising them over ones involving untested technologies or aspects out of our direct control – enabling us to deliver the work successfully. The complexities brought by including disparate views or objectives brought by multiple stakeholders gets some consideration here, but less significantly so because operating within this environment is one of RSSB’s unique strengths.