Turnaround of a power station automation programme

Innovators have turned around and delivered projects that had overrun their budgets or allocated delivery timing.  This is an example:


A programme involved the removal of existing electro-mechanical control systems from a power station, completely re-cabling and testing 60,000 I/O points, 18,000 main components and installing nine electronic control desks over a 3-year timescale in three phases.

What the team found

Innovation was appointed as Programme Delivery Architects and Strategic Planners to carry-out completion of an urgent ‘open, positive audit’ on Phase 1 of this business-critical programme, which had ‘faltered’ and was threatening to delay return to service of 25% of one of Europe’s largest power stations during a peak loading period. The audit report identified that:

  • The client’s Programme Manager was untrained in this discipline.
  • The Programme was 14 days late
  • The supplier was selected for their quality of equipment but did not have experience of integration.
  • Communication inaccuracies had led to incorrect installation of kilometres of cable .
  • The contract and the contractual approach were inappropriate for the client’s requirements.
  • Some of the technological approach (control software) was unproven and impractical.
  • A legal issue was developing between the main supplier and the client.
The Outcomes

Led by an Innovation Programme Delivery Architect, an Innovation team were able to:

  • Negotiate a compromise interim working agreement between the client and the main supplier. 
  • Assist in appointing a new ‘Technical Architect’ and correct the technical implementation.
  • Rapidly re-organise the existing workforce of over 780 (24/7 working) people and introduce our accelerated ‘A, B, C’ work order system, with timeboxed prioritisations, plus define and design a set of multiple, integrated plans.
  • Deliver Phase 1 of the Programme on a new delivery date (1 day later than the original baseline) saving large commercial losses on a 13-day overrun and out of service generation unit
  • Facilitate a final settlement between the client and the supplier.
  • Deliver Phases 2 & 3, precisely to the agreed schedule and budget over a further 2-year period.