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Operations Leaders Conference

17&18 October 2022

Venue: Sandford Springs Golf Club



Teaming to deliver

Desired Outcomes


The wider Ops Leaders will: 

  • Have reflected on what's happened since March - What's progressed well and why. What's not progressed and why.

  • See the full picture and the need for high quality, integrated teaming

  • Be aligned on the next steps for delivering the Big 5 

  • Understand the challenges and perspectives of other delivery functions - Engineering, Liabilities, Planning, Supply Chain, Technology

  • Have taken learning from RR journey 

  • Look forward and work 'Beyond Ops' as Integrated Delivery Teams

  • Be equipped and prepared to engage and stimulate people into action and change

  • Be committed to next steps - both personally and collectively

Draft outline programme

Day 1

Haydn Opening

  • Reflection since last conference in March - what's happened, successes, failures, causes of both and learning

  • Stakeholder perspectives - Board, Customer, Ops Leaders, Employees

  • Beyond Ops - why integrated teaming - challenges and blockers - attitudes and behaviours (Growth Mindset) - 4 commitments

Intro to Ops System and Big 5 Progress Update

  • Reflection since last conference in March - what's happened, successes, failures, causes of both and learning

  • Stakeholder perspectives - Board, Customer, Ops Leaders, Employees

  • Beyond Ops - why integrated teaming - challenges and blockers - attitudes and behaviours (Growth Mindset) - 4 commitments

Learning Review

Part 1:

  • Personal reflections on the past 6 months - Workbook page to help structure thinking. Discussion in pairs

  • What had you committed to do?

  • What has happened?

  • What has progressed well? Why?

  • What hasn't progressed as planned? Why?

  • Complete collective timeline - 3 successes +ve, 3 failures -ve.

  • What do you know now that you didn't know then?

  • Allow 30 mins

Progress update Big 5 - key takeaways and learnings

  • Visual gallery of Big 5 status

  • Video stories of things happening and progress being made

  • Reflection and insights from Floor Walks completed in the past 3 months - Mark Henson or Dave Probyn

  • Stand-up updates (2-3 mins each) on Big 5 updates (?)

Andy Scargill - Liabilities input

  • Licence to operate - often processes blamed when issue is behaviour - recognise complexity and overcome learned helplessness

  • ODTs - desire to get decisions made closer to the work

  • Truly integrated teams, not just resourcing Ops - want to understand the issues/blockers, not just be asked for more people

  • The importance of communication - reporting the facts and full story accurately, not just escalating 'headlines'

Barry Hunter - Supply Chain input.

  • Integrated teaming - Do we really understand the challenges of those you are working with? 

  • Demand planning is essential. Need early. Not a large BOM and not changing radically year on year, so why don't we know this?

  • Not easy to get to know the business - Work flow is not clear. Even the size, scale, costs and fixed/variable nature of a Tech Centre isn't easy to find out. Not sure why it's so hard.

ODT Scenario Testing Exercise

  • Focus on integrated teaming: alignment of goals, increase operational urgency, decision making closest to the work.

  • Purple/Yellow exercise or holding hands exercise

  • Emphasise complexity - HRO/CRM and desired benefits

  • Update on progress - video storyboards from XTC and CMTC & Lee/John

  • Scenario testing - Worksheet discussion and completion

Day 2

Tony Mather - ODIN progress

  • ODIN progress - Scope and timeline for Ops 

  • MRP2 readiness - Graham B/Paul D - what's happened/progressed & next steps

  • Transformation progress updating and communicating

Ops Learning Academy - Carousel

  • 6 Display Boards, one for each of the modules of the OLA prgramme. 

  • 10 mins take to smaller groups and then rotate. 

  • Break after 3 rotations for delegates to capture their views/feedback and post back on the wall.

  • Allow 90 mins in total.

Mandy Savage - New Operating Model and embedded Engineering

  • The new Operating Model

  • Engineering embedded in integrated teams

  • The RW design challenge

Engaging and mobilising people to change - Sam Seffron and/or James Lee

  • Refer to Employee Opinion results - 10% bored

  • Floor walks observations - Lots to be done

  • Removing ambiguity on responsibility for personal growth

  • Emphasise Growth Mindset

  • How do people currently behave? 

  • How do you want people to behave?

  • What opportunity do you have to influence their behaviour? Cards exercise (8-10 packs of cards needed)

Iain Stevenson - Mission Delivery

  • Getting Programme controls in place

  • PMO Maturity Assessment and 25 quick wins

  • Understanding requirements and clarifying demand

  • The planning challenge and capability shortfall

  • Progress on OMC and interface/relationship between OMC and PMO

  • Integrated teaming - How do we make better decisions on priorities between Ops and the Porgrammes? How do we share information and insights?

Ops Capability input - Anna/Steven/Chris?

  • How we define capability?

  • How we assess our current status?

  • Understanding of future need?

  • How do we close the gap?

Learning Review

Part 2:

  • Continuation of Workbook page

  • What in the context has changed?

  • What next?

  • Complete through discussion in pairs.

  • Allow 30 mins

Conference Materials

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ODT Scenario case study

TC Case Study

This case study has been written following a visit hosted by one of the participants in the C1 stakeholder engagement workshops. It provides a 'live' example of the issues the Ops System is designed to address. 

Summary Points:


  • Decision making made at too high a level within AWE giving a sense of lack of empowerment. 

  • Several company processes are seen as not user friendly e.g. Asset change, procurement, etc. 

  • A belief that risk averse leadership is driving a highly conservative application of process. 

  • Weak lines of communication leading to no effective escalation routes. 

  • Support functions viewed as policing/controlling rather than enabling/supporting. 

  • Understandably high degree of scepticism over the Operations System – Just more process being imposed.

Detail of issues


  1. The need for controls around change, configuration, risk assessment etc. is acknowledged and well understood however the process is seen as overly cumbersome and not designed with the user experience in mind. 

  2. The ACR process is viewed as very bureaucratic and long winded to the extent that it puts staff off even wanting to make simple changes.  The example quoted was that of the installation of an outside tap to aid with a process in which the team gave up in the end as it was too difficult.  There also appears to be little/no training available for Asset Change Managers at present.  Given that all changes require an ACM and that they are already on short supply then this just exacerbates the situation. 

  3. Time and effort required to place an order through Supply Chain causes a great deal of frustration.  An example was given for the placement of a contract to undertake some welding on process equipment which was held because of a debate about quality standards for a job that did not require anything particularly onerous.  Not only does this give a sense of policing but also conveys that view that the competent workforce cannot be trusted to make the correct judgements. 

  4. A further example of what is considered overly conservative application of process/policy/regulations pertained to the search and lock up regime that was seen to be imposed on the staff within F13.1 rather than a consultative approach being taken. 

  5. The current Safety Basis for F13.1 has not yet been updated to a Non-Nuclear Risk Assessment in line with current company process.  This is believed to be due to priority being allocated elsewhere within the business.  This highlights the dilemma faced by operational areas when changes in company standards are introduced without a clear, company wide impact assessment or implementation plan. 

  6. There is limited understanding of the senior organisation structure within Operations beyond the Tech Centre head level. 



There is a general view that the rhetoric surrounding improvement programmes does not match the reality of life within operational facilities.  There remains a high degree of frustration with good, competent staff trying to achieve despite the system.  If we are to achieve the principle of “Front Line First” then we must ensure that our processes and their application are designed with the user in mind

Case Study Exercise

We need to test this and other case studies with the relevant elements of the Ops System.  In particular ODTs in relation to empowerment and decision making, and Delivering Together Days in improving work flow. As Ops Leaders, consider the following:

If ODT are operating as intended, for each issue, at what level should the issues be addressed/resolved?

ODT tier 1:


ODT tier 2:


ODT tier 3:


ODT tier 4:


ODT tier 5



What do we need to do now and in the next 3 months to give control to the ODTs at the right level to deal with these issues?

List the specific actions, action owners and timescales below:





















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