The complexity and singular nature of infrastructure projects make it vitally important that experience and knowledge gained in their delivery is shared so that future programmes can benefit. At the outset programmes should seek the experience from predecessors in their reference class and participate in relevant communities of practice. Time taken to benchmark and to identify the lessons that can be built on will be hugely repaid during implementation.
Crossrail established a learning legacy programme to share the learnings from delivering the programme for the benefit of future projects.
Implementing the Learning Legacy involved working with senior leaders throughout the programme to identify the lessons from delivery and edit and publish over 800 items to share that knowledge for the benefit of future programmes.
Crossrail worked with professional institutions and successor project representatives to focus the topics and content to ensure best value from the wide range of experience built up in Crossrail. For example the final learning legacy conference in 2023 was accompanied by a special issue journal produced by the Association for Project Management.
Crossrail International can help clients with establishing a knowledge management and learning legacy function and to benefit from the experience of delivering the Elizabeth line.
Simon Bennett is Crossrail International’s expert adviser on Learning Legacy. He was responsible for Crossrail’s Learning Legacy programme from the launch of the Learning Legacy website in 2016 until the Elizabeth line delivery completed in 2023. Simon was involved in the Crossrail project from inception, leading the pre-Bill consultation and the establishment of the construction community relations function. This long experience of the several phases of development, authorisation and delivery provides Simon, and Crossrail International, with a broad knowledge of the challenges of major programmes and how knowledge transfer can improve performance.