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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 launch of Heathrow’s Terminal 2 was a huge project, which involved two years of planning, training and trialling to ensure a successful launch day.

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.

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 Alan Newbold Digital Aviation Leader

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.

There were 180 trials leading up to the Heathrow, Terminal 2’s launch. Joan Buszewska talks us

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.

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 Stephen Pollard

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.

Jane Goslett explains how our experience on previous projects has helped develop our robust issue management approach.

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 Terminal 2’s Shane Carter explains how they involved airport stakeholders during the planning process.

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.

Trial designer Ben Coulson explains the aims and limitations of large-scale airport trials.

Launch know-how

Our new tried and tested methodology de-risks the start of new services across industries