Risk Management

Melbourne-Sydney High Speed Train 16

Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train

Executive Summary

Risks are inherent in any project, and the solution is to advance risk management strategies. The current analyses are Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train risk threats and proposed solutions to these risks. Some of the risks identified include political, social/cultural, financial/economic, technology, and legal. Some of the solutions to these threats include engagements and negotiations, simulations and experiments/practicals and evaluating systems to determine the effectiveness of the systems. These different processes are important in ensuring the developmental requirements and approaches of the construction are completed as strategized.

Table of Contents

2Executive Summary

5Introduction 1.0

5Establish the Context 1.1

5Analysis of AS/NZ 4360 Risk Management Framework 1.2

6Analysis of the Project 1.3

6Identification of Risks 2.0

8Analysis of the Risks 3.0

8 (likelihood))risk matrixClassification of Risk ( 3.1

10Risk Level Analysis 3.2

114 × 4 Risk Matrix 3.3

12Risk Likelihood and Consequences 3.4

134.0 Risk Evaluation

134.1 Evaluation of Environmental Risks

144.2 Evaluation of Economic and Financial Risks

154.3 Evaluation of Political Environment Risks

164.4 Evaluation of Legal Environment Risks

174.5 Evaluation of Social and Cultural Factors Risks

184.6 Evaluation of Technology Risks

194.6 Evaluation of Time and Resource Management Risks

20Risk Control Options 5.0

20Avoidance 5.1

20Procedural and Administrative 5.2

21Acceptance and Creating Awareness 5.3

21Substitute 5.4

21Technical Adjustments 5.5

22Engagement and Negotiations 5.6

22Risk Treatment Plans 6.0

22Not Constructing the Melbourne-Sydney High Speed Train 6.1

23Employing Most Efficient Approach 6.2

23Carrying Out Simulations and Practical 6.3

23Engagement and Negotiations 6.4

24Evaluating the Processes and Determining Appropriate Actions 6.5

24Conclusion 7.0

26References 8.0

Table of Tables

8Table 1 Identification of Risks

10Table 2 Analysis of Risks

11Table 3 Risk Level Analysis

11Table 4 Likelihood Analysis

12Table 5 4*4 Risk Matrix

13Table 6 Risk Likelihood and Consequences

13Table 7 Environmental Risks

14Table 8 Economic and Financial Risks

15Table 9 Political Environment Risks

16Table 10 Legal Environment Risks

17Table 11 Social and Cultural Risks

18Table 12 Technological Risks

19Table 13 Time and Resource Management Risks

  1. Introduction

    1. Establish the Context

The role of different government institutions is to develop the social and economic framework. An example of such developments in the infrastructure may include projects such as Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train. The current Sydney-Melbourne rail corridor is estimated at 960 kilometre and utilizes the technology of standard gauge railway. The standard railway operates between Sydney and Melbourne, which are the two largest cities in Australia. The current railway provides passenger and freight services, which products such as the NSW TrainLink XPT.

The current proposal is the construction of Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train that plys between these two routes. The aim is to link the different locations between these destinations. The connections include the Albury Station and the Lidcombe locations among others within the proposed routes. The project construction will be exposed to different challenges and problems, which can be referred to as risks. Some of these risks include environmental concerns, societal expectations, cost (economics and financial requirements), legal expectations and political factors. The ineffective strategic approach towards addressing these problems may affect the time in which the project should be completed; therefore, the risk management strategy is appropriate.

    1. Analysis of AS/NZ 4360 Risk Management Framework

In designing safer buildings and structures, the appropriate risk management framework is the AS/NZ 4360. AS/NZ 4360 Risk Management Framework contains framework and numerous steps that have to be followed in analysis risks and proposing the appropriate measures. The steps include the establishment of the context, identification of the risks/hazards, analyzing and evolution of the risks, controlling/treating risks, monitoring and communicating. The framework addresses factors such as systematic risk management, systematic risks processes, health and safety of the persons involved, and aspects of collaboration among the different stakeholders involved in the construction process.

The AS/NZ 4360 Risk Management Framework is utilized in addressing Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train project construction. The analysis of the nature of the project is analyzed, and additional information on risks and mitigation measures are presented.

    1. Analysis of the Project

The aim of the current report is to develop a risk management strategy to address challenges that may occur during Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train constructions. The analysis includes identification of the threats and proposals in which the threats can be addressed. Some of the areas of discussions include the nature of the risks, analysis of these risks, impact of occurrence of these risks, and appropriate mitigation to address the risks (Zhao, Hwang, and Low, 2015).

  1. Identification of Risks

Identified Risk

Explanation

  1. Environmental risk

Pollution, ecosystem disturbances (Zhao, Hwang, and Low, 2015)

Lack of adhering to the guiding principles and procedures in protecting the environment; ineffective use of machines and other construction equipment (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012)

  1. Economic and financial risk

Securing funding; costs overrun (Cantarelli et al., 2010)

The construction requires finances and accessing the finances and utilizing the finances appropriately may raise numerous concerns

  1. Political environment

Political decision making process; public perceptions

The construction and other processes require a blessing from the political elite and engage the public to support the project. Ineffective political dynamics and systems may inhibit the effectiveness of the project (Cantarelli et al., 2010)

  1. Legal environment

Contracts and agreements guide the implementation of the project and complaints, and misunderstandings may create hurdles in construction process

  1. Social and cultural factors

Cultural degradation (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012)

The construction passes through the society, and the inclusion of societal members is important. Negative perceptions from the societal may derail the project and also the cultural variable is integral because of sustainability and preservation requirements. Regions have cultural artefacts, which may be destroyed during the construction period.

  1. Technological

Engineering risks; construction risks; technical complexity risks (Choudhry et al. 2014)

The entire project relies on technology, and any complications affect the entire project. The technology factors include the complexity of the construction and variables associated with transfer of technology

  1. Time and resource management

Scheduling requirements, cost overrun

Scheduling and meeting milestones also raise complications. The construction process is interconnected in terms of time and delay in one aspect of construction may affect the entire construction requirements.

Table 1 Identification of Risks

  1. Analysis of the Risks

    1. Classification of Risk (risk matrix (likelihood))

Risk Group

1st Level

2nd Level

Social and political

Permits, licenses and regulatory (Laan et al. 2011)

Energy use assessment, transportation impact assessment, environmental impact statement

Public perception of safety and health (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012)

Decision making process

Technology

Technology transfer

Planning (Zhao, Hwang, and Low, 2015)

Cost, schedule, scope, and reasonableness of the project

Project feasibility (Laan et al. 2011)

Political situation and long-term viability

Design (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010)

Code/standard, complexity, completeness of design and system integration

Infrastructure/construction procurement

Labour, contracting arrangement, type of contract, quality control and safety standard

High/Medium

System procurement (Zhao, Hwang, and Yu, 2013)

Procedure of procurement, scope of procurement, and specification

Financial and economic

Funding (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010)

Exchange rate, accuracy of cost of estimate, inflation, joint venture and funding sources

High/Medium

Project management risks

Scope risks

These are the risks associated with project scope and product requirements (Zhao, Hwang, and Yu, 2013)

Time risks

Design process requirements and project schedule

Cost risks

Risks associated with financial and cost requirements

Quality risks (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012)

Expectation of the quality of the final product

Environmental risk

Population, environmental degradation, ecosystem displacement

Hazardous materials realized, air pollution due to equipment’s

Table 2 Analysis of Risks

    1. Risk Level Analysis

The risk level analysis presents information on the combination of likelihood of risk occurring and the consequence

Descriptor

Consequence level

  • Catastrophic

Threatens the entire project and the loss are more than 70% resulting in extreme political and financial consequences

Even though the financial and political consequences are medium, it threatens the survival of the project, and it is estimated at loss of 50% of the project

  • Moderate

Adjustments are required when risks occur or probability of the risks and affect not more than 15% of the project. It has minimal political and financial consequences

The loss is estimated at less than 10% of the project, and it has low levels of political and financial consequences

  • Insignificant

It has negligible political and financial consensus; it results in less than 2% of the investment.

Table 3 Risk Level Analysis

The measure of likelihood

Descriptor

Risk frequency

Unlikely

Moderate

Highly likely

Table 4 Likelihood Analysis

    1. 4 × 4 Risk Matrix

Consequence level

Insignificant

Moderate

Catastrophic

Likelihood Levels

Unlikely

Moderate

Table 5 4*4 Risk Matrix

    1. Risk Likelihood and Consequences

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

  1. Environmental risk

Pollution, ecosystem disturbances

  1. Economic and financial risk

Securing funding, costs overrun

  1. Political environment

Political decision making process, public perceptions

  1. Legal environment (Zhao, Hwang, and Low, 2015)

Procurement procedures, contract obligations, complaints from other stakeholders e.g. compensation to the public

  1. Social and cultural factors

Cultural degradation

  1. Technological

Engineering risks, construction risks, and technical complexity risks

  1. Time and resource management

Scheduling requirements cost overrun (Zhao, Hwang, and Low, 2015)

Table 6 Risk Likelihood and Consequences

4.0 Risk Evaluation

4.1 Evaluation of Environmental Risks

The following table presents information on the Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train project construction.

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

Environmental risk

Pollution, ecosystem disturbances

Table 7 Environmental Risks

The level of the risk is estimated at 16, which is on the extreme gauge. It means that the construction raises environmental hazards, which have to be mitigated before proceeding with the construction. The rail lines pass a terrain of more than 960 kilometres meaning different ecosystems; natural habitats will be exposed to degradation (Marques and Berg, 2011). The fauna and flora within the construction path will be affected because of different forms of pollution (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). For example, the equipment used for construction will produce air and sound population because of emissions and related functions (Cantarelli et al., 2010). The environment will also be affected because of runoffs, and ineffective disposal of vegetation after excavation and other processes (Choudhry et al. 2014). Therefore, the risks of environmental degradation because of Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train are high, and occurrence of any complications negates the requirements of the project.

4.2 Evaluation of Economic and Financial Risks

Numerous financial and economic risks are associated with the project. The following table presents information on the level of risk associated with the funding and financial requirements.

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

Economic and financial risk

Securing funding, costs overrun

Table 8 Economic and Financial Risks

The financial problems include the funding and nature of the venture. For example, in numerous projects, the joint venture is the common approach of completing the project, but the negative influence of negative aspects is minimal (Choudhry et al. 2014). The problem mostly is associated with the funding requirements. The finding includes factors such as accuracy of the cost estimate, exchange rate, inflation and funding source (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). Constructing a 960 kilometre rail line including other technological components are expensive meaning a lot of finances are required to complete the project. For example, the funding source is important and risks of failure to access appropriate finances is high (Cantarelli et al., 2010). The rate of inflation can be controlled easily and is usually budgeted in the construction cost. The accuracy of the cost estimate is another issue because the prices of products and services keep fluctuating (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). The technological components and the construction processes are faced with international transactions, which are directly associated with exchange rates (Marques and Berg, 2011). Hence, the financial and economic factors are sensitive and integral to the completion of the project.

4.3 Evaluation of Political Environment Risks

The government and governmental institutions play an integral role in determining whether the project is completed according to plans (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). The following table indicates the importance of political system and policies in completing the project.

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

Political environment

Political decision making process, public perceptions

Table 9 Political Environment Risks

Politics guides and controls the public policies and gathers information from the public to advance the requirements of any project. Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train is a large project that affects numerous stakeholders including private and public sector (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). The inclusion of the requirements in the formulation and implementation of the project is important. The concerns and risks arise because of decision making process. Different stakeholders are involved in the decisions and sometimes, the decision making process may take longer (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). The public may view the project negatively, or the political consultation process may not be effective. It results in skewed information presentation and information consumption process that affects the final information (Cantarelli et al., 2010). In addition, the implementation of the project requires frequent updates and engagement with the public and situations exist in which conflicts and misunderstandings may occur (Laan et al. 2011). These challenges may inhibit the implementation of strategic requirements and expectations of Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train project implementation.

4.4 Evaluation of Legal Environment Risks

In project formulation and implementation, numerous legal conditions have to be fulfilled (Laan et al. 2011). The following table illustrates the level of risk associated with legal risks and legal requirements.

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

Legal environment

Procurement procedures, contract obligations, complaints from other stakeholders e.g. compensation to the public

Table 10 Legal Environment Risks

In project constructions, numerous legal requirements have to be followed (Zhao, Hwang, and Low, 2015). Some of the legal agreements include contract obligations and procurement procedures and addressing complaints from other stakeholders. For example, the land used for construction should be bought from the public meaning the agreement will be in contract form (Choudhry et al. 2014). Complaints will also arise requiring a legal approach to address the problem. Some of the contractors may not follow legal requirements, and judiciary approach may be required (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). These problems are normal and common in the project implementation phase and sometimes, creates challenges in time scheduling. It is important to ensure the legal requirements are drafted and implemented appropriately.

4.5 Evaluation of Social and Cultural Factors Risks

The development takes place within the society, and the society is usually affected. For example, societal development requirements and cultural factors are affected by the development and the level of risk on the project is 6.

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

Social and cultural factors

Cultural degradation

Table 11 Social and Cultural Risks

Culture is an integral component of the society and community, and the development can affect different cultures along the construction route (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). In addition, the society may be affected because of the physical features such as entertainment facilities and public facilities such as schools and business facilities (Xue, Shen and Ren 2010). It means the project sponsors have to analyse the impact of the project on the society and the threats.

4.6 Evaluation of Technology Risks

Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train employs new technologies and methods. The table indicates the technological risks are high and may derail the project requirements. For example, the level of risk is 16, which is at the highest levels of the threats.

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

Technological

Engineering risks, construction risks, and technical complexity risks

Table 12 Technological Risks

The construction and related processes rely on different technological components. For example, transfer of technology is important and challenges may arise during transfer of the technologies (Marques and Berg, 2011). For example, the technology development associates e.g. partner companies may refuse to transfer technology as the project proceeds. In addition, engineering risks, construction risks, and technical complexity risks would be evident through the project. The project will be constructed on different terrains, and the construction team has to adhere with the complications (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). The trains will rely on technology to operate meaning the problems does not end during the construction phase but also during the running of the business (Wang and Yuan, 2011). Without the transfer of technology and the engineering requirements, the project may not be completed on time or even additional problems may arise (Zhao, Hwang, and Yu, 2013).

Regarding technology, the design and materials may raise complications. For example, the design will have to integrate the terrain requirements while the materials used for construction should balance the nature of the terrain and the values of the materials (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). The values of the materials include the quality, availability, chemical and structural nature of the materials, and transportation requirements of the materials (Choudhry et al. 2014). It is important to employ strategies to counter shortcomings associated with the technical requirements of the project.

4.6 Evaluation of Time and Resource Management Risks

Time scheduling and resource management are integral to any project. The resource utilization and time management are at a level of 16, meaning the factor is important to the project.

Identified Risk

Explanation

Likelihood levels

Consequence level

Level of risk

Time and resource management

Scheduling requirements, cost overrun

Table 13 Time and Resource Management Risks

The resource includes the materials used in the construction process. The factors associated with the resources include the availability of the resource materials, and appropriateness of the raw materials in the construction process (Cantarelli et al., 2010). It includes the amount of the raw materials, the costs of the raw materials, and other variables associated with the raw materials (Xue, Shen and Ren 2010). The time constraints include the period required to complete the project and meeting the important milestones.

  1. Risk Control Options

After identification of the risks, it is appropriate to analyse risk control options. Numerous risk control options and some of the options include:

    1. Avoidance

Following and adhering to regulations and standards is important. It is crucial to utilize appropriate equipment and approach depending on the plans and strategic requirements (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). Legal and contractual problems will be avoided and taking additional measures such as championing sustainable measures is important (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). The environment will be protected. Furthermore, upholding health and safety requirements reduces chances of hazards and threats occurring. Avoidance is the integral approach that may be employed in completing the project on time and following stipulated requirements.

    1. Procedural and Administrative

Effective implementation of plans and adherence to regulatory framework reduces chances of conflicts and misunderstandings (Xue, Shen and Ren 2010). The construction process should follow the procedures while the administrators have to adhere to the formulation requirements (Cantarelli et al., 2010). The strategic formulation period is not where the problems start but during the implementation. The administrators tend to introduce new approaches that contradict with what has been planned (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). To present these complications, the implementation team has to consider procedural and administrative requirements.

    1. Acceptance and Creating Awareness

Some risks and challenges and the solution are accepting the risks and creating awareness to prevent worsening the situation. For example, engaging the community and society on the importance of the project and the role of the society and community to completing the project reduces risks (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). Risks of filing complaints on cultural degradation and other forms of compensation can be avoided. Awareness also ensures the expectations of the project are understood, and support from the community is received (Laan et al. 2011). The community may also seek for employment and other social benefits associated with the project. Through these processes, the community supports the project, and the project easily receives support and guidance from the community.

    1. Substitute

Technological requirements and use of different materials will be required in completing the project. Some materials may not be available, or pricing variables may affect the cost of the materials (Cantarelli et al., 2010). The solution to these problems is utilizing alternative products and services (Choudhry et al. 2014). Through these processes, it is possible to complete the project at the right time and with the proposed quality levels.

    1. Technical Adjustments

Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train project construction is a technical project since it is the first of such construction in Australia. The technical adjustments can be employed in addressing challenges, which may occur (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). The challenges include the nature of the terrain, nature of current technology in that it can be upgraded, and other technological requirements, which are not available (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). Substituting and interchanging the technology to reflect the changing dynamics of construction and design requirements should be integral in addressing risks and challenges. Technological flexibility is integral, and should be integrated into the construction process. Hence, to prevent some of the risks and challenges, adjustments should be made to ensure the changing dynamics of construction are integrated into the design and implementation of the project.

    1. Engagement and Negotiations

Engagement and negotiations are appropriate in the contractual obligations (Cantarelli et al., 2010). Conflicts and misunderstandings are common in areas in which different stakeholders with different interests are involved. Since numerous complaints would arise, the solutions are engagement and negotiations (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). The stakeholders have to understand their contributions to the project and misunderstandings have to be addressed to ensure the project is completed on time (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). The entire project should be premised on engagement and negotiations to reflect the requirements and changing variables for the construction process.

  1. Risk Treatment Plans

Risks are inherent in any project, and the solution to these risks is the implementation of risk treatment plans. The following are some of the proposed risk treatment plans:

    1. Not Constructing the Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train

The best risk treatment strategy is not constructing the Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train. It avoids the numerous complications and problems associated with the construction. However, without construction creates additional challenges such as the value of the project and the expectation of the project.

    1. Employing Most Efficient Approach

The management of the project is supposed to review alternatives and approaches to determine the most efficient and appropriate approach. Numerous alternatives to construction and laying rails and other techniques required in the construction of rails (Cantarelli et al., 2010). The solution is to analyze the numerous options and determine the most appropriate option. It ensures the requirements of the project are weighed against the expected outcome of the project (Marques and Berg, 2011). The management then is able to determine the most beneficial and socioeconomic approach to complete the project or segment of the project.

    1. Carrying Out Simulations and Practical

Some of the materials and equipment have to be tested before being utilized. The managements and technical advisors should carry out numerous simulations to balance different materials and proposals (Kardes et al., 2013). It includes carrying out practical to determine the quality of the material and how the materials can be paired to achieve the expected outcome (Cantarelli et al., 2010). Therefore, simulations and practical can be employed in determining the quality of the materials, and the efficiency in using the materials to complete the requirements of the project.

    1. Engagement and Negotiations

In the contracting and bringing the different stakeholders, the appropriate approach is through engagement and negotiations. When the intention of conflict occurring exists, the solution is to engage and negotiate to determine the appropriate direction (Chihuri and Pretorius, 2010). It is a cheaper method because it reduces the costs associated with litigation and delay in the construction process. Engagement should also be employed in targeting the strategic and operational requirements of the project (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). In a normal project such as the Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train, some of the involved parties include project managers, representatives from the government, human resource department, and financial department, and through engagement and negotiations; these teams can operate effectively in accomplishing the requirements of the project.

    1. Evaluating the Processes and Determining Appropriate Actions

Frequent evaluation and evaluation based on phases is important in completing the project. The project should be divided into portions, in that, each portion should be evaluated before proceeding (Cantarelli et al., 2010). Through the evaluation, the shortcomings and strengths can be documented, creating a learning organization or project, which continues to evolve based on the accomplishments (Boholm, Corvellec, and Karlsson, 2012). Correction of mistakes results in an understanding of appropriateness to proceed with the project. Hence, learning enables correction of problems, which continues to occur in the implementation of the project and other dynamics associated with the construction requirements.

  1. Conclusion

Project construction requires different requirements and strategies to complete the intended objectives and goals. Melbourne-Sydney High-Speed Train is a new project that is first in Australia that aims to construct an estimate of 960 rail line inclusive of the coaches and other components, which ensures the intended aims of the project are achieved. In construction, numerous risks exist, and completion of the project requires addressing these risks. Some of the risks include political, social, financial or economic, environmental, legal and technical problems. The technological, financial and environmental are the major concerns because it can easily derail the project. The solution to these risks includes engagement and negotiations, simulation and carrying out practical, avoidance, technical adjustments, and effective evaluative systems. Implementation of these processes ensures the project is completed within the predetermined goals and expectations and ensuring the requirements of the project are achieved.

  1. References

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Marques, R.C. and Berg, S., 2011. Risks, contracts, and private-sector participation in infrastructure. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 137(11), pp. 925-932.

Wang, J. and Yuan, H., 2011. Factors affecting contractors’ risk attitudes in construction projects: Case study from China. International Journal of Project Management, 29(2), pp.209-219.

Xue, X., Shen, Q. and Ren, Z., 2010. Critical review of collaborative working in construction projects: business environment and human behaviours. Journal of Management in Engineering, 26(4), pp. 196-208.

Zhao, X., Hwang, B.G. and Low, S.P., 2015. Enterprise risk management in international construction firms: drivers and hindrances. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 22(3), pp. 347-366.

Zhao, X., Hwang, B.G. and Yu, G.S., 2013. Identifying the critical risks in underground rail international construction joint ventures: case study of Singapore. International Journal of Project Management, 31(4), pp. 554-566.