LLW Repository Ltd (LLWR) is a waste management company that provides services to customers to treat and dispose of low-level radioactive waste (LLW). It manages the national Low-Level Waste Repository in West Cumbria on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), overseeing a National LLW Programme to ensure that lower activity waste is managed effectively across the UK. After a competitive evaluation, LLWR appointed Risk Decisions to implement an integrated risk database solution to embed risk management.
Prior to 2007, when LLWR was established as an independent Site Licence Company, LLWR’ s risk team had very little control over its shared systems. Moving away from spreadsheet-based methods towards more scalable solutions was part of the business’s growth plans.
LLWR’s Project Controls Manager, Sarah Moore, explains, “A new parent body organisation taking ownership of LLWR in 2008 was the opportunity for change. To that point, risk management was something that had been done to the organisation as opposed to being embedded within it. We wanted to have a tool that the organisation could use to demonstrate the value of our risk processes.”
“We were looking for a tool that would integrate all of our risk data, and provide us with analytical capability – basically a one-stop shop for risk management. Given the industry we work in, the tool also needed to have a robust audit trail.”
Risk Decisions’ team, led by Susheel Chumber, Head of Consultancy, supported the implementation of Predict! within LLWR. Key features included:
- Comprehensive Monte Carlo based cost and schedule analysis
- Multi-user, web-based access
- Reporting to show how LLWR can best focus resources and justify expenditure on mitigation actions
Charlotte Candy, Risk Manager at LLWR comments, “Use of Predict! as our risk management tool supports the embedding of risk management, and whilst we could continue to manage the organisations risks without a risk management tool, use of Predict! enables us to demonstrate risk management succinctly and effectively, as well as reporting comprehensively to both the board and our clients.”
For LLWR, Predict! has driven engagement by allowing the team to embed risk management fully across the business, becoming part of everyday project management. A real differentiator in Risk Decision’s approach was the integration and scalability; starting as a single user system, it is now a multi-user fully configurable network solution. Now, both project control engineers and project managers access the software, creating transparency across the business.
“The reporting piece is absolutely vital to my role, updating our board and programme managers, so I can manage all elements of our risk, both bottom up and top down,” Charlotte explains. “Risk management is fundamental to how we deliver our business goals more efficiently, and providing confidence to our stakeholders. Using Predict! means we can demonstrate the effectiveness of our risk management and provide a single source of data for project managers, as well as for teams, communicating the movement of and capturing risks, in a single place.”
Ease of access to the platform means that Charlotte has seen a significant uplift in organisational engagement with risk management. “People definitely ask more questions about risk management now and we’re seeing far more engagement from all areas of the business.”
Effective training is a major component for this. Susheel explains, “Predict! works best when users can see how it helps their roles and their organisation. That’s why we configured the platform to meet the specific needs of LLWR. At the same time ensuring LLWR had the skills to modify their configuration as their business needs evolved. Our team have also provided coaching and helpdesk support, especially around schedule analysis. This gives LLWR confidence in the decisions they are taking.”
Shaping risk management
The accessibility of Predict! has been vital to LLWR’s successful embedding of risk management, and the support received from the Risk Decisions team, and their willingness and responsiveness to provide resolution to challenges, has contributed to this success.
Next steps include:
- Extending the user base of Predict! as projects develop and additional programmes come on board
- Upgrading to Predict! 5 to take advantage of the enhanced user interface and risk analysis reporting