From 22 July 2018, the North/South line will link North Amsterdam with the South station via the centre of Amsterdam. AT Osborne became involved in this headline project in 2005, shortly after the subsidence on the Vijzelgracht. It started with the provision of a project director and an in-depth analysis of the major challenges of the project and its organisation. Today, a number of our colleagues are still in important management positions in this project. We are working with pride and great commitment towards the commissioning of this new metro line.
AT Osborne’s involvement started with the creation of an implementation organisation for the complex situation around the Amsterdam Central Station and the underground stations Rokin, Vijzelgracht and De Pijp. We see a challenge like this as being a complex system, consisting not only of technical issues, many different parties and sub-projects, but also general social developments. The system is in transition and will influence what happens with your project. You therefore need to set up your project organisation to deal with it.
In 2005, the project was in the initial construction phase, and the challenge was to select the correct strategy for the construction process; informing residents and politicians in complete honesty, and managing and structuring the project organisation. In the current phase of system integration, the task has now changed. We are managing the transition process from the design and construction of the metro stations and tunnels through to the actual running of the metro, including management and maintenance. This is known as commissioning. This requires not only an understanding of all the technical systems, and good management of the contractors, but also understanding and collaborating with the future owner, manager and operator. The human factor is really important here.
AT Osborne has now been working on the North/South line project for over 10 years. In the meantime, the project has had its setbacks due to subsidence and contractor bankruptcies. At the same time, the project has became a municipal service with ownership and management of the existing metro network and the implementation of new metro and tram projects. We are proud that we have been able to play a leading role in this organisation. We learned important lessons about how to involve those affected, the integration of systems, and the preparation for commissioning. At the same time, we made a difference in the collaboration with contractors and structuring the organisation.
On 22 July 2018, we will look back proudly on our contribution to the new metro line for the people of Amsterdam. Until then, the project continues to be “a hell of a job”.