Hong Kong MTR, Hong Kong

Working to review and improve the way the MTR Corporation manages its railway infrastructure projects

Carrying around 5.9 million passengers on an average weekday, the Hong Kong railway system operated by MTR Corporation (MTRC) is considered as one of the world’s best urban railway systems in view of its cleanliness, ease of use, safety and reliability.

Key information

Hong Kong
Date started:
Completion date:
Client type:
Main services:
advisory, controls and performance, programme strategy and set up, digital

Transformation partnership    

The MTRC’s Capital Works Committee engaged us in 2018 to review the corporation’s management and delivery of railway infrastructure projects.   

Drawing on our experience managing major programmes with respected rail organisations globally, we benchmarked the organisation's processes and procedures to identify areas for improvement and suggest changes. Key objectives for the corporation were to operate more efficiently, providing better value for money and simplified processes, while maintaining highest standards of safety and reliability. 

Since then, we have worked in partnership with MTRC’s capital works team to develop and implement the product information management system (PIMS) refresh, digital transformation and New Engineering Contract (NEC) advisory.

Integrated approach

In 2019 we began work with MTRC’s project transformation programme board to review, re-configure and update its PIMS, which defines the management systems, processes and controls for the delivery of railway extensions and major operations projects in Hong Kong. The PIMS had been in place for some time and needed to be refreshed prior to the next wave of capital projects.  

The overall intention of the PIMS review was to provide project delivery processes that are consistent, integrated and cohesive. The refreshed PIMS will also incorporate best practice while being fit-for-purpose to support the corporation in its capital projects, from planning to handover for operation.  

Alongside the MTRC leadership, we set out to provide processes and guidelines to help project teams work in a consistent and repeatable way with the best possible use of systems and technology. 

Digital transformation

Following a digital-maturity assessment and strategy workshops in 2021, we developed a digital-transformation plan in conjunction with the Capital Works Business Unit (CWBU). The focus was around MTRC’s digital vision to Digitally enabled project teams, working together, using trusted data and modern technology to deliver great projects for the communities we serve”. 

We have been working closely with MTRC’s Digital Management Committee to advise and support the implementation of the transformation plan across the following areas: 

  • Digital project management – using modern software and data structures to improve reporting accuracy and decision making
  • Digital engineering – focused around ISO19650 BIM process, common data environment and digital asset lifecycle approach
  • Digital construction – connectivity improvements, digital records, Internet of Things, modern methods of construction (MMC) and robotics
  • Enablers – the people, process and technology necessary to enable these initiatives.

Our team has also been engaged for the reporting and data visualisation for programme management, working to make best use of the valuable insights which the new digital project technology produces.  

Data generated by the software ecosystem and other sources is combined in a data lake, a centralised repository, which is further analysed and presented through business intelligence dashboard reporting. Viewing project management information in this way allows MTRC to review progress and quality and make corrective decisions in real time. 

Enabling collaboration

As MTRC continues to modernise and develop their capital-project delivery to the highest levels of best practice, they have adopted NEC forms of contract for their projects.  

We have been engaged to develop a set of contract conditions suitable for MTRC and provide introductory and scenario-based training. The ongoing NEC advisory services support the management of design consultancies and construction contracts for the major pipeline of railway-extension projects.  

NEC contracts’ general principles promote effective project management and enable collaboration between parties, as well as minimise chances of formal disputes. This includes early collaboration and involvement between the employer/client, project manager, contractor and subcontractor, where issues are identified and acted on via an early-warning system. 

Maintaining momentum

The commitment and investment by MTRC to drive digitalisation has led to significant improvements. The majority of digital transformation plan-action items have been implemented on projects moving into construction stage.    

Our work has supported MTRC to set a clear framework for improvements to transform how its programme of works will be delivered to achieve better time, cost and quality results.   

As the digital journey continues, MTRC is now reaping the rewards of consistent digital workflows in areas like costing, construction planning, operations and maintenance efficiency. The integration of digital engineering and construction workflows into the PIMS provides clarity and traceability around all project activities, which aligns with the collaborative nature of NEC contracts.     

Ultimately, MTRC corporation has moved towards a modernised programme management system and framework for delivering best-in-class major metro system projects in the region.  

For further information contact:

Portrait of Daniel Cheung

Daniel Cheung
Strategic Lead, Hong Kong & Macau, and Head of Infrastructure, Northeast Asia