New train depot close to completion

Xigo are proud to be part of the team involved in the construction of Auckland Transport’s new train depot at Wiri. It is a complex construction project involving rail, buildings and traction infrastructure – including some NZ firsts – and has been pinned to a very tight timetable.

The Wiri Depot is being built to service 57 new electric trains due for passenger operation from 2014 and to stable half of that fleet. The project is now in its final phase, and although not without any hiccoughs, it has managed to keep to schedule and to budget, aided by a number of initiatives, including co-location of the project team on site.

Having the project team – clients (Auckland Transport), main contractor (Downer Major Projects in a joint venture with Dominion Constructors), and other specialist consultants – Xigo, RLB and Norfolk Engineering – based together on the construction site has helped create a more collaborative climate, enabling problems to be talked through in person rather than via email, which has cut out a significant amount of inefficiency.

“Having the project team onsite together has meant more open communication and effective problem solving. We have worked as a team, all of us, and the atmosphere has been cooperative, which is definitely not always the case on construction projects. If you know that you are going to be seeing someone face to face you tend to be more diplomatic in your dealings with them.

We have adopted a partnering agreement, whereby at the start of the project we agreed on project outcomes and guiding principles such as mutual respect and open communication. This has helped us work through any disputes more easily and helped cut out some of the grey areas specific to project control,” says Doug Carter, Auckland Transport’s principal project manager for the depot.

“Complex projects, involving a tight programme, and numerous separate subcontractors onsite interfacing with the main contractor, make it necessary to manage any issues that arise on site to a speedy resolution. The project team has achieved this by utilising their broad knowledge, experiences and skills mix, thinking ahead as a project group to brainstorm what could go wrong and what the options are to rectify the situation should potential issues become reality,” says Gerard Krishnan, Xigo director and engineer’s representative to the contract on the Wiri Depot project

At its peak the project had over 100 workers from up to 36 contractors and subcontractors working on site. Construction began in May 2012 and is programmed to be finished in August 2013. It has needed to go full throttle from start to finish in order to stay on programme. (more…)

Leading project management team rebrands to Xigo at x-themed party

Specialist project management consultancy Matrix Group rebranded last night at an x-themed party to publicise their new name – Xigo. The new name was kept under wraps until the launch event, and invitations were cryptically titled ‘x marks the spot’. Key players from the New Zealand construction industry joined with Xigo directors and staff to celebrate the rebrand of the company and its phenomenal growth over the last two years. “In spite of the quiet market, we’ve grown rapidly from two directors in 2010 to a team of four directors and eight employees by June 2012, and an increase in revenue of over 400 percent over the last two years” says David Wilkie, director at Xigo.

“Matrix is an over-used brand in the business community, so it’s an opportune time to switch to a more memorable name that plays to our strengths. The name Xigo is a derivation of the Latin word ‘exigo’, which means exact, complete, finish, determine, decide, settle; and we are using it with the strap-line ‘best for project’ which reflects our philosophy and thinking around project management. (more…)