CPMS Employee Spotlight
14 January 2020
Name - Adam Burrows
Role – Scheme Project Manager
Length at CPMS – 5 years
What is your role at CPMS?
I work as an SPM in the Wessex route buildings team currently working on the Feltham Cycle Bridge and Platform Extensions, CP6 AFA and Whitton AFA projects. These three projects are in three very different stages of the project lifecycle. CP6 is very much at the concept / definition stage so my main focus here lies in agreeing the scope of deliverables with the Sponsor and agreeing the contract / price with the contractor. The Feltham project is currently under construction so my main focus here is to ensure the project team are working safely within a defined budget and to an agreed programme. The project was also deemed to be CSM significant so I helped to ensure we had all the required permissions to proceed. Whitton AFA project has already been completed so my main aim here is to ensure compliance to Network Rail's GRIP process to ensure that it is ready to hand over to the close out team.
What do you most enjoy about the role?
The variety, at the moment, is great. Because the projects I am working on touch on almost every element of the project lifecycle no day is ever the same. Being from a legal background, although perhaps rather dry to others, I find the contractual nature of project working to be the most enjoyable part of my job.
A career on the Railway...
Is more interesting than it would seem on paper! When I tell people I work 'with trains' it's usually followed by a visible disinterest. Admittedly however, simply branding a career on the railway as 'working with trains' does my role, and perhaps the whole rail industry, a huge disservice. There are so many avenues open within the railway whether it be design, engineering, commercial & contract, HR, project management and the ever important environmental to name but a few. In turn, that variety of role brings with it a variety of people that you perhaps wouldn't find in other industries and it is that contrast of characters that makes working 'with trains' all the more interesting.
Favourite project to date
I would probably say Feltham Cycle Bridge and Platform Extensions project by virtue of the fact that this was my second project and allowed me an opportunity to apply what I learned from my first project. I also moved onto that project from a completely different route and moved office as a result so I was excited to be able to represent the company on new turf to new people.
Advice to anyone looking to work in Rail?
Never feel afraid or uncomfortable asking for help. Jargon, acronyms and confusing processes are endemic within the rail industry so much so that it can often feel like a completely new language. However, for every engineering standard, Network Rail process or piece of government legislation, within your project team there will always be someone, somewhere, who knows what to do. So my advice is go find them, make them a coffee (or tea depending on preference) and bring a notepad (and pen...).