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ITSReviewAnnual2015

Market insight and information Clear strategy and vision Supportive inastructure and facilities Managed projects Innovative culture Creative people www.its-ukreview.org 51 Highways authority Supply chain Eective processes company involved in helping clients realise the benefits of innovation, we are interested in understanding just how effective the roads sector is at innovating. We therefore undertook research to understand the sector’s innovation maturity and to highlight the barriers to innovation. The basis of the research was a self-assessment survey undertaken by organisations across the UK roads sector. We received completed responses from 136 organisations, 54% of which were highways authorities, 39% were their supply chain including many ITS (UK) members and 7% research organisations. In terms of size of organisation that responded, 46% of responses related to organisations with more than 1,000 employees, 44% with between 10 and 1,000 employees and 10% had fewer than 10 employees. The vast majority of respondents were senior - 48% of described themselves as a ‘senior executive’ and 38% as ‘management’. The overall survey response rate was excellent, providing a cross-section of organisations across the sector. The survey confirmed that innovation was a hot topic – 97% of respondents thought that innovation was a key issue for the sector and 74% thought it was a key issue for their own organisation. The only issues Commied leadership and supportive controls which the sector thought were more important was Government funding of the sector and the ability to recruit and retain high quality staff. In our experience, effective innovation is not just about ‘having a great idea’ or ‘invention’. Rather it requires capability across nine inter-related areas, as shown in figure 1. Organisations that fail to innovate effectively typically have a lacking in one or more of these areas. We therefore structured the innovation capability assessment around asking a range of questions to ascertain innovation maturity across each of these areas. The diagram above summarises the results for the highways authorities, for their supply chain and for the overall roads sector. This shows that: • Highways authorities see themselves as less mature across all areas that contribute to innovation relative to their supply chain. As part of the study we asked respondents who the stand-out innovators in the sector were. Interestingly it was highways authorities that were mentioned most often (TfL and the Highways Agency), though this was by a relatively small number (less than 4%). • Both highways authorities and their supply chain assessed their relative strength of innovation maturing in similar areas. For example, overall both saw that they tended to have a clear organisational strategy and a strong innovative culture; while both acknowledge that leadership of innovation and supportive infrastructure/facilities for innovation tended to be poor. This suggests that as a sector, the supply chain bring additional innovation capability to roads authorities however this capability (as a sector) is not fundamental different to roads authorities. • The biggest gap between highways authorities and their supply chain that the innovation maturity assessment highlighted was around the creativity of employees – here the supply chain believed they had a clear advantage. This was also an area where highways authorities had the lowest level of maturity. While innovation was seen to be a key issue for the sector, only 15% of respondents thought that they were good at attracting and retaining innovative people. Indeed staffing more generally was seen to be a huge issue for the sector. Interestingly, when asked to rate their own organisation’s innovation Competitive technologies  Figure 2: Sector capability map 〉〉


ITSReviewAnnual2015
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