Project Characterisation Tool (PCAT)


Network Rail use a Project Characterisation Tool (PCAT) to help their project teams consistently manage their projects.  The tool is designed to ensure the correct documentation is assigned and completed throughout the life of the project.

The original PCAT application was based on an excel spreadsheet, and there was a requirement for the application to be developed. 

The new tool needed to produce a Project Deliverable List (PDL) based on the profile of the project. In order for this to produce the project profile had to be created through the team answering a series of questions that identify the characteristics and complexity of the project. The profile is then mapped to the Master Deliverables List (MDL) which identifies the applicable deliverables associated with that project.

The tool needed to be intuitive and user-friendly; with visually appealing screen design.


Prōject developed a browser-based application that provided a next-generation project characterisation tool from an Oracle database with an Apex front-end.

The team developed a centralised repository for MDL, characteristics, and complexity metadata.

Designing a web based application not only helped with ease of access it also facilitated the maintenance of the metadata for the MDL, characteristics, and complexity.

This metadata is used to generate the project profile.  It is created by answering a series of questions about the project.

Once the project profile has been created the PDL can be generated as an excel file. Project profiles are versioned and different versions can be exported, copied, and compared.

The application has been designed so that the project profiles can be shared (by status) across the organisation, giving visibility on the projects throughout their life. Network Rail now have full transparency around their project status.