Project profile: Project Management framework for capital projects for City of Burnaby Engineering Dept.

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Client: City of Burnaby
Sector: Local Government
Date: 2015
Features:
GOVERNANCE:
Standardized all Project Management report formats and production based on PMBOK standards, creating “one source of truth”
PROCESS:

  • Standardized process
  • Streamlined process of report production, ensuring compliance to reporting standards
  • Report production synced to stage-gates

PEOPLE:

  • All Project Managers working in the same way using the same tools, templates and lifecycle gates
  • Ready source for onboarding of new Project Managers
  • Dedicated change management communications on the project

TECHNOLOGY:
Graphic depiction of the Project Management lifecycles for capital projects.


Background

The capital engineering project budget of the City of Burnaby was consistently under-spent. As a result, a project was launched to determine the root causes for this under-spending. After considering all the contributing factors, the department decided that a Project Management framework must be developed for the delivery of capital projects. CoLAB Project Success Inc. was contracted to develop a best practical Project Management framework, with Johan Steenkamp filling the role of Project Manager on site in the office of the Engineering Director.

The Challenge

Project Managers and support staff managed projects in a variety of ways and standards, most through experience and with templates they created themselves. Policy and standard changes were communicated or applied in an ad-hoc fashion.

Visibility into project statuses and expenditure was limited. Projects were handed over midway through the lifecycle making accountability for final deliverables very challenging. The City was at a relatively low level of maturity for project delivery, with basic documented process for project planning and reporting, and with little consolidated program/portfolio reporting.

Management only became involved in high-visibility projects. The projects in this instance were the Capital projects for the City infrastructure managed by the Engineering Department. These included approximately 40 projects per year, namely:

  • Design-Bid-Build
  • City Forces A
  • City Forces B
  • Shared Cost Projects

Visibility into expenditure and the progress of the portfolio of annual capital projects is a burning issue in the City, with increasing requirements for better reporting.

The Solution

As is clear, for such high profile, risk sensitive outcomes, the Project Management process had to be stringently controlled. Therefore a Project Management framework must contain real-time examples of all the standards, processes and document templates a Project Manager would need (diagram below).

"Navigator” example: A Project Management framework must contain real-time examples of all the standards, processes and document templates a Project Manager would need.

“Navigator” example: A Project Management framework must contain real-time examples of all the standards, processes and document templates a Project Manager would need.

The Project Management framework navigation tool selected for use is called Navigator. Johan tailored Navigator for use by Local Government, specifically its capital Engineering projects.

Navigator will be accessible via the intranet by all employees who are involved, directly or indirectly, and is a graphical depiction of the lifecycle for a capital project.

  • It shows project teams what to do, when to do it, who has to do it, which tools to use, what the outputs should look, etc.
  • Project reporting and governance can now be systematically scaled up or down, depending on the type of project
Diagram showing the matrix of projects stages and statuses when managing a portfolio of projects from start to finish.

Diagram showing the matrix of projects stages and statuses when managing a portfolio of projects from start to finish.

One of Navigator’s landing pages, showing the simple and clear navigation through the project lifetime.

One of Navigator’s landing pages, showing the simple and clear navigation through the project lifetime.


Client references

  • Leon Gous , Engineering Director, Engineering Department, City of Burnaby
  • Jonathan Helmus, Assistant Director, Infrastructure, Engineering Department, City of Burnaby

Download the project profile: City of Burnaby_PM framework