Transformational strategy introduces a PMO to support 5-year strategic plan enabling project management and team engagement.

A fully functional PMO, includes a technical solution, dashboards, team collaboration tools, workflows, PPM governance, PPM templates, and an interactive knowledge repository. The resulting visibility improves portfolio visibility as well as project performance and customer satisfaction.

Company

Halifax Water owns and operates the water distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater drainage systems that service the Halifax region.

Challenge

The Utility is rolling out a 5-Year IT strategic Plan to enhance the customer experience, integrate information, provide additional analytics, manage knowledge and workflow and more. This comprehensive strategy involves the engagement of many project managers, project leaders and project teams.

Solution

Capstone Project Solutions provides project services as part of Halifax Water IS Project delivery teams. In addition, Capstone resources engage as subject matter experts for Portfolio Office design, development and implementation.

Project Management Practice

Results

IS Portfolio and Project Management Office

The first step in creating the Portfolio and Project Management Office was to establish the IS department with a Portfolio and Project Management. The IS Portfolio and Project Lifestyle project (PPM Project) was undertaken between November 2017 and January 2019 and introduced portfolio and project practices that standardized how IS projects are selected, assessed, approved, initiated, planned, executed and reported. The PPM Project focused on developing and delivering:

  1. an interactive user Repository for workflows, practice instructions, templates, samples of templates and quick links to strategic roadmaps and the portfolio dashboard of IS projects.
  2. MS Project Server configuration for the collaborative management of projects and resources.
  3. project sites for team collaboration and project document storage.
  4. an executive project dashboard highlighting information of interest to Halifax Water executive members.

Benefits Realized

Solution Implementation was achieved using MS Project On Prem integrated with SharePoint Project Sites for team collaboration. Capstone oversaw the procurement process, vendor selection and contract, solution design and delivery for the IS Department.

Project Dashboard provides executives with a single location to review project status and performance Project information and progress is available from a single location and accessible by all members of Halifax Water. The dashboard summarizes project stage, status of health and spend. Links provide access to project sites and content and to status reports. A standardized process to update the dashboard has been implemented.

Team collaboration & consistent access to project information. Project sites have been enhanced with consistent look and feel that includes project name and description, project budget, timeline, document folder structure, fillable forms, registers, discussion groups, link to Trello, calendar and action items content. Teams work efficiently with standardized project sites.

Workflows standardize the steps in the project lifecycle and align stakeholders on the process from Initiating to Closing. The workflows describe portfolio and project activities, governance and documentation throughout the lifecycle of a project. Each workflow is documented as a Visio diagram and housed in document library accessed through the IT PPM Repository with functional links to templates and documents used in respective stages. The workflow governs the sequence of activities from project pre-planning through planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, closing and finally continuous improvement. To assist project managers in understanding and navigating the project workflow, the project created a supporting description of the workflow titled PPM Process Flow Guide for Projects. At various points along the workflow, standardized documents or fillable forms and registers are used to ensure consistency in how information is captured and reported.

PPM Templates - approved, standardized document templates. In addition to blank templates, versions of each template with instructions are provided to guide the user in completing the document. Samples of templates are also provided to clarify content type and provide examples of information. Teams and stakeholders become familiar with document purpose and content. Consistent documentation improves team communication, project reporting and historical record keeping.

An interactive knowledge repository of portfolio and project documentation is provided through an interactive and graphic knowledge wheel. The repository provides a single source for material reference resources and contains information regarding project governance, practices, templates, samples, training materials, workflows as well as instructions on using these items. The repository provides a single location to make suggestions for improvement and to request support. The repository is searchable and easily maintained in the SharePoint environment.

PPM Governance - approved Portfolio and Project roles and responsibilities driving a common understanding of accountabilities.

Next Steps

Portfolio and Project Management processes, practices, tools and technology will be rolled out to the Engineering Department at Halifax Water through a Capital Project Management & Information System project (CPM&IS). The CPM&IS Project will deliver integrated Corporate Planning, Capital Project Management, Capital Funds Management and project information systems and solutions.

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