Managing Project Expectations with PPM
Frank Di Palma, Manager of Business Solutions, Information & Technology Management Department, City of Vaughan
City of Vaughan
In the past 20 years, Vaughan has been transformed from a rural township to a major urban centre. From 1986 to 2006, Vaughan’s population grew 276% from just over 65,000 people. In fact, Vaughan became Canada’s fastest growing municipality amongst those municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 people.
Population projections from the Province of Ontario indicate that York Region’s population will rise to 1.5 million people and the number of jobs will increase to 780,000 by 2031. It can be expected that a substantial portion of the population and employment growth will occur in the City of Vaughan; 430,000 people by 2031.
Conditions that lead to the need for a PPM solution to better manage project expectations
The City had become completely reliant on its vendors for implementing solutions, resulting in loss of knowledge and skills, and inconsistent delivery. Information Technology Management (ITM) began to ask how to do things better, and how to implement solutions more consistently.
After starting out by defining their PM methodology they recognized the need for a proper tool to consistently record and track information about projects.
How They Successfully Initiated the PPM Implementation
They used a soft approach; by mastering the PM methodology (PMI) within ITM, they then used this methodology – tools, templates, language and concepts on external projects. After the approach became stable, they formally introduced it to directors and managers for executive level buy-in and expansion of the methodology across the organization.
Frank and his team created a manual on managing projects, which was made available on their intranet to help educate the organization about the role that project management plays.
Another element that helped them to be successful in implementing a PPM solution was by being clear about what the ITM department were responsible for and what the business was responsible for.
How a PPM Solution Addressed Expectation Management
By utilizing Project Portfolio Management and specially Eclipse PPM to address expectation management, they have not only been able to regain control of many more projects, but they have enhanced their value within the organization. This has restored faith in the department and altered the perception of what others expect from the department ñ expectations and responsibilities are now aligned.
PPM has enhanced communication and met senior management reporting needs. Overall, the City felt that people now manage expectations better by having a centralized repository to assist in streamlining the process.