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Going from Managing $300+ million CIP Portfolio on Static Spreadsheets to an Enterprise workflow man

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Gone are the days when it took 5-10 years to renovate a city or county park, leaving residents frustrated and disheartened. Today, citizens demand visible outcomes and tangible assets that improve their quality of life. In today's fast-paced world, managing large-scale projects efficiently and effectively is paramount. Many organizations still rely on outdated methods, such as static spreadsheets, which hinder collaboration, visibility, and overall project success. This blog article explores the transformation journey of a city's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) portfolio management, highlighting the challenges faced, the approach taken for success, and the measurable results achieved.

The Problem

The City of Miami’s Office of Capital Improvement is responsible for managing a substantial $300+ million CIP program comprised of 400+ projects. For years, they have encountered numerous challenges due to manual processes, lack of procedures, lack of a prioritization, lack of integration, and limited visibility across departments. The use of static spreadsheets led to inefficiencies, data inconsistencies, and delays in decision-making. These inefficiencies led the department to earning a reputation of untimely delivery of projects. Lack of communication and strategic alignment with the Office of Management and Budget, and Finance Departments further contributed to the organization’s inability to effectively manage all elements of a capital project and by extension their capital portfolio.

Our Approach

Recognizing the need for having project managers, construction manager, schedulers, contractors, design consultants, budget administrators and financial analyst and comptrollers on the same page, OCI department leadership engaged with the IT and Procurement Department to purchase and implement a PMIS from an IT demonstration they recently saw. At the recommendation of the City’s IT Department, the Office of Capital Improvements opted to do the crucial pre-work in analyzing the current state processes to determine the business needs of a solution.

City leadership appointed our CVO to lead this initiative. Kemarr with a team of highly skilled business and system analysts gathered requirements, mapped, and documented the current and desired future state processes, negotiated with stakeholders from various departments where possible to forego department likes for what would be most beneficial to the enterprise at large. Through this exercise, department leadership had clarity on what they really required from a system on day one and for the future.

Our CVO also facilitated the demonstration, procurement, and implementation for the web-based workflow solution that was ultimately selected by the City. The collaborative approach taken aimed to bridge the gap between financial management and the overall health of multi-year, multi-phase projects as a capital team.

The Solution

After thorough analysis and consultation, the solution involved implementing a web-based Project Management Information System (PMIS) built on a powerful workflow engine. This system would enable seamless collaboration, real-time data integration, and end-to-end visibility across the CIP portfolio. To ensure the project's success and drive user adoption, the implementation was divided into four distinct phases over a two-year period. This incremental approach to a long-term implementation allowed for a more response iteration loop and feedback incorporation at each stage, ensuring that the system aligned with the specific needs of the city's departments.

The implementation of the PMIS played a crucial role in bridging the gap between managing projects financially with the Finance Department and overseeing the budget and overall health of the CIP portfolio as a capital team. The new system facilitated streamlined communication and enabled efficient coordination between departments, resulting in enhanced financial management and optimized project performance. Additionally, through the implementation of the city’s enterprise PMIS, we were able to leverage the workflow engine to build a custom task-based workflow for all four methods of procurement managing the back office administrative procurement processes conducted by the Procurement Department. This further provided the team with visibility on bottlenecks and delays in the purchasing process, which was a recurring complaint for years.

The Results

The implementation of the PMIS brought about tangible benefits for the city and its taxpayers. By adopting a modern workflow management system, the city demonstrated its commitment to being good stewards of taxpayers' dollars. The efficient use of resources, elimination of waste, and improved project performance showcased responsible governance while delivering value to the community. Key measurable results include:

1. Waste Reduction: The elimination of manual processes and the introduction of automated workflows significantly reduced administrative errors and duplicated efforts, resulting in a reduction in waste and associated costs.

2. Visibility on Project Portfolios: The PMIS provided a centralized platform that offered real-time visibility into the city's various project portfolios. This enhanced transparency enabled stakeholders to access critical project information, track progress, and make data-driven decisions promptly.

3. Targeting Delays and Bottlenecks: With the implementation of the PMIS, the city gained insights into areas causing delays and bottlenecks in project execution. This knowledge empowered the capital team to take proactive measures, optimize resource allocation, and ensure projects moved forward efficiently.

4. Financial Accountability: The integration of financial tracking within the PMIS improved budget control, cost tracking, and financial reporting. This increased transparency enabled better financial accountability and reduced the risk of budget overruns.

The journey from managing a $300+ million CIP portfolio on static spreadsheets to an enterprise workflow management system was a transformative experience for the city. Through effective requirements gathering, process mapping and remapping for optimization, consensus building, and breaking down of organization silos, the City implemented a web based PMIS to address the challenges faced by its Office of Capital Improvement, Office of Management and Budget, and Finance Department. By reducing waste, providing visibility on project portfolios, and targeting areas of delays, the city optimized its project management practices and continues to enhance its reputation as a responsible custodian of taxpayers' dollars. The digital transformation journey serves as a testament to the power of technology in streamlining processes, improving collaboration, and driving high quality infrastructure successful project outcomes.


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