DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS: IMPROVED PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS: IMPROVED PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Problem Identification:
Responsibility for architectural design, engineering, construction management, and overall project financial management is diffused throughout DPW. The lack of an integrated approach to managing these functions leads to project development, approval, and completion delays, as well as a large number of change orders that lead to project cost overruns.

Recommended Action:
Consolidate financial management and project oversight responsibilities for construction projects in a new organizational entity.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Organizational, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Departmental Operations with Construction-Related Responsibilities

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
180 days – 1 year

Next Steps:
Map all construction-related processes. Identify areas where integrated reviews (e.g. architects, engineers, construction managers, contract administrators) can expedite workflows. Consolidate the management of necessary functions within a new or revised organizational entity.

Analysis:
DPW counts among its numerous responsibilities the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of public streets, bridges, and highways in addition to the inspection and management of City construction projects. While this report includes recommendations designed to address some of the problems described above through the alignment or consolidation of complementary functions, the augmentation of staffing capacities, and the easing of administrative processes, the project team concluded that systemic problems exist in DPW’s approach to the management of construction-related processes and projects.

Currently, there is little integrated management of construction-related processes. Exchanges between Departmental units involved in the various processes are transactional rather than collaborative. Aside from causing unnecessary time delays, the lack of coordination and information sharing ultimately results in costly change orders that might have been avoided.

There exists a need to develop comprehensive workflow maps for all construction-related processes. These maps should help identify areas where integrated reviews (e.g. architects, engineers, construction managers, contract administrators) can expedite workflows. Additionally, the mapped workflows will represent an important first step to reengineering the entire project management process.

Ultimately, efforts should be geared toward the formation of interdisciplinary project management teams consisting of architects, engineers, construction managers, and contract administrators to administer projects from planning through implementation. This would result in more precise and accurate drawings, value engineering, and minimal change orders.