How to Modernize a Public Agency: One Organization’s Path to Instituting Best of Breed Construction Management Services

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e-Builder.net 800.580.9322 info@e-builder.net 12/2017 WHITE PAPER 1 Public owners from all sectors struggle to build new or renovate existing assets within defined budgets and schedules. Too often, expectations go unmet. In a recent survey 1 , 93% of public infrastructure owners reported that their projects exceeded budget. While about half (48%) of those surveyed reported infrequent (less than 25% of projects) overruns, a relatively large proportion (26%) said that a majority of their projects exceed budget. Among the projects where owners report exceeding budget, almost two-thirds (65%) are at least 5% over, and many (21%) cited a more than 10% overrun. The study further found that the contributing factors to cost, schedule and quality performance issues were most often due to inadequate internal competencies, risk management and project controls. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services (PADGS) Public Works Bureaus was one of many public agencies that struggled with these obstacles to efficiency. The following outlines this organization's efforts to reduce bureaucracy, empower its people and streamline processes with help from a customized cloud-based project management information system (PMIS). How to Modernize a Public Agency: One Organization's Path to Instituting Best of Breed Construction Management Services 1 Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Brief: Optimizing Owner Organizations: The Impact of Policies and Practices on Performance for Public Infrastructure Owners PADGS had a largely paper-driven process with two cell phones, PCs (no laptops) and a reliance on the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx." In order to modernize, PADGS knew they needed to focus on three things: projects, process and people—what they do, how they do it and who does it. In 2014, PADGS initiated the Public Works Modernization program that focused on improving processes with help from technology. In talking about his vision for the modernization, PADGS Secretary Curt Topper, noted that it's not all about technology, adding, "I don't want to automate bad processes. I want to fix the processes and then automate good processes." Topper adds, "The iterative process that's involved with development of a tool like e-Builder suited us well. We worked together with e-Builder to re-design processes in real-time." Partnering for Progress Pennsylvania's Public Works agency is responsible for the design, construction, coordination and oversight of all non- highway capital construction projects for the Commonwealth. The agency's scope includes new construction as well as alterations and renovations to existing commonwealth properties and capital improvement projects. The assets range from dams and sewage treatment plants to prisons, offices and laboratories. The agency has a $15M budget and a staff of about 100 to manage a capital portfolio of about $1.5B. The department staff, which includes directors, project managers, coordinators, inspectors and support staff, administers the selection of architects and engineers, advertises projects for bid, obtains construction bids, executes and manages budgets for construction contracts. Until recently, the management of the agency's comprehensive project portfolio was disconnected and heavily burdened with red tape.

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