Government Transportation Agency Case Study

Change Integration, Advisory on Transformations and PMO Practices

The SITUATION

The client is a transportation agency that was created to improve the coordination and integration of all modes of transportation throughout the region. The organization’s mission is to champion, develop and implement an integrated regional transportation system that enhances prosperity, sustainability and quality of life.
Before 2006, the client consisted of a commuter rail and bus operation, but then expanded its mandate to include a pre-paid ticketing system, a rail connector to the airport, and a division responsible for the construction of major light rail projects.

The CHALLENGE

Prior to 2006, the information and information technology (I&IT) department at the client was primarily an operational IT shop designed to service the rail and bus operations. Due to its expanded mandate and a more complex set of technology needs, I&IT needed to become more sophisticated in the services it provided for business units across the enterprise. In addition, feedback obtained from business division leaders and the company’s annual surveys indicated that the organization demanded more attention to organizational change management in the delivery of its major enterprise projects.
The I&IT division began developing a plan to transform its organization and raise the level of its services – from one that was focused on IT operational support and projects driven by “business request” – to one based on a Four Pillar logical process with functions that addressed 4 areas:
  1. LISTEN – (Business Relationship Management and Business Analysis functions)
  2. PLAN – (Enterprise Architecture, Security and Portfolio Management and Solution Management functions)
  3. BUILD – (PMO, Vendor Management, and Solution Management functions)
  4. OPERATE – (Field Support, Service Support, Infrastructure & Application Support)
The bolded areas above were newly created. Other areas were modified to support a more responsive, strategic, and full-service model for the newly transformed client organization. Change management was very underdeveloped within the client’s PMO and generally within I&IT service areas. This gap was recognized and needed to be addressed. In addition, the organization wanted assistance in helping them adjust to the impending transformation.

The APPROACH

During the I&IT transformation, the client engaged Watershed CI to provide change management support with the following objectives and scope:
  • Provide change management support (called people change management or PCM at the client), for selected internal and external projects
  • Develop a change management/PCM approach and discipline within I&IT that would align with the needs of the new organization and improve I&IT project service throughout the Enterprise
  • Provide PCM support to the I&IT transformation and specific I&IT initiatives as it unfolded.
Direct project support was provided for two large projects: change and release process improvement and VoIP. A detailed PCM approach was developed, customized to the needs of these two projects with positive results and feedback across the client business. This success led to a request for more direct PCM resource help on other projects, and over time, resulting in a standard practice of PCM assignment to major enterprise, high-impact projects. Over time, other PCM resources were hired and Watershed CI provided guidance in establishing guidelines and hiring criteria. Informal leadership was provided by Watershed CI to create a consistent PCM approach and methodology within I&IT. The team has since grown to seven PCM professionals, servicing 15 to 20 major I&IT projects at any given time.
In 2016, a more formalized integrated delivery methodology (IDM 2.0) was introduced by the PMO throughout I&IT – this established an improved methodology for project work conducted, using the Prince 2 methodology, and methodology across the client organization through separate initiatives as change management practice and maturity grows throughout the enterprise.
Watershed CI integrated this standard PCM methodology within the IDM 2.0, which identified mandatory PCM process steps, work and deliverables within each project phase. This PCM “overlay” into IDM 2.0, was approved in January 2017, and is now standard and accepted practice within the PMO and throughout I&IT.
Watershed CI has become a senior advisory resource for I&IT, and coordinates PCM activities and methodology across the entire client organization through separate initiatives as change management practice and maturity grows throughout the enterprise.

The RESULT

The initial goal of the Watershed CI assignment was to provide support to a few I&IT projects, others that were assigned, and to establish a PCM approach within the PMO. It was also to assist the I&IT transformation. The results of the assignment accomplished this goal within the first year of the assignment, but also succeeded in establishing a solid PCM practice within I&IT, exemplified by the addition of six PCM professionals on the team – and further codified a standard PCM process within the new and upgraded PMO methodology. Whereas few people knew what PCM was in I&IT, it has since become standard practice for PMs and others within I&IT to seek out PCM team members for support and as resources on their teams – to the extent that the new challenge is over-utilization and high demand.
Watershed CI’s ratings on projects have demonstrably improved on the people/adoption side, as reported by the business. There are many areas of the business that will not proceed with a high-impact project to their area without the added support of a PCM professional from the team Watershed CI helped establish.

Why Watershed CI?

As experts in the field of Change Integration™, we recognize that one size does not fit all. Each client comes with distinctive needs, culture, level of maturity and tolerance for complexity. We weigh these factors when selecting the appropriate solution – this ensures the suite of deliverables achieve high-quality, customized results.
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