University Health Network (UHN) is comprised of three major hospitals. Facilities management environment in UHN consists of a shared services project management organization and the ‘on the ground’ hospital-specific facilities teams that manage the day-to-day maintenance. Other than very large construction projects, the majority of initiatives are managed by the shared project management office.
Many projects had been underperforming over a significant period of time. Our team was engaged to develop a formal Project Management Methodology to be applied to facilities related projects, streamline the communication efforts and processes of both teams and incorporate a standard set of best practices to increase the likelihood of success for current and future projects.
Our team initially conducted a detailed situation analysis to identify the real gaps in process and communications. Employing a high level of professionalism and sensitivity for all the stakeholders involved, interviews were conducted with individuals, all members of each team and then all teams collectively.
We recognized just developing a methodology without addressing the ‘people’ and team aspects would not be adequate. We sought and received approval to work on two concurrent solution streams. The first was to improve interpersonal working relationships between the Project Management and Facilities Management teams and second to develop a consistent best practice project management framework.
Through initial training on conflict management and negotiation and use of collaborative workshops with the participation of all stakeholders, our project team presented a wider lens through which both teams could see the value of the other and begin focusing on their unique contributions. These exercises became the impetus of a new, stronger communication channel between the Project Management (delivery team) and the Facilities Management (acceptance) team.
With active participation, our team built all aspects of an end-to-end project framework. This disciplined approach incorporated right practices and processes relevant to the unique nature of facilities management for hospitals within UHN. A comprehensive project management framework included processes, checklists, tools and ‘how to’ guidance documents.
We recommended the methodology be ‘tested’ on a pilot basis using a current project. Once the pilot was completed, a post-implementation project review was conducted with the team to measure effectiveness and identify changes going forward.