University Health Network Case Study

End-to-End Project Framework


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.


Any project management methodology developed would need to:
  • meet the interests of all stakeholders
  • be practical and incorporate unique needs of facilities management at UHN
  • incorporate existing governance, mandatory and regulatory requirements
  • be flexible and scalable to match varying sizes of projects
Multiple teams were involved in each project each team’s work was of critical value to the other, however, the difficulty in working together would need to be bridged before any progress could be made. Communication between these teams had broken down to an extreme point and would be a barrier to success.


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.


The formal project management framework was handed over to the shared project management organization for consistent use on facilities projects. Knowledge transfer sessions were conducted to ensure the organization was ready to fully utilize the methodology in a flexible way without compromising key checkpoints and risk management.
The collaborative development of the formal PM Methodology provided an equal opportunity for all team members to make their voices heard and resolve past issues. Full support and engagement of the entire team was evident. The process of working together on a common goal, as well as positive outcomes of the pilot project significantly reduced the adversarial position. Improved communications and working relationships were noticed and appreciated by Senior Management.
Since implementing the customized methodology, immediate and positive results have been recognized and inspired team collaboration.

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