CA$12 million under budget. And when BC Hydro
wrapped up an evaluation of its practices in 2016
again using OPM3®, it received a maturity score
of 91 percent—a staggering 86 point increase over
“We’re very proud of the way that the PMO has
matured the organization over time,” says Mr. Kelly.
BC Hydro’s fractured strategic landscape also
needed to be mended. The company has six portfolios responsible for hundreds of projects, from
building hydroelectric generators to replacing circuit breakers in substations. Each department had
its own processes, reports—and strategic objectives.
“Projects weren’t necessarily aligned to BC
Hydro’s corporate strategy. They were more aligned
to the strategy of that particular business unit,” says
The PMO was built with a direct line of sight to
senior management. This helps make sure projects
contribute to overall strategic objectives. Portfolio directors, who oversee portfolios based on
geographic area, report to Mr. McKenzie, who
works directly with Mr. O’Riley, the sponsor of BC
Hydro’s most critical projects.
“Senior management support is essential to
ensure that we keep in sync with companywide priorities,” says Ms. Dutka. “They can offer a broader
Canada’s province of British Columbia is home to
203 First Nations—groups of distinct Aboriginal
people whose presence in North America predates
European settlers. That means almost all of BC
Hydro’s existing infrastructure and new projects are
within or near First Nations’ traditional territories.
“We really need to treat them as partners,”
says Brooke Dutka, director of project delivery,
Vancouver Island transmission projects, BC Hydro,
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
BC Hydro’s project management office has
helped build stronger relationships with First Nations through working with its Aboriginal relations
department. “Before, everybody knew Aboriginal
relations were important but didn’t quite know how
to address the need and when,” says Ms. Dutka.
Now engagement with First Nations is a stan-
dard key performance indicator across all projects—
and it has increased satisfaction among BC Hydro
teams, too. “Having guidance from organizations
such as the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Busi-
ness supports the implementation of best practices
for teams to adopt,” says Ms. Dutka. “As a result
of that, we’ve seen numerous benefits including
improved resourcing, reduced workloads and a real
sense of everybody knowing what they need to do.”
The relationship also has created employment
opportunities. Investing in training and develop-
ment early helps BC Hydro draw upon the local
skilled workforce to implement projects around the
province—and paves the way for BC Hydro to hire
First Nations individuals and businesses.
On one project, for instance, an Aboriginal
company received a CA$1.4 million contract to
clear trees so transmission lines could be built to
bring reliable power to four First Nations communities. And there are more symbolic gestures:
In 2015, BC Hydro collaborated with two First
Nations groups on a mural that honors the traditions and history of the communities.
A bulk oil breaker
the risk that
things will be
—Brooke Dutka, BC Hydro