34 PM NETWORK MARCH 2016 WWW.PMI.ORG
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
cost-effectiveness of IT projects, governments must
also consider their social utility and value.
For example, if a team installs a self-serve kiosk at a
licensing center, it might want to measure how many
customers choose to use an automated service rather
than waiting in line to see a live agent. But the team
would also want to consider the decrease in wait time
per customer, how the change impacted the experi-
ence and any operational costs saved by the center.
“We look at value for the money invested in a proj-
ect,” says Farhad Khurshid, PMP, senior business con-
sultant and project manager, Ministry of Government
and Consumer Services, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “It
can be a more complicated ROI to measure.”
Yet, not all governments take such an inclusive
approach to project prioritization. Getting sponsors
and stakeholders on board early can help project managers secure funding and avoid the long delays that
often plague public-sector IT projects, Mr. Royal says.
“Stakeholders have a lot of priorities, so you want
to be sure you get on their radar early,” he says.
Mr. Royal is currently leading a project to move
multiple divisions of the OCSIT, a government office
charged with helping agencies use technology to improve
customer service, from on-premise systems to the cloud.
One of the project’s biggest risks revolves around security. To ensure the cloud-based solution, which sits outside of the agency’s firewall, would be well protected, Mr.
Royal brought the security team in from the start.
Before his team began the implementation, he
met with the security director to review the project’s
goals, create a plan and schedule a weekly meeting to
review the team’s progress. As planning progressed,
Mr. Royal also worked with the security team to pro-
actively identify risks and create mitigation strategies.
They established system configuration and change
controls and agreed on contingency plans for service
disruptions, then validated the documentation pack-
age with system and application scanning, penetration
testing and tabletop walk-throughs.
“It has made the whole process go much
smoother,” he says. “They know our requirements
months in advance, and they can help us predict
Breaking projects into manageable chunks can
also help government IT teams avoid schedule
delays, Mr. Royal says. When he inherited the
OCSIT cloud project, it was packaged as one mas-
sive initiative. But he broke it down into several
smaller projects with staggered deadlines, each
focused on moving an individual data asset online.
The team began with Data.gov, the website that
provides public access to federal government data
sets. Next it will move on to The Federal Risk and
Authorization Management Program, which pro-
vides a standardized approach to security assess-
ment, and Connect.gov, a secure site that houses
digital applications for government services.
“With smaller roadmaps we can focus intently on
one set of goals, then deliver them and move on,” Mr.
Royal says. This helps his team deliver quick results
frequently, which makes the agency look good and
helps the project team leverage early lessons learned.
“We are getting a lot of wins, and the feedback is
helping us adjust our priorities with each new phase.”
Governments are also adopting greater standardization, looking to improve their processes with
project management best practices. Anupam
Gupta, head of the planning and quality section at
the Ministry of Information and Communications
Technology (ictQATAR) in Doha, Qatar, has leveraged his experience as a private-sector consultant
to strengthen and unify project management practices across the ministry.
“We look at value for
the money invested in
a project. It can be a
more complicated ROI
—Farhad Khurshid, PMP, Ministry of
Government and Consumer Services,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada