Canadian utility BC Hydro provides clean energy to 98 percent of British Columbia. More than 4 million residents rely on the power
it provides. But the province’s aging infrastructure is
straining to support its growing population.
That’s why the government-owned utility plans to
invest CA$2 billion per year in capital improvements over
the next 10 years. But with that many utility customer dollars on the table, BC Hydro’s projects must deliver their
intended benefits. The utility turns to its PMO to keep this
high-profile portfolio on track.
Managing nearly 600 projects at any given time, BC
Hydro’s PMO follows a strict governance process. From
conceptual designs and feasibility testing to construction
and commissioning, PMO reporting keeps stakeholders
informed on how each project is progressing. Engaging
key decision-makers each step of the way reduces the risk
that poor choices will put a project behind schedule or
over budget, says Ken McKenzie, vice president, capital
infrastructure project delivery, BC Hydro.
“PMO reporting minimizes the potential of us selecting
the wrong alternative for the project or going in a direction that doesn’t meet corporate objectives,” he says.
That level of involvement goes all the way to the C-suite.
The deputy CEO is involved in monthly update meetings,
at which the PMO team highlights key risks that require executive attention. All projects with a budget of more than CA$50 million are reviewed, with lower-cost projects
making the docket if their health indicators are yellow or red. Whether they’re small
generation, transmission or station upgrades or critical capital investments, all projects follow the same processes—and it’s a strategy that works.
Over the past five years, BC Hydro has successfully closed 563 capital projects,
worth roughly CA$6.5 billion—coming in 0.18 percent under budget as a whole.
“Because our capital program is so large right now, the overall success of BC Hydro
is very dependent on how well we deliver our projects to scope, schedule and budget,” Mr. McKenzie says.
PMO employees understand their strategic role and are committed to delivering.
A recent employee engagement survey found that 87 percent of PMO employees
experience a sustainable culture of employee engagement.
Organization: BC Hydro
Location: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
PMO launch: 2007
potential of us
selecting the wrong
alternative for the
—Ken McKenzie, BC Hydro