Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Project Management


Making MnDOT Better at Project Management

MnDOT does projects. From complex urban reconstructions down to simple striping projects; from highways, to trails, to IT, to process improvements, projects are everywhere at MnDOT. While we deliver an enormous number of projects successfully every year, there is room for improvement. That's why we're engaged in a concentrated effort to enhance project management at MnDOT.

The Case for Change

  • We Can Get Better at Delivering Projects
    • Slipping lettings - 86% of projects planned for Fiscal Year 2012 in the 2012-2015 STIP were actually let in 2012.
    • Inaccurate cost estimates - 33% of projects planned for Fiscal Year 2012 in the 2012-2015 STIP had awards within +/- 15% of estimate
    • There is a widespread consensus among MnDOT employees that we can improve on time, on budget delivery
  • We Must Get Better Because it is Getting Harder
    • Funding is more volatile requiring greater program flexibility
    • Environmental regulations becoming more stringent
    • Public demand for information and engagement increasing
    • Processes becoming more legislatively mandated
    • Staff levels declining
  • Lots of Great Project Management, but a Lack of Consistency
    • Variety in terms for the same project management processes
    • Different levels of functional group involvement in scoping depending on the PM
    • Some schedules are meaningful, but others are not
    • Inability to account for project delivery costs due to inconsistency in charging time.
  • Unique Opportunity to Improve Processes with the Need to Replace PPMS with a New System

How Project Management Helps

  • Collaborative Project Planning
    • Scoping projects to decide what's in and what's out
    • Scheduling projects to keep work and decision making on track, commit staff, and identify consultant needs
    • Cost estimating to develop a budget and line up funding
    • Communications to keep stakeholders informed and get their input
    • Team roles to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities
    • Risks to keep an eye out for potential changes
  • Monitoring and Controlling
    • Reporting on schedule and actual costs to check against the plan
    • Taking action when the actual performance deviates from the plan
    • Learning from what works and what doesn't

Where MnDOT is Going with Project Management

What is Happening to Bring About the Vision?

The project management Office, Project Management Shared Service Centers, and Districts are doing a lot to put in place the people, development, processes and tools to enhance project management at MnDOT. Here is a list of the major efforts:

  • Developing Project Staff
    • Identifying Core Competencies
    • Developing an ongoing Training Program
    • Forming Project Management Shared Service Centers to Support and Coach Project Manager
  • Developing Processes
    • Identifying Project-related Roles and Responsibilities
    • Clarifying Project Manager Authority
    • Developing an Issue Escalation Process
    • Defining Accountability Processes
    • Developing Project Management Technical Processes
      • Updating the Scoping Process
      • Defining Scheduling Processes to go along with P6
      • Clarifying Cost Management Processes
      • Developing Risk Management Processes
      • Clarifying Change Management Processes
  • Improving Tools