Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) is a dedicated government body charged with planning and delivering major road projects for Victoria. MRPV is part of the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) which was established on 1 January 2019 within the Victorian Government Department of Transport.
The establishment of MRPV saw the assembly of a range of people from across existing government departments and agencies, including Vic Roads, Department of Transport, Department of Treasury and Finance and industry including engineers, designers, analysts and others. This enabled MRPV to establish strong organisational capability quickly with domain areas, establishing specific disciplines almost immediately.
It soon became clear that MRPV would need a well understood end-to-end delivery approach to achieve expected levels of efficiency and effectiveness in delivering large multi-year road projects. MRPV agreed to define and implement a Project Management Framework called PMF incorporating a Program Delivery Approach (PDA). MRPV wanted to present the PMF in an interactive format that was available within the Intranet and allowed users to both browse the high-level framework and access detailed processes, templates and guides quickly and easily.
The objective of the project was to establish a Project Management Framework that would enable a clear delivery approach for all road projects and would be embraced by future MRPV Project teams. The framework was expected to guide future projects in the common application of lifecycle stages, approval gates, process within each phase, key reporting milestones and domain-specific guidance and templates (such as safety, engineering, planning, procurement, controls, etc).
The MRPV project team, MRPV content providers and Exco Partners were bought together in a highly collaborative manner and constructively challenged to deliver short, medium and longer-term outcomes based on an agreed series of two-week development sprints. The team operated to a clearly defined plan and regular stand-ups gave the team the opportunity to communicate, plan collaborative work efforts, clear impediments and celebrate incremental achievements.
The project team, under the guidance of the Project Manager, employed several methods and techniques to ensure effective delivery of the outputs and outcomes.
1. Sprint based delivery method
Work was defined and sequenced into two-week delivery sprints. At the beginning of each sprint, the team completed a detailed sprint plan to ensure clarity of scope and responsibilities for the sprint. Twice weekly stand-ups enabled the team to coordinate, clarify and unblock. At the end of each sprint there was a demonstration of content and working systems via a showcase. This approach held the entire team to account and positively supported incremental delivery.
2. Planned & Measured Incremental Delivery Method
A breakdown of total content (pages) was mapped upfront and content ownership assigned. This gave the team a visual guide of progress and remaining work at all times. The Intranet site into which the PMF content was published was built early so that draft content could be bought to life in the context of an interactive user driven environment for progressive validation and acceptance.
3. Quality Assurance Technique
Quality was assured using tiered Acceptance Testing. This supported validation and acceptance of the navigation, look and feel, content and user experience within each delivery sprint
4. Time, Cost and Quality objectives
The project was delivered within originally planned budget and slightly exceeded the originally intended time frame (15% over). The quality of the PMF solution met and in some areas exceeded the quality criteria set. The customer (both the PMO and the MRPV User base) was extremely happy with the result. By the end of the project the PMF had become something that people talked about in the corridor, referenced regularly and pointed each other to for information.
The project team are proud of what they were able to deliver within the timeframe. For those who contributed content there is a great sense of ownership of the PMF and content owners continue to refine content based on feedback from users and changes in the operating environment. PMF elevated the profile of some content owners across MRPV and have enabled them to position as clear Subject Matter Experts within the organisation.
The project team gained a sense of trust in working collaboratively with an external consulting group to the benefit of the organisation. This has translated to additional follow on work with other consultants since.
The project team have continued to use tools such as planner boards and run rate charts as techniques for planning and measuring delivery.
Ultimately, the project team, through robust consultation across multiple MRPV functional areas and external Departments, delivered an output that places best practice project management at the front and centre of objectives. This has left the project team feeling exceptionally rewarded.
MRPV now has a clear delivery approach. It is documented and presented in an interactive Intranet Site that enables users to find the information they need, when they need it. New starters, consultants and short term contractors have a place to get an overview of MRPV’s approach to project delivery.
MRPV now initiate and deliver projects in a consistent fashion. Different areas of the organisation understand what each other do better than they did before PMF.
This clarity and consistency enables a degree of repeatability in MRPVs goal to achieve excellence in delivery.
The project was seen as a success because it delivered exactly what was expected. The outcome has created interest within the organisation and outside the organisation and it is perceived to have delivered ongoing operational benefit to MRPV.
Furthermore the platform has allowed for the effective release of further innovations in ways of transforming delivery with the subsequent release of the Program Delivery approach (PDA) which targets improvements not just in program delivery but in the evolution of industries that deliver major infrastructure projects.