Situation

Our client was a division with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, a ministry that works towards establishing a patient-focused, results-driven, integrated and sustainable publicly funded health system. The Ministry had embraced a new direction in terms of building a sustainable public health care system.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care had created a team to work together on implementing a new IT system designed to provide public health professionals with the integrated tools needed to assist in monitoring, managing, and reporting in the area of public health. The overall project team consisted of approximately 50 staff, with another 26 scheduled to be brought on.

 

However, discussions with various stakeholders suggested that number of staffing concerns needed to be addressed, including:

  • A need to realign staff assignments to a new project leadership structure
  • A need to allocate available project resources according to project deliverables, timing and resource skill sets
  • A potential shortfall in existing resources
  • A need to clarify project role descriptions
  • A need to begin to address project staff performance management

 

Requirement

Upon completion of an organizational review of the leadership structure for the division, the division now required a project staffing review to address the following elements:

  • A project staffing structure for the project organization that would be reporting to the identified new leadership team
  • Alignment of the overall project organizational structure around core project functions and deliverables
  • The staffing and deployment of available and anticipated resources into proposed roles / structures
  • An overall approach to performance management that would facilitate a focus on the achievement of project deliverables

 

Challenges

The main challenges we faced on this project included:

  • Changed roles and accountabilities and new staff assignments resulting in change management resistance
  • Historic differences in culture between public sector employees and private sector contractors

 

Actions

After careful consideration of the project mandate, our consultations:

  1. Evaluated the project plan and conducted one-on-one interviews to gather insights on project structures and initial staffing.
  2. Determined the necessary team member roles and composed project role descriptions outlining required skills and experiences.
  3. Identified barriers/risks to project restructuring and identified risk mitigation actions for each barrier/risk.
  4. Developed an action plan outlining project requirements and the team member(s) responsible for each task.
  5. Established an effective project management framework, identifying important metrics and what the process should look like.
  6. Identified the keys to the successful introduction and application of performance management in order to ensure a high performance project team.

 

Results

At the conclusion of the project all the key success factors had been achieved, and the client was highly satisfied with the project deliverables and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.:

  • After various discussions with project team leaders, project restructuring change barriers/risks were identified and mitigated through our recommendations:
  • Cultural barriers/risks – basic values and guiding principles were established; an various internal cultures were managed to operate as a single entity; project team resources were collocated; and cultural shaping levers were utilized and aligned
  • Resource fit and deployment barriers/risks – the leadership team worked together to identify project resource role and skill requirements and ensure effective resource recruiting, staffing/deployment/redeployment and performance management systems
  • People management-related barriers/risks – project cultural shaping levers were utilized and team meetings happened regularly
  • Overall project structure-related barriers/risks – project interdependencies were identified, weekly management team meetings were established, and communication and reporting formations and processes were established
  • The proposed approach to staff project-related performance assessment and management included a framework, where staff members were assessed against assessment criteria appropriate to their role description using a scoring system, supported by behaviourally anchored evidence. This framework ensured that the initiative had a high performance project team.
  • The next steps for the implementation of a performance management system were also identified and provided, which allowed the division to develop a focus on the achievement of project deliverables.