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2008 Awards: IT Project and Portfolio Management

District of Columbia - Tapping into the Stock Market Model for Washington, DC’s IT Governance

The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) is the District’s central technology agency, an organization of over 700 with an annual operating budget of approximately $72 million. OCTO provides technology policy and services for 54 District agencies, 38,000 District employees, nearly 600,000 residents, 120,000 businesses, and more than 14 million annual visitors. OCTO’s mission is leveraging technology to improve service delivery, drive innovation, and bridge the digital divide to build a world-class city.

In October 2007, OCTO created an organizational ecosystem based on the idea that government IT investments should be driven by accountability and transparency, and therefore governed by the same bottom-line approach as stocks in the market.

To ensure accountability, OCTO created a team of six Portfolio Managers to oversee all IT initiatives. Each oversees all projects in a “cluster” of agencies with intersecting responsibilities using the “stock market model,” which treats the portfolio like a stock fund to analyze individual project (stock) and total portfolio performance based on budget, schedule, and customer value. Decisions are made to “buy”—commit more resources to improve value; “hold” —maintain current resources; or “sell” —scrap the investment.

To improve transparency and provide the Portfolio Managers data to evaluate IT initiatives like stocks, OCTO developed a new web-based IT investment portfolio tool. This tool uses dashboards that present qualitative and quantitative data in easy-to-view screens that allow the Portfolio Managers to measure customer value and identify budget and schedule variances at a glance.

The implementation of the Portfolio Manager/stock market model ecosystem changed the approach to all IT investments in OCTO and major IT investments throughout the District government. Specifically:

  • The analysis of each initiative on the basis of value, along with cost and schedule, has changed the IT purchasing approach from buying for technology’s sake to purchasing technology only when it offers a solution to a well-understood business problem.
  • Replacing a project management approach with a portfolio management approach facilitated shared services purchasing of systems for cost savings.
  • The shift to a “buy/hold/sell” approach has led to more rapid cancellation of low-performing, low-value projects.
  • As a repeatable, traceable framework, this process allows executives to decide IT investment priorities and to understand associated infrastructure funding levels issues.
  • This new approach has produced greater cost savings and greater revenues than anticipated, sooner than anticipated.
“I created a Wall Street model for managing Washington, DC’s IT projects as a portfolio of stocks. In this stock market model, each project is a “company,” its team is company management, its schedule and financial status are captured in market reports, and customer satisfaction is the market reaction. The model allows us to balance riskier strategic IT investments with more conservative ones and rebalance the portfolio whenever necessary. The model also fosters government transparency and accountability—we deliver accurate, real-time performance data to officials using web reports, podcasts and videos."
....Vivek Kundra, Chief Technology Officer, District of Columbia

Click on the title to download program submission.

North Carolina
Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Services Offered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Delivery Model

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Enterprise Program Management Office - A Focus on Project Management Commitment

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IT Governance Project & Portfolio Management

Delaware's Program Management Office

Information Technology Services Portfolio Management Office

New York
Project Management Methodology: The New York State Project Management Guidebook, Release 2 and Management's Guide to Project Success

South Dakota
South Dakota PPM Process

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