BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Project Management Training and Support

BPA project number   5503100

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ICF Kaiser International, Inc.

Sponsor type   WA-Consultant

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameScott Seiler
 Mailing address601 Williams Blvd., 4th Floor, Richland, Washington 99352

BPA technical contact   , EWP

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
Increase the productivity, efficiency, consistency, and cost performance of all projects. Improve the career skills of project managers across the Fish and Wildlife Program. Develop an up-front training needs analysis, an assessment of current project management policies, delivery of project management training sessions and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the training.

Project start year   1997    End year   1998

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Planning, Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Project management training will support the overall efficiency and integration of the entire Fish and Wildlife Program.

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
BPA intends to spends over $400 million annually on its fish and wildlife program. In total, approximately 150 such projects are underway, being managed by several different governments and agencies. These projects have been selected based on their technical merit and their likelihood in helping meet fish and wildlife protection goals. Strong project planning and management skills will enable this program to work more effectively and efficiently.

All projects -- from the largest construction job, to the smallest laboratory R & D experiment -- will benefit from the application of sound project management principles. These principles will lead to better defined end objectives (typically referred to as functional requirements); flexibility and creativity in meeting these ends; more accurate cost and schedule
estimates; the establishment of management processes that will identify problems; and implement tools to quickly correct problems if they arise. In short, systematic project management skills will lead to more projects achieving their goals and objectives on time and on budget.

The proposed project management training will better equip the managers of fish and wildlife projects to more effectively plan and execute their projects. This training will improve project management skills across the fish and wildlife program, and providing greater competence and confidence to manage larger and more complex projects. It will also enhance professional development and future career options for many of the fish and wildlife program project managers.

The objectives of this project are easily measured. Those projects managed by staff who have completed the project management training will:

∑ Meet a higher percentage of budget targets;

∑ Meet a higher percentage of technical objectives; and

∑ Be completed closer to projected schedules.

These objectives will be tested by conducting a formal evaluation of the cost, schedule and technical performance of projects managed by training attendees.

Testable hypothesis
Managers who complete the training program, and implement the suggested procedures and guidelines will more effectively meet project cost, technical and schedule objectives. The fish and wildlife program will be able to show consistent and improved measurable progress for the funds committed.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
1) Project Management Skill Level. Although managers of the fish and wildlife projects are highly knowledgeable professionals, many do not have significant, project management training or experience. Thus, they are unlikely to have the background that would enable them to use state-of-the-art techniques to plan and track their projects in the most efficient manner.

2) Standardization Across Projects. Current project planning and management processes are not standardized across fish and wildlife projects. The lack of consistency leads to suboptimal management practices, and makes it difficult to assess and report progress in a consistence manner.

3) Training Attendance. Managers of sponsored projects will attend the training.

4) Project Management Implementation. Managers that attend the training will implement the techniques and processes presented.

5) Training Evaluation. In the proposed follow-up evaluation, cost, schedule, and technical performance data will be able to evaluate the success of the training.

Year 1

Implement the project management curriculum through the following process:

∑ Working from a set of tested "best practices", examine current procedures and requirements for managing projects.

∑ A baseline of past project performance is developed.

∑ If desired, by the fish and wildlife program, make suggestions for changes or improvements to procedures and incorporate them into the training.

∑ Customized, draft training materials are developed and then reviewed by the fish and wildlife program authorities.

∑ A pilot walk-through is conducted, and final materials are developed. Attachment A contains a proposed outline for the training, based on existing successful ICF Kaiser project management training contracts.

∑ Training sessions are scheduled and delivered.

Year 2

∑ Training sessions continue.

∑ Follow-up evaluations are conducted to assess the effectiveness of the training, through assessments of projects managed by training attendees. An evaluation report and recommendations for follow-on training is issued.

Brief schedule of activities
Year 1

First Quarter

∑ Review schedule and scope of project.

∑ Conduct on-site interviews with relevant NPPC, BPA, and CBFWA staff to tailor training to Fish and Wildlife Program requirements.

∑ Past project performance baselines are developed.

∑ Draft course plans and outlines completed and distributed for review.

∑ Comments on course plans and outlines are incorporated.

∑ Walk-through of course materials with Fish and Wildlife Program staff.
Second through Fourth Quarters

∑ Training sessions are delivered for 60 personnel (schedules and locations developed to meet regional needs).

Year 2

First and Second Quarters

∑ Training sessions continue for an additional 60 personnel.

∑ Examine cost, technical, and schedule performance of projects managed by trained personnel.

Third and Fourth Quarters

∑ Develop evaluation report and recommendations.

Biological need
The Fish and Wildlife Program can improve efficiency through a better trained work force. For fish and wildlife projects, this means that rigorous project management should be applied from the initial planning stages to the completion of all projects. Project management training will expand the skills of staff, and improve cost, schedule, and technical performance. The result will be more work performed and more progress toward improved fish returns, for the same or less funding.

A secondary need for this training is that the NPPC, BPA, and the CBFWA need a framework to objectively evaluate projects. One method of accomplishing this is to ensure that projects are planned, scheduled, budgeted, and reported on in a more uniform manner.

Critical uncertainties
Funding to cover the time of training session attendees is not included in this proposal.

Summary of expected outcome
BPA sponsored projects will be planned and managed more consistently and effectively, leading to improved overall program efficiency. Projects are more likely to be completed on time and on budget, while meeting their specific technical objectives.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
∑ ICF Kaiser is currently implementing a large-scale project for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with the above approach. More than 200 DOE project managers in the environmental restoration and facilities management programs have completed the program. The training was tailored to the exact procedures, forms, and accounting practices used by the DOE field offices. Six training sessions are scheduled throughout FY1996 in Richland, Washington for personnel throughout the Northwest. Some BPA personnel are participating in these sessions and training effectiveness/early start assessments could begin this Fiscal Year. The proposed fish and wildlife program training could be leveraged off of the current training program underway through the DOE Richland Office. In doing so, schedules, facilities, and funding could be shared and minimized to the benefit of both organizations.

∑ Funding to cover training session attendees time must be identified.

∑ Project managers are unwilling to attend the training. Managers of funded projects (or their sponsoring organizations) may not believe they require the training, or may believe that it is an unnecessary, imposed or implied requirement. This potential problem can be mitigated by emphasizing that the project management training is a career development opportunity for the attendees. Project management skills are in wide demand (certifications are available through the national Project Management Institute). Moreover, because application of sound project management skills assists project managers to be more effective, with fewer headaches, students should be encouraged to attend simply to be more successful in their jobs.

∑ Funded projects are unwilling to be evaluated. Project organizations may be wary about cost, schedule, and technical performance evaluations. This perception can be mitigated by emphasizing the parallel nature of the Programs documentable performance and itís funding.

Monitoring activity
∑ Students will evaluate each training course on several dimensions including relevance of the training objectives, technical and teaching skills of the instructor, and usefulness and applicability of the information provided.

∑ The proposed follow-up evaluation will measure the training's success in improving project performance.

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
(none) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 200,000
1998: 175,000

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   System Policy

Recommendation    Tier 3 - do not fund