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Extract from: http://www.pwmag.com/industry-news.asp?sectionID=768&articleID=362838 See more on CIMO at: : http://www.kcmo.org/cimo.nsf/web/home]
Fast-tracking the future
By 2004, Kansas City faced a backlog of projects worth more than $240 million. Teaming with private consultants, the city created a separate agency to be its “economic engine for redevelopment.”
Source: PUBLIC WORKS MAGAZINE
Publication date: 09/01/2006 By Michael Musgrave
Kansas City, Mo.'s deteriorating urban core needed a jump start. City leaders needed to upgrade its crumbling infrastructure to draw people and businesses and revitalize blighted areas into commercial, cultural, entertainment, residential, and retail hubs. Such initiatives stagnated, however, when inefficient, outdated, scattered municipal processes could not deliver projects quickly enough. Compartmentalized within various city departments, those processes lacked a common systematic approach, defined schedules, and accountability to resolve issues and push projects forward. With the public works department able to deliver an average of only $40 million in projects annually, already funded projects were stalled from three to 10 years. Backlogged project budgets swelled with rising inflation costs. Contractors hesitated to bid on city projects or give the city “preferred client” status because of lengthy timeframes for bid-to-notice-to-proceed and contractor payment. By 2004, the city faced a backlog valued at more than $240 million. MEETING THE NEEDS To fast-track its future, Kansas City needed to streamline project delivery and relieve its capital projects backlog. In early 2004, mayor Kay Barnes, the city council, and city manager Wayne Cauthen addressed that need by launching the Capital Improvements Management Office (CIMO). CIMO is an innovative, integrated public-private project management team comprising city staff, consultants from MWH Global Inc., a Colorado-based engineering consulting firm, and locally based consulting firm Burns & McDonnell. The city took the unprecedented step of placing these consultants in key CIMO leadership roles, including the director spot, giving them authority and responsibility to make decisions on the city's behalf. “We recognized that developing a centralized capital improvements office required private-consultant support, and that placing consultants in key leadership positions was crucial to CIMO's rapid development and success,” says Cauthen. “Those steps allowed us to be more accountable to Kansas City's people and to be better stewards for the city's public infrastructure resources.”
CIMO's mission was to create a better-built community through lasting improvements to Kansas City's project-delivery system. Specific objectives were to: • • • • Fast-track project delivery by applying industry best practices. Reduce capital improvement project backlogs. Spur area economic development. Prepare city staff to assume CIMO leadership positions within three years, while providing for ongoing project delivery improvements.
A NEW CULTURE CIMO transformed the city's old, siloed capital project delivery processes into a project-delivery-focused culture using a centralized approach. Apivotal first step was initiating project-centric teams such as those used in private industry. Under the project-centric team model, a single project manager is accountable throughout all project delivery processes, with the support of a knowledgeable, crossfunctional team to help make decisions and resolve issues. Teams specializing in public infrastructure projects such as streets, streetlights, bridges, and parks work together from funding through completion. To complete the transformation, CIMO introduced powerful tools based on industry best practices. These included project delivery controls using key performance indicators to track progress of delivery processes toward stated goals, and systems to provide project managers, teams and city staff with up-to-date project information and standardized project delivery tools. CIMO also launched an external Web site to give the public transparent access to project scope, schedule, and status, and to allow contractors to look ahead on future bids. In addition, CIMO implemented education and training methods such as “KCMO University,” a series of structured professional training courses, to transfer professional project delivery knowledge and skills to city staff and embed privateindustry best practices within city government. • • • Reduce capital improvement project backlogs. Spur area economic development. Prepare city staff to assume CIMO leadership positions within three years, while providing for ongoing project delivery improvements.
The projects steered by the Capital Improvement Management Office include the $835 million entertainment district, which stretches across seven square blocks and features movie theaters, live entertainment venues, corporate offices, and residential spaces.
When Kansas City's Capital Improvement Management Office launched, the partnership between city officials—such as city manager Wayne Cauthen, left, and private consultants including MWH Global project executive Mike Musgrave—openly shared with the public its plans to streamline capital project delivery. Photos: MWH
The $135 million expansion of Kansas City's Bartle Hall Convention Center is one of the many projects administered by the city's publicprivate management team.
“Their program to train city staff ensured that the proper professional skill sets are in place for CIMO's long-term success,” says Cauthen. Now a formal department of city government, CIMO directs $1.2 billion in redevelopment efforts, including downtown's $835 million entertainment district, the $135 million Bartle Hall Convention Center expansion, and the $276 million Sprint Center Arena—plus $190 million in neighborhood and public service projects. These efforts are generating as many as 5000 jobs, $170 million in annual state sales benefits, convention business averaging $7 million annually, and $15 million in net convention-expansion-related annual direct spending. Cauthen calls CIMO the city's “economic engine for redevelopment” because every dollar of public funds invested in the community results in $3 to $4 of private funds brought to Kansas City. “New venues, facilities, and services being developed under CIMO's direction will enhance opportunities and quality of life for everyone in Kansas City and its surrounding communities,” he says. “They're also attracting visitors and new businesses, thus increasing the city's tax revenue.” WATCHING A CITY'S REBIRTH
CIMO installed Webcams to allow Kansas City's people to watch the progress of downtown redevelopment on their computers via the CIMO Web site at www.kcmo.org/cimo. CIMO also supports the Kansas City Area Development Council's efforts to produce a documentary television film, “Mending the Heart of an American City,” which will chronicle for a nationwide audience the story of greater downtown Kansas City's dramatic rebirth. The world already is watching—and approves. Kansas City and MWH, along with Burns & McDonnell, earned the 2006 U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) PublicPrivate Partnership Award of Excellence. “This prestigious award acknowledges the collaborative efforts of USCM member cities such as Kansas City and private firms such as MWH, working together to enhance the quality of life in communities we serve,” says MWH's Mike McClure, CIMO director. CIMO's success underscores the importance of public investment in a city's prosperity and shows how a streamlined delivery approach can ensure consistent growth. “This approach avoids the ‘boom and bust' economy that has plagued municipalities such as Kansas City in the past,” Cauthen says. “The CIMO public-private partnership has transferred professional project delivery knowledge and skills to city staff and brought a new working attitude to city government.” — Musgrave is MWH's project executive for the Kansas City CIMO.
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