Portfolio planning using MS Project – Local council

Core Consulting Group (CCG) were engaged by one of Melbourne’s largest local councils.  Their Capital Works Program included the ongoing refurbishment, replacement and upgrade of Council’s physical assets (infrastructure and facilities) and construction of new assets to meet the community’s current and future service needs.  The capital works program covered approx.. $150M of proposed works over a five year period.

CCG were engaged to assist the council collate planning data from their proposed capital works program into one single source of truth, providing summary data, resource modelling and an ongoing portfolio status framework.  Not having access to enterprise planning tools, CCG devised a solution using innovations built on top of MS Project scheduling software, which they did have.  The resulting solution (comprising a master and sub project schedules), together with a number of views, provided the basis for their monthly progress reporting based on Project Manager’s status updates.

The result was a single, whole of portfolio view, which the council have found useful in their overall Portfolio Governance and have used for a number of years since.  While on site CCG were also asked to uplift general planning and scheduling skills through a number of MS Project training workshops.  This training improved the quality of schedule data and general planning and tracking on individual projects, which resulted in improved portfolio summary data as a result.  CCG have been available for ongoing Email and telephone support queries since our engagement, which has been appreciated by the client.

Key Elements of the solution included:

  • Detailed project schedule using MS Project
  • Innovative summary reporting
  • Education and training