Optimising Project Management Office processes at
Tāmaki Regeneration Company

Tāmaki Regeneration Company (TRC) was established by the Government and Auckland Council to manage a major programme of social and physical regeneration. Optimation's PMO Advisory service is working in partnership with TRC to set up a Project Management Office, embed best practice management and governance processes, and help to develop TRC's internal capability.

Tamaki

 

In 2012, the New Zealand Government embarked on a plan to reform the provision of social housing because the current system could not meet social housing demand and was both fiscally unaffordable and unsustainable. In 2014, specific objectives for the Social Housing Reform Programme (SHRP) were agreed. These included ensuring that social housing is of the right size, configuration and quality, and in the right areas; and helping to increase the supply of affordable housing, especially in Auckland.

Tāmaki is an area of high social and economic deprivation.  Government and the Auckland Council have been attempting to address issues of social and economic deprivation in Tāmaki for a number of years.  In 2012 the Government and the Council established the Tāmaki Regeneration Company (TRC) to facilitate the social and physical regeneration of the area.

 TRC’s objectives are: 

  • Social: Supporting Tāmaki residents and families to gain the skills, knowledge and employment opportunities to progress in their lives.
  • Economic: Strengthening the local economy and unlocking the potential of the Tāmaki area to enable a prosperous community and deliver better value for money to the Crown (with a focus on increasing the return on investment and realising the potential value from state and council-owned housing).
  • Spatial: Creating safe and connected neighbourhoods that support the social and economic development of Tāmaki and its community.
  • Housing Resources: Optimising the use of land and existing housing stock to effectively support and deliver social and economic results, including progressing private housing development and better public housing options for Tāmaki.

In 2015, the Government provided TRC with resources to effect a large-scale redevelopment of the Tāmaki area. This included the transfer of approximately 2,800 houses from Housing New Zealand to TRC, and the provision of a $200m loan to undertake catalyst projects. As a result of this initiative, TRC is in the process of establishing several significant projects to implement the Government’s Social Housing Reform policy in the Tāmaki area.

“Starting out as consultants contracted to set up and embed PMO processes, Optimation quickly became a shoulder to lean on, always there to lend a helping hand throughout the Tāmaki transformation.”
Deanna Hackney – Programme & Compliance Manager 

The challenge 

TRC needed to initiate and manage a number of significant, high profile projects while transitioning from its existing scale and structure to a much larger and complex organisation. It sought an experienced partner with demonstrated capabilities to set up and manage a Programme Management Office (PMO). Optimation was selected through an RFP process.

As a company that is jointly owned by the Crown and Auckland Council (59/41%), TRC experiences high levels of scrutiny from other Agencies, the ed community, and the wider public. Therefore, the need for transparency and assurance is significant. As TRC's PMO partner, Optimation needed to demonstrate a robust but right-sized approach to governance, and ensure that appropriate risk, issue, and financial management were in place. 

With such a major transformation programme it is inevitable that new requirements and issues will emerge through detailed planning and implementation. The Optimation PMO needed to demonstrate the ability to add value by accurately assessing the impact, risks, and opportunities so that the Board and leadership can make informed decisions. 

Optimation needed to work quickly to set up and embed appropriate delivery, management, and governance processes. A collaborative approach was vital, because in addition to establishing the PMO Optimation was expected to work closely with TRC over a 12-to-18 month period to develop TRC's internal capability. This will enable the organisation to manage the PMO over the long term.

"Optimation became part of the Tāmaki family, working closely with us from the day they met us. They developed a comprehensive understanding of our business needs and were only a phone call away to ask for further assistance and services."
Peter Fa’afiu – GM Corporate Affairs & Engagement

Solution

Optimation took a consultative approach to establishing the PMO. In the first month, we set up the basics of the office, including tools, templates and processes. Once this was achieved, we moved into a more “business as usual” mode for operating and optimising the PMO. This is where the value of the Optimation PMO really came into its own, as we work closely with the TRC leadership and Board to get a factual view of the status, risks and issues across the regeneration programme, and then advise and steer the TRC team through the variety of obstacles and challenges faced.

The PMO works effectively alongside other suppliers and work streams to make sure it is helping to remove obstacles, whilst still being able to maintain the programme driver and assurance role that is necessary to deliver the TRC programme. A collaborative approach and true partnership are critical success factors, and Optimation works closely with TRC to build and nurture good working relationships across the delivery work streams.

The Optimation PMO generally provides oversight, but not project management, of the various TRC projects. However, because of Optimation's depth of capability, we are able to provide skilled and experienced project managers when they are required. In addition, TRC is able to access other services through Optimation, including business analysis, testing, and IT infrastructure consulting.

Results 

Optimation worked rapidly and effectively to establish a PMO with processes and execution tailored to support Tāmaki’s business drivers and goals. Working collaboratively and with a true passion for Tāmaki’s people and vision, the Optimation PMO adds value by providing sound guidance and thought leadership to the Tāmaki Board, and by facilitating strong relationships with stakeholders and third-party providers. 

The depth of Optimation’s capability means we have been able to provide additional professional project management and SLT reporting support, freeing up Tāmaki resources to focus on critical project work. In addition, Tāmaki has been able to draw on the expertise of other Optimation practices as needed, including business planning, test management, infrastructure consulting, and business analysis.