CARES Act Drives $10M in Funding for Government IT Services Department Projects
Industry: Public Sector
An IT Services department (Client) provides enterprise IT services for one of the largest cities in the U.S. Like many other organizations, the City Departments had been heavily impacted by COVID-19. As part of the CARES (Coronavirus AID, Relief, and Economic Security) Act of 2020, the Client’s IT Department received over $10M in funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to use across five of its departments: Project Management Office, Enterprise Applications Services, Enterprise Infrastructure Services, Enterprise Cyber-Security, and Radio Communication Services. The Client had defined 11 IT project needs across its five divisions to leverage the CRF funding but lacked the resources and expertise to implement in the accelerated time frame required by the grant (everything had to be done by December 30). The Client brought on Bridgepoint Consulting as a trusted, strategic partner to support each individual project’s delivery and provide overall project and program management delivery as well as the grant financial managed services.
Rapid Delivery Enables a City's IT Department to Successfully Address the City's Critical Needs During Pandemic
The CARES Act has a multitude of federal requirements by which organizations need to follow. To add to this, the Client would need to spend Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) money by year-end or refund the remaining funds as well as funds spent for incomplete projects. This aggressive timeline added a substantial amount of pressure to both the Client and Bridgepoint Consulting to deliver. For insights into a typical timeline for the Client’s capabilities, they historically performed PC laptop refresh (which was significantly less than the 2000 delivered in this project) that would typically take longer than 12 months to deliver. Additionally, typical software implementation can take 6-12 months or longer. If Bridgepoint Consulting were to hit the 6-month timeline, they would need to deploy veteran program and project managers to define an effective communication cadence, partner with additional experts, and work closely with the Client and other third-party service providers to hit their year-end deadline.
Bridgepoint Consulting initiated the project with a discovery and planning period. As the Bridgepoint team met with each of the internal stakeholders, they began to understand and refine the scope, identify requirements and develop a detailed plan for each project. Bridgepoint determined that the CARES Act projects needed to be run as a program and formed an experienced team consisting of a Program Manager, multiple Project Managers, Project Analysts, and Grant Financial Analysts. With the team in place, Bridgepoint Consulting quickly rolled up its sleeves to set up the overall governance, framework, and reporting needs for the program utilizing PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) standards.
With the foundation in place, Bridgepoint Consulting addressed the reporting and documentation requirements of Cares Act CRF next. The team reviewed the existing methodology and tools used by the city and reconfigured and enhanced the current project and portfolio management process and tool to better align with the CRF requirements and the need for real-time reporting needs for the mayor’s office. In addition to addressing the federal CRF grant requirements, this effort enabled the Bridgepoint Consulting team and the client team to manage, document, and track each project. Reporting from the project management tool was presented to the Mayor’s office each week to provide the Mayor and city leaders with visibility to the progress of the CARES Act project. During the execution phase, Bridgepoint Consulting integrated additional Bridgepoint and client team members to assist with each project. Integrating the city staff into the project allowed the client team to learn best practices when it comes to project management, but they would also be able to accelerate future implementation projects with the skills they gained during this project.
As Bridgepoint Consulting solidified the scope and established the overall PPM (Program and Project Management) model for the program, progress was quickly realized. The team used an Agile methodology with daily standups, weekly status meetings, and bi-weekly presentations to leadership. This allowed the team to adjust as the project progressed and conditions on the ground changed.
Bridgepoint Consulting successfully delivered all projects within the 5-month timeline and demonstrated to the Client team how they could implement projects on time and within budget. The Client now has the systems and tools in place that strengthen the cybersecurity of its infrastructure during a time when cyberattacks are increasing. The Client saw a successful delivery of 2000 laptops and audio/ visual equipment that enables its employees to provide quality work from the comfort of their own home, reducing the number of on-site visits to city buildings. In addition to the laptops, Bridgepoint Consulting oversaw the replacement of outdated radios at multiple COVID-19 testing centers and fire departments to allow for continuous, effective communication. With additional radios on hand, departments have more inventory that allows for the proper sanitation between uses. Bridgepoint Consulting also updated the Clients Mobile App to inspectors that allowed for electronic delivery of citations and subpoenas, reducing the number of onsite inspector visits, paper and in-person activities. The Client demonstrated their capability to execute the critical projects on time to increase confidence from the Mayor’s office and all the city departments they are supporting.
What the Client Says
The Bridgepoint project team is a ‘dream team’ with ‘superstars.’ With the help of Bridgepoint, our department was able to effectively implement our projects on time and well ahead of other city departments. We couldn’t have done it without them.