The Road Ahead: Better Meetings, Better Life


This week, I would like to talk to you about Simplification, specifically, fewer and more effective meetings. We have made a lot of progress in this area, and I am happy to share these results with you. Simpler meetings is a clear road towards better work-life balance!

As you’ll recall, our simplification initiative began as a follow up to the Staff Engagement Survey results, and is modelled on the World Bank simplification initiative. You can go to the ITS Simplification site to submit your ideas, and you are welcome to join the team working on assessing and implementing the suggestions.

imageFor my Road Ahead video this week, Sherrie Arnold and Heather Collins joined me to talk about reducing the number of meetings in the governance process by introducing Virtual Project Review Meetings for Tier 1 projects; and the ITS Simplification working group on improving meetings (Paloma Beneito Arias, Pascal Platteborse, Tabitha Ka Amilya Berry, and Yassine Belkhodja) joined me to discuss changing the meetings culture in ITS.

Sherrie and Heather shared that by introducing Virtual PRMs for Tier 1 projects, they were able to decrease the number of physical PRMs by half in Q3, and reduced the average number of days to complete the Request for Funds process for projects.

This simplification initiative, led by the IT Governance Team with extensive collaboration with Unit PMOs and Fiduciary Reviewers, focused on increasing the flexibility of the PRM process and decreasing the number of meetings that project managers and ITSMT members need to attend.

imageThis was accomplished by implementing Virtual PRMs in a phased manner starting with a pilot in Q2, and gradually expanding through Q3. The number of Virtual PRMs for Tier I projects increased in Q3 as more request types were added, reaching the target of 75% in January and February. The percentage for March decreased to 60% due to the high volume of unplanned requests, which are not eligible for Virtual PRM due to complexity. Use of Virtual PRMs for Tier I projects decreased the number of physical PRMs by half in Q3, to 7 meetings instead of 14 or more. Virtual PRMs have also reduced the average number of days to complete Request for Funds by 4 days from 25 to 21 days, for Tier I projects only.

Starting in Q4, all Tier I lifecycle phases can be submitted through Virtual PRM, with some exceptions that are based on complexity.

A 50% reduction of physical meetings to virtual is a win-win for all, and being able to accelerate the release of funds will help us execute faster. I look forward to further reductions, if possible.

The Meetings Simplification working group noted that several suggestions were received through the ITS Simplification site related to making meetings more effective and changing ITS’s meeting culture. The team developed guidelines for improving meetings in ITS, which were endorsed by ITSMT.

imageCheck out the ITS essential rules for better meetings. I encourage you to start to put these into action. You'll hear more from the team about improving the ITS meeting culture in the coming weeks.

You can also join the Better Meetings yammer group for more information and to share your ideas.

This is great progress and I applaud the work of the team. It is good to change the culture and be more conscious of using our time effectively, and we can all be active participants in this. Let’s all continue to simplify.

Staff Recognition

imageAnd now, in our ITS tradition of recognizing one staff member each week, this week I would like to recognize Fred Shinohara. Fred joined ITSSM last year and quickly got up to speed with the Cloud team's knowledge and got certified in Amazon Web Services (AWS). He is very client oriented, and always brings the client’s perspective to his team.

Since joining the Cloud team, Fred has led the effort to revamp the Change Management process to allow a more agile process. He also played an important role in the new AWS account structure design and implementation, and promoted innovation in the serverless technology area. Thank you Fred!

Have a great weekend and a wonderful week ahead,