A new government department, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), formed by the merger of several existing departments had inherited a number of outdated ICT systems that were difficult to integrate, support and maintain.
DPIE needed to think strategically about their ICT systems environment and how to deliver a new unified infrastructure and applications environment, which would replace several existing systems. It also needed to identify the best opportunities for reinvestment, modernisation and transformation in terms of its ICT infrastructure and applications management.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment was formed in 2019 by merging multiple existing departments with similar scope to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.
As with any merger, the combination of the merged entities created new opportunities for efficiencies but also some challenges.
One major challenge was ICT management for the existing systems in the newly formed department.
Not only were there multiple disparate systems — which were difficult to manage as an integrated asset — but the documentation of this environment was also either not available or inconsistent.
This created an ICT investment decision-making process that lacked consistent and transparency and did not allow DPIE to make informed decisions about their technology needs.
DPIE sought out the assistance of the Information Professionals Group to help guide them through the urgent development of this work to ultimately support a new technology plan and roadmap.
Some of the requirements of this project included managing the delivery of:
In addition to the anticipated challenges in delivering these pieces of work, the department had only a short timeframe in which to complete preparations in order to meet funding windows within the government.
The fixed two-month project delivery window also required significant internal and external stakeholder engagement that had to be managed carefully.
We initiated project management processes to be able to achieve the objectives within the tight timeframes.
The tight deadline meant that we had to develop a project plan with clear milestones and key deliverables. We also needed to ensure that key stakeholders were aware of these milestones so they would be able to provide us with the necessary information at appropriate times.
Some of the tasks we played a key role in included:
In order to manage the complex requirements of this project successfully and avoid missing any milestones, we established regular touchpoints. These included daily stand-ups and weekly meetings, in which progress, issues, risks and challenges were discussed and resolved.
Information Professionals Group guided the discovery process that involved interviewing stakeholders, suppliers and key departmental members at all levels. The successful completion of the project was due to the culture of collaboration that was established among our team, stakeholders and suppliers early on in the process.
By building this rapport early, we were able to manage issues in implementation as they arose; rather than letting them become roadblocks or causing major problems later down the track.
Finally, the quality of all work was assured through the use of a detailed Quality Management Plan. This included developing specific processes to ensure that all deliverables met quality standards given the tight timeframes for this project.
With the assistance of Information Professionals Group, the project was completed successfully and on time, enabling DPIE to utilise the available funding and make better decisions regarding ICT investment and future planning.
This work has set the foundation for future ICT improvement projects that will support DPIE’s future vision of a simpler ICT environment in line with its “Fewer and Better Systems” policy while also creating efficiencies in the management of its current environment.
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment