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Plante Moran Cresa helps Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority improve its capital program performance

June 3, 2017 Case Study 2 min read
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority manages approximately $35 million in construction projects per year and plans to increase capacity to $75 million per year.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Image

The challenges

Organization in Transformation: PWSA struggled with the challenges associated with internal organizational changes and the integration of new program and construction management consultants. This required the e-Builder implementation plan to be redeveloped and well-communicated to ensure PWSA could reach its goals.

Nonstandard Processes: As a result of the new structure and the new players, all business practices and project delivery procedures were being redefined. Prior processes had weaknesses that lead to difficulty in tracking project status and limiting project controls. The PMC team led the effort to define and document the new and redesigned business practices and to establish performance metrics to create a continuous improvement environment.

Inconsistent File Management: Nonstandard forms, inconsistent project folders, inadequate paper trail, and no centralized repository system for project- and financial-related information were all challenges e-Builder would need to address to improve reporting and insure complete project record documentation.  

The solution

PMC is leading the effort with PWSA staff to implement the e-Builder project management software, which will support PWSA’s updated business practices and project delivery procedures. Our team has helped in the following ways:

  • Reevaluated e-Builder implementation schedules to create phased schedules that coincided with the establishment of roles and structured workflow processes. PMC scheduled an implementation plan at a pace PWSA could accept, taking into consideration the organizational transitions and state of defined business practices.
  • Maintained communication with all involved to support buy-in of the changes taking place. It was critical to keep all participants informed about progress, challenges, and plan changes in order to set appropriate expectations and maintain a cooperative spirit.
  • Customized e-Builder based on team-defined procedures and processes in accordance with best practices, which provided structure to help unify the team and solidify business practices moving forward.
  • Developed standardized document folder structure that covered 90% of all types of PWSA projects to allow for quick and accurate reporting and consistent document management.

The benefit

  • PMC services have resulted in the establishment of best practices program management planning, controls and reporting to serve PWSA’s goal to improve its capital program performance.
  • Facilitating the development of industry best practices program management and project delivery procedures. Each procedure includes performance metrics that promote execution monitoring and a continuous improvement environment.
  • Developing a Capital Improvement Plan planning process that provides for a rational approach to identifying project needs, evaluating and prioritizing project nominations and preparing a well-conceived plan.
  • Since e-Builder processes implementation, the average turn-around time for paying vendor invoicing saw a 44% improvement and contractor pay applications saw a 59% improvement.
  • Since implementing e-Builder, both engineering fees and construction management costs have been reduced by 3%.

“e-Builder’s solution fit our business the best. We’re impressed with how intuitive and straightforward the software is. This is critical for executive levels when we don’t have the time to learn new software. Any entity in a similar situation needs to take a good look at e-Builder.” — Jim Good, Executive Director, PWSA

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