Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Creates a Project Management System to Fit Its Needs.

Author:Jaskulak, Stefan

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District made a commitment to the public in 2014 to accelerate land acquisition, environmental restoration, and public access within the district. A $300 million bond measure provided funding to deliver on committed acquisition, restoration, and public access, and brought with it the need to expand the organization's capacity and capabilities to deliver projects. At the time, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) didn't have a project management tool to support complex and multi-year projects spanning multiple departments, so it created Project Central to bring together project information, enabling staff across the organization to manage and access project activities, status, and documents. Project Central's project dashboards facilitate project status meetings, and robust search features deliver information on demand.

To deliver on its vision and commitments to constituents, Midpen's board of directors directed staff to invest in new infrastructure to centralize documentation, improve communications, and build up reliable scalable technology to connect staff anywhere. The infrastructure improvement initiative had several components (see Exhibit 1):

* Project Central, a unified platform for project status, documentation, and financials.

* SharePoint document repository, providing a foundation for intranet and project management using document management and collaboration that's integrated with Office 365.

* District-wide fiber optic improvements to increase network bandwidth, connectivity, and redundancy for electronic communications.

* District intranet for scalable, efficient information-sharing across departments.

* Office 365 technology platform to standardize office productivity tools, host systems and data in the cloud for secure access everywhere, and enable reliable, cost-effective backup services.

* Mobile devices for field staff for remote asset and incident data collection.

* Laptops in ranger vehicles, allowing connectivity and communication for field staff.


Midpen had decided to address the changing needs of the organization, evaluating its structure, capacity, and financial sustainability. The resulting Financial and Operational Sustainability Model report provided recommendations guided the organization in delivering on its commitment to the public, in part through recommended improvements in project planning and delivery. Two key recommendations were to...

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