The winter 2015 collapse of the Boston region’s mass transit system exposed not just breakdowns due to heavy snow, but long-standing, systemic failures in operations and management that demanded bold and urgent action.
Before the winter ended, newly-elected Governor Charlie Baker convened a special panel to review the MBTA and make recommendations to improve its governance, organization, financials and operations. (Click here for the Panel’s plan Back on Track: An Action Plan to Transform the MBTA).
Step 1: New Leadership – After receiving the Panel’s report in April 2015, Governor Baker immediately implemented dramatic and important changes to the top tier of MBTA leadership. He accepted the resignations of and quickly replaced both the General Manager and the entire MBTA Board. With the support of the Massachusetts Legislature, the Governor named a new, five-member MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) to oversee and direct the Authority’s transformation. New leadership, including a new Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, were brought on board. Click on the following links for more information: MassDOT Board of Directors;MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board; and MBTA Chief Administrator &Acting General Manager.
Step 2: Operational Improvements – Among the Special Panel’s top recommendations was to balance an unsustainable operating budget. Over the past eighteen months, the FMCB and new T leadership have made a number of cost saving improvements, including internal cost controls, enhanced fare collection, reducing absenteeism and overtime costs, and increasing advertising, real estate, and other own-source revenues. In all, these measures reduced the operating deficit by over 45% in FY2016 and are making further progress in FY2017.
Step 3: Capital Delivery Improvements – The MBTA and its leadership team has also acted on another critical phase in its transformation: fixing the physical infrastructure of the system. As noted by both the Special Panel and the FMCB, the MBTA has been unable to spend a large portion of the capital funds available to it, contributing to chronic underinvestment in the train fleet and infrastructure. The MBTA was struggling to get projects of all types out the door and, with an already enormous State of Good Repair backlog, the MBTA needed to dramatically improve the way it delivered capital maintenance and improvement projects. The MBTA engaged Ascent, a consultant with expertise in capital program and project management, to help understand and resolve the capital delivery dilemma.
MBTA leadership, with Ascent’s guidance, developed and successfully executed a plan to break the capital delivery log jam. The Authority made capital delivery a strategic priority and took the following steps toward transforming the MBTA’s capital delivery performance:
Hired a new AGM to lead a new Capital Delivery department and consolidated and strengthened the capital delivery team.
Hired a new AGM to lead a new Capital Program Oversight office to manage capital planning and the CIP process.
Accelerated issuance of contracts for major capital spend on State of Good Repair projects.
Selected a new DCOO to consolidate and lead a restructured Engineering & Maintenance department.
Undertook a review of the entire capital program and developed interim performance reports and metrics
This reorganization strengthened coordination among the departments involved in planning the CIP and delivering the capital projects and provided new executive oversight to implement a CIP-wide controls approach to support meaningful decision making.
Step 4: Staffing Up – Bringing in the Experts - With these important governance, leadership, and operational transformations in place, the MBTA now seeks to staff the Authority with the talent and expertise needed to successfully deliver the CIP. This includes new talent across planning, oversight and delivery.
Of the critical new hires will be the Senior Director of Capital Program Controls – a controls champion to help meet the challenges ahead and help deliver an expanded capital program of more than $6.5 billion in the next five years. The Senior Director of Program Controls will lead the implementation of a controls approach which will require cultural change around accountability for capital delivery, controls and decision making. In addition, the Senior Director will provide more traditional support for process re-engineering, Program Management Information System (“PMIS”) implementation and training. While there is an existing controls team in place, it has been focused on Design and Construction and the new team will be responsible for serving capital delivery enterprise wide. This will require enhancing this team’s capacity and capability under the leadership of the new Senior Director of Capital Programs. Importantly the MBTA has committed to investment in the team and tools including the implementation of a new enterprise-wide Program Management Information System.
The Senior Director will report to the AGM for Capital Program Oversight and responsibilities will include:
Controls team development including leadership and support to program and project controls staff.
Program Reporting and Analysis – across the Authority’s $6.5 billion five-year plan including all projects and associated programs.
Program Controls – develop and administer the Authorities Program Controls policies and procedures in support of achieving on-budget and on-time performance.
Program Management Information System – support project and program delivery and efficiency through the implementation of systems and tools that support the five-year Capital Plan (CIP).
The Senior Director of Capital Program Controls leads a staff providing comprehensive performance management services in support of program and project managers across all departments of the Authority. The Senior Director and his/her centralized staff are responsible for helping program and project managers deliver the Authority's $6.5 billion Five-Year Capital Investment Plan (CIP) with the goal of achieving on-budget and on-time performance. These investments include repair, modernization, expansion, and acquisition of the Authority's infrastructure, facilities, revenue vehicles and other capital investments including IT, fare collection, security and communications systems, non-revenue vehicles, major equipment and other capital investments.
The Senior Director is the lead administrator for project documentation, project control documents and project data management tools and processes with responsibility for implementing the Authority's Program Management Information System. Reporting to the AGM of Capital Program Oversight, the Senior Director collaborates seamlessly with the AGM for Capital Delivery and program and project management teams.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Senior Director will perform functions related to the performance management of projects and programs as it relates to the delivery of the Authority's CIP. The Senior Director is responsible for hiring, managing and leading a team of reporting professionals, budget analysts, cost estimators, change order analysts, project schedulers, risk analysts, process improvement experts and system administrators and support staff who, collectively, are responsible for providing comprehensive performance management information. The Senior Director will also work with consultants and consultant staff who provide similar services as the need arises.
Specific responsibilities include:
Work closely with program and project managers to deliver the Authority's CIP on-time and within-budget through proactive budget/cost, schedule and risk management procedures.
Establish standard approaches, policies and procedures based on best practices for the cost, schedule and risk management of program and projects across the Authority.
Leadership and development support of project control staff who may be deployed and embedded as integral members of the teams established to manage major investment programs.
Ensure proper progress tracking and change management processes are in place and effectively functioning in construction and detailed engineering phases of projects. Provide proper variance explanation and root causes analysis of changes.
Lead the implementation of a PMIS across all departments in the Authority to enable streamlined process improvement and data management across all projects. Coordinate with the Director or Capital Budget to maintain a seamless interface between funding source accounting and project delivery budget management systems.
Provide monthly program and project reporting and cash flow projections across all programs delivered by the Authority. Reports are tailored to the needs of a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including program and project managers, senior executives, MassDOT, the MBTA Fiscal & Management Board, elected officials, regulatory bodies, community groups and the media on projects including addressing issues of potentially sensitive nature.
Review schedules to determine the construction and procurement contractor's compliance with all the scheduling requirements included in the construction contract.
Perform change order cost and schedule reviews.
Develop and maintain benchmarking data including the collection of resource information and comparison with historical data to develop or update current and future component or group resource requirements.
Support the formulation and review of budget estimates and requirements for new and existing capital funds requests.
Analyze program performance and progress and determine if planned resources are sufficient to accomplish assigned goals and objectives; propose resource adjustments as required.
Supervise and manage a team of individual employees who are members of a bargaining unit(s).
Uphold the rights and interests of the Authority while building and maintaining an effective relationship with employees.
Assist in the management of a workforce by ensuring the fair and consistent application and strict adherence to the rules, regulations, collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and policies of the Authority including the EEO, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment and Anti-Retaliation policies
Other duties as may be assigned.
Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution in Engineering, Architecture, Construction Management or related field.
Minimum of ten (10) years' experience in the implementation and management of project controls in support of a major program.
Minimum of Five (5) years of related experience in a supervisory capacity. Demonstrated success developing subordinates through effective leadership and the setting of realistic but challenging goals.
Demonstrated success cross-training and managing a staff of performance management personnel responsible for the delivery of a multi-year, large capital investment program.
Demonstrated expertise with the successful delivery of complex construction, procurement and operational programs.
Familiarity with conducting and managing staff in the performance of budget analysis, project controls, construction schedule analysis, risk management and data/IT system administration.
Detailed knowledge of reporting and Program Management Information Systems (PMIS) implementation and administration including an understanding of work breakdown structures and cost structures.
Familiarity with the integration of enterprise financial systems with Program Management Information Systems.
Effective organizational, analytical, confidentiality, multi-tasking and time management skills
Leadership experience communicating with customers, employees, vendors, contractors, designers, elected officials, community leaders, and state and federal officials.
Solid presentation and conflict resolution skills.
Must possess superior communication skills
Must have demonstrated ability and tact to work horizontally and vertically across organizational boundaries to assist project and program managers in resolution of variances in cost and schedule.
The ability to pass: background screenings: a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check; and the MBTA's medical requirements, including a physical examination and drug and alcohol screening.
Have a satisfactory work record including overall employment, job performance, discipline and safety records. For internal candidates, the aforementioned applies the two (2) years immediately prior to the closing date of the posting. Infractions and/or offenses occurring after the closing of the posting and before the filling of a vacancy may preclude a candidate from consideration.
The ability to supervise and work effectively with a diverse workforce.
About Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is America’s fifth largest transit system offering multi-modal transportation services to 175 member cities and towns and 4.7 million residents across a 3,200 square mile area. It is a public authority and political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The MBTA operates heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, bus, and commuter boat services.