Launch Slideshow

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Fast-tracking the future

Fast-tracking the future

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    The projects steered by the Capital Improvement Management Office include the $835 million entertainment district, which stretches across seven square blocks and features movie theaters, live entertainment venues, corporate offices, and residential spaces.

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    When Kansas City's Capital Improvement Management Office launched, the partnership between city officials—such as city manager Wayne Cauthen, left, and private consultants including MWH Global project executive Mike Musgrave—openly shared with the public its plans to streamline capital project delivery. Photos: MWH

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    The $135 million expansion of Kansas City's Bartle Hall Convention Center is one of the many projects administered by the city's public-private management team.

A NEW CULTURE

CIMO transformed the city's old, siloed capital project delivery processes into a project-delivery-focused culture using a centralized approach. Apivotal first step was initiating project-centric teams such as those used in private industry.

Under the project-centric team model, a single project manager is accountable throughout all project delivery processes, with the support of a knowledgeable, cross-functional team to help make decisions and resolve issues. Teams specializing in public infrastructure projects such as streets, streetlights, bridges, and parks work together from funding through completion.

To complete the transformation, CIMO introduced powerful tools based on industry best practices. These included project delivery controls using key performance indicators to track progress of delivery processes toward stated goals, and systems to provide project managers, teams and city staff with up-to-date project information and standardized project delivery tools. CIMO also launched an external Web site to give the public transparent access to project scope, schedule, and status, and to allow contractors to look ahead on future bids.

In addition, CIMO implemented education and training methods such as “KCMO University,” a series of structured professional training courses, to transfer professional project delivery knowledge and skills to city staff and embed private-industry best practices within city government.

“Their program to train city staff ensured that the proper professional skill sets are in place for CIMO's long-term success,” says Cauthen.

Now a formal department of city government, CIMO directs $1.2 billion in redevelopment efforts, including downtown's $835 million entertainment district, the $135 million Bartle Hall Convention Center expansion, and the $276 million Sprint Center Arena—plus $190 million in neighborhood and public service projects. These efforts are generating as many as 5000 jobs, $170 million in annual state sales benefits, convention business averaging $7 million annually, and $15 million in net convention-expansion-related annual direct spending.

Cauthen calls CIMO the city's “economic engine for redevelopment” because every dollar of public funds invested in the community results in $3 to $4 of private funds brought to Kansas City. “New venues, facilities, and services being developed under CIMO's direction will enhance opportunities and quality of life for everyone in Kansas City and its surrounding communities,” he says. “They're also attracting visitors and new businesses, thus increasing the city's tax revenue.”