To ensure that 600 post-Hurricane Katrina redevelopment projects were delivered on time and on budget while meeting Federal Emergency Management Agency auditing requirements, New Orleans and MWH pulled together a team of 40 employees that included staff from the Mayor's Office of Communications and the legal, purchasing, finance, real estate, property management, capital projects administration, and public works departments. The team standardized and quickly adapted processes to meet ever-evolving challenges.

While not all operations can afford this model, prioritizing projects that can meet tangible goals will help you to best allocate existing resources without significantly straining employees.

By seizing this opportunity to improve processes, you can use the legislation's unique administrative requirements to your advantage long after the final dollar is spent. The systems deployed now will enhance goal setting, project identification and prioritization, performance tracking, and communication of accomplishments — all of which will improve your operations' overall effectiveness.

— Gallagher ( is director of project management and DeGeorge ( is a business consultant for MWH Business Solutions Group.