Project management, Texas-style

Roxanne Cook, division manager (left); David-Smythe-Macaulay, project manager; and Jessica Salinas, city project manager, have helped centralize project management in Austin, Texas.

City construction projects in Austin, Texas, are better-managed since the city’s Project Management Office was formed 10 years ago.

Thanks to a $6 million Great Streets program, downtown Austin is becoming less car-centric.

Project management has been successfully centralized in a single department, and the role of project managers is clearly defined.

Under Austin's new system, project delivery time has crept from 3.5 to 4.5 years.

Responsibility for executing all projects worth more than $400,000 was consolidated into a single office with roughly 50 employees.

Austin has shown that any size agency can adapt the process to improve service if elected and staff officials are willing to be patient and persistent.

Austin’s experience is useful for any agency feeling overwhelmed by the complex legal and procedural complexities that are a reality of building public facilities.

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