Ross Garland + Associates has a successful track record across many different industries and sectors. Our skills are fully transferable – if you have a portfolio of programs and projects, then we can assist you to deliver them more efficiently and effectively. We have assisted many different organisations in many countries. We operate in both infrastructure and ICT. The sectors in which we have operated include:

  • Health
  • Public Transport
  • Roads
  • Local government
  • Aviation
  • Planning
  • Education

For a selection of Ross Garland + Associates’ recent engagements please see below.

Hunter Water Corporation – Portfolio management & EPMO frameworks

Ross designed and implemented a portfolio governance and enterprise program management office (EPMO) framework. He reviewed the organisation’s investment governance arrangements and developed new governance arrangements that met best practice standards. This included development of an Investment Management Group to make key investment funding decisions. Because of the nature of the portfolio (which has strong similarities to that of Ausgrid), Ross implemented the concept of permanent Steering Committees to reduce the amount of time spent by senior management in committees.

Ross worked with Hunter Water staff to review PMO activity across the organization and baseline it against the OGC’s P3O documentation.

Options for developing the PMO capability were identified and a blueprint, strategy and plan for a P3O were developed. A P3O working group was established to ensure efficiency of development activity and coordination. Implementation was initiated and the plan for ongoing implementation delivered to the working group.

Transport for NSW – Investment Management

Ross worked as part of a consultancy team introducing portfolio management to TfNSW. Ross led the work on establishing the governance framework, with associated assurance, that underpinned the organisation’s investment decision making. This work necessitated establishing a common understanding of investment focused governance across senior management in the transport cluster. Once this was established, Ross developed a new investment lifecycle for the organisation that established investment gates and determined the investment decisions to be made at each gate. This formed the “pipeline” through which every capital investment travelled. Since the governance model had to address the needs of all programs and projects, from high risk to low risk, it offered a range of risk based governance options. These included guidelines for establishing bespoke governance for large, high risk and complex programs, to standing steering committees that could make critical decisions on many lower risk projects. The terms of reference of the Finance and Investment Committee were adjusted to support their operations within the new portfolio governance framework.

Gateway Reviews

Ross Garland + Associates are experts in the Gateway Review Process. Ross implemented the process for the Brisbane City Council, one of the world’s largest local governments. As a result of the success of this implementation, Ross was asked to implement the process for the Queensland State Government. Ross has subsequently advised other jurisdictions on Gateway including the Indonesian Government, to whom he provided training on the process, and the New Zealand Government where he provided strategic advice and assistance on the scoping and implementation of the Gateway process.

Ross Garland has participated in numerous reviews, both as a Review Team Leader and as a Review Team Member. He has undertaken reviews in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

Governance review of critical government ICT program

The Government Wireless Network is a critical piece of ICT infrastructure that must be in place ahead of Queensland hosting the G20 summit in 2014. Ross Garland + Associates was commissioned to conduct a review of the governance of this critical, multi-million dollar ICT program. The work involved a desk top review of key documentation followed by interviews with major stakeholders, consisting of Chief Executives and direct reports as well as owners and managers of the program.

Ross Garland + Associates used its standard approach to conducting health checks on governance frameworks thereby providing the client with excellent value for money.

Local government – business model and governance

This Major City Council had recently reorganised and found that their business model was not working effectively, with some friction between business units. Ross Garland + Associates were commissioned to address this issue and review the capital investment governance arrangements across Council. Friction between business units in any form of purchaser/provider relationship is often down to confusion between relative roles and responsibilities – in other words, governance.

Ross Garland + Associates were able to refine the business model to reflect best practice project governance. This also involved resolving the relative roles within the organisation and clarifying accountabilities and responsibilities. Senior management were provided with visibility and control over the portfolio through the establishment of a portfolio management group. The governance arrangements were consolidated in a portfolio governance policy which detailed accountabilities and decision rights in respect of the overall portfolio and its projects and provided business rules for the portfolio. The policy allowed for scaling of governance arrangements according to project risk ratings.

Abu Dhabi Municipality (Booz and Co) – sector advice

Ross acted as a specialist adviser to Booz and Co on infrastructure sector restructuring in Abu Dhabi. He provided advice on how the business should be structured in view of the massive investment portfolio which was being delivered. Additionally, he provided advice on how the governance of major programs and projects should be structured.

Queensland Health – Major Hospitals Project Office

The Major Hospitals Project Office was in charge of delivery of a portfolio of five major hospitals, including three tertiary hospitals each in excess of $1B. The total value of the portfolio was in excess of $5B. A governance framework was required to cover the entire portfolio as well as establish project-specific governance for each of the projects. The cutting edge nature of the developments meant that health policy was being influenced by project developments so any governance framework had to address the inter-relationship between the projects and health policy.

The project governance framework that we developed clarified the respective accountabilities and responsibilities of the Major Hospitals Project Office, the Government Health Department and the projects themselves. It established the mechanisms for formal integration of major project stakeholders and ensured that the policy needs of the projects could be aligned with the outputs of the policy working groups.

The client’s view? – “That was a fantastic piece of work, Ross”. Ross Garland + Associates subsequently completed other work for the same client.

Brisbane City Council – Governance and Gateway

Ross Garland + Associates implemented the internationally recognised Gateway Review Process for one of the world’s largest city councils at a time when the process was not well known. The implementation therefore necessitated overcoming initial scepticism and push-back, requiring careful change management and the ability to sell the concept. This included getting the process agreed at the highest levels within Council (Executive Management Team) as well as ensuring buy-in to the process at the project level.

Ross also developed a new project governance framework for Council which reduced the number of project approval bodies from 16 to two. He integrated the project governance framework within an overall project development framework that incorporates the Gateway Process, key project documentation and project approvals. This provided Council executives with a consistent and standard approach to the delivery of all projects.

Governance review of major health ICT program

Ross Garland worked as part of a small team advising a major health program on how to improve its governance arrangements and thereby improve its performance. The program in question is the largest ICT program in this major health agency and will transform the way health services are provided across the state. The work involved a desk top review of key documentation followed by interviews with major stakeholders, consisting of Chief Executives and direct reports as well as key program personnel.

In order to streamline the approach, Ross used the Ross Garland + Associates standard governance health check as the basis for the review. The report was very well received by the Program Board.

Airservices Australia – enterprise governance review

This short assignment involved a review of the project governance arrangements across the organisation. Our broad expertise and knowledge in the field meant we were able to meet with the CEO on only day 3 of the engagement and provide our initial findings on the key issues facing the organisation in the governance sphere. Our subsequent work confirmed our initial findings.

Major state hospital development – governance review

At a capital cost of nearly $2B, this new tertiary hospital is one of the largest public infrastructure projects ever undertaken by this state government. Ross Garland + Associates was part of a small team conducting a review of the project governance, contract management and transition arrangements for the new hospital. Ross led the governance aspects of the work. It was recommended that all the works required for the successful implementation be brought under the umbrella of a single program. Since the hospital was impacting the entire operations of the health service, the governance arrangements proposed included elements of portfolio, program and project governance. The report also placed renewed focus on the business case and made recommendations regarding clarity of roles and responsibilities.

Queensland Department of Infrastructure and Planning – Gateway and governance

Ross was a member of the SEQIPP Program Management Office which oversaw the implementation of the $107B regional infrastructure plan. He developed and implemented a project governance framework aimed at ensuring effective and efficient project decision making across the major government delivery agencies. Ross’ change management skills were instrumental in ensuring line agencies’ rapid acceptance of the new model.

Ross’ ability to influence change was also important when he led a combined client and advisor team in developing and implementing the OGC Gateway Process for the Government. This required selling the concept of a central agency arranging independent reviews of line agency projects – never an easy thing to do. However, the implementation was very successful and the Gateway process was well supported by the main delivery agencies. He also chaired the inaugural Australasian Gateway Forum in Brisbane in 2007 where he was the only non-government attendee.