Chelsea Westover

Presentation: Welcome to the Other Side – How We Changed Change

Abstract: East Campus (EC) is an operational complex conceived in response to the Maryland Procurement Office’s (MPO’s) need to support state-of-the-art technology, improve employee work experience, and connect resources to support war-fighting efforts. To date, the EC complex is over halfway complete. During the design and construction of each EC building, the project team, including the contractors and stakeholders, participated in lessons learned workshops to gain insight and to understand what improvements could benefit future buildings. While each building is unique, one overarching lesson from industry remained the same – lack of efficiency for change execution, hampering design and impacting cost and schedule.

By Federal statue, MPO must use an external contracting authority to manage any project on EC – that authority is the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The USACE has its own measures to execute changes, outside of MPO’s own internal processes, dictated by the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). While MPO cannot change the FAR and is structured with multiple levels of management, MPO has made a conscious effort to improve internal practices to more efficiently evolve change requests. Some improvements include vetting changes through a standardized process that justifies the need and more proficiently pushes changes from stakeholder development through the executive chain. In addition, MPO captures project requirements in a centralized repository, reducing the opportunity for stakeholders to initiate unnecessary or unacceptable changes outside an accepted configuration.

Those outside of the MPO are not knowledgeable of the MPO change process, which can cause discontent amongst the project team and stakeholders. This presentation will provide an opportunity for those outside of MPO to become acquainted with the current MPO-specific processes, understand the benefits of the processes to future projects, and set expectations for future and existing contractors on EC.

PMI Talent Triangle: Strategic and Business Management

Biography: Chelsea Westover started work at Simpson Gumpertz and Heger Inc. as a Building Envelope Consultant in 2012. She joined the Maryland Procurement Office in 2016 as a Structural Engineer where she designed and analyzed various types of structures. She transitioned into a design lead position where she managed teams of engineers to complete project documents. After several years, Chelsea moved internally to a project management position to broaden her capabilities and understanding of the implementation of a project.