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Our Client is one of the largest departments in a Governmental portfolio where they are charged with the maintenance of government facilities infrastructure and the province’s highway network while facing a declining budget for road and infrastructure maintenance.

This department’s main functions include transportation, infrastructure, central office, vehicle management and procurement.


  • Determining crewing requirements based on the current needs of the Department.
  • Installing Management Operating Systems (MOS) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) in all of the in-scope areas.
  • Developing proactive management styles with all Managers and Supervisors across the Province to better manage work flows while enhancing their ability to communicate, and provide direction and support
  • Improving operational efficiencies across the Department and managing their different business areas more effectively:

    • In Transportation and Infrastructure, to reduce existing cost structures while managing increased volumes and activity levels.
    • In the Central Office, to identify and define enhanced roles and responsibilities, and implementing KPI’s and MOS’s for each of the Central Office Branches.
    • In Vehicle Management, to rationalize and reduce spending levels (outsourcing, overtime, etc.) while optimizing labour productivity in all the Maintenance shops across the Province.
    • In Procurement, to identify and implement ideal processes related to contract management with consultants and contractors, and reduce the amount of spending occurring in annualized contract values.

    Assessment Findings

    • Work Time

    • Non-effective Time

    • In many areas, very little planning was performed historically (planning was based on the ability to use the budget dollars allocated and these budgets were regularly not finalized until after the season’s work had begun making for very minimal advanced planning opportunities).
    • Few performance standards existed and there was no ability to set expectations or hold the personnel accountable to complete their required work activities in a productive and timely manner.
    • Government initiatives had emphasized controlling of costs and the areas and branches were tasked to achieve their mandates with declining budgetary dollars without decreasing the level of service being provided.
    • In Procurement there was an overall lack of technical knowledge on the types of material and equipment to procure.
    • Maintenance employees would leave parts at the Maintenance Stores for repair without any information attached to the part related to service requirements or defects.
    • Ineffective work processes and methods resulted in inefficiencies and lengthy discussions among employees.
    • Lack of effective job assignment led to employees looking/waiting for work.
    • Work was often “self-assigned” with no expectations from Supervisors and Managers and little effective follow-up during the day with the employees.
    • Rework of activities was not identified, communicated, or documented.
    • Emails were broadcast to large groups causing everyone to spend excessive amounts of time sorting and reading them.
    • Meetings were not being conducted in an effective and productive manner.
    • Supervisors and Managers rarely communicated expectations with regard to how long tasks should take, and did not follow-up on the attainment of work activities in a timely manner.
    • Supervisors believed that their people knew what to do and would ask when they need help.
    • Supervisors generally let the level of work activity “follow its course”, leaving it to the employees to manage the process themselves.

PVA's Response

  • Provided training and one-on-one performance coaching to all Supervisors and Managers in their work areas to improve the effectiveness of their management skills.
  • Built a “performance based culture” that drove and resulted in:
    • Accountability and execution of activities between the different Branches and Districts.
    • Elimination of repetitive activities at all organization levels.
    • Identification and definition of proactive roles and responsibilities.
    • Enhanced and streamlined operational processes, policies, methods, and procedures.
    • Implemented performance standards and measurements to assess Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
    • Implemented Management Operating Systems (MOS) to provide a mechanism for proper activity scheduling, work execution, and reporting/prioritizing issues for resolution.
    • Development of specific Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) in all functional areas related to labor performance and effectiveness, equipment utilization, materials utilization, quality, and schedule attainment.

  • In Transportation, introduced and implemented a planning schedule to identify the labor requirements for each District for both the Summer and Winter Maintenance Programs
    • Designed and installed customized MOS’s including an organization-wide problem resolution mechanism that would increase the involvement and engagement of employees in the continuous improvement process.

  • In Infrastructure and Central Office, developed and installed new organizational structures that aligned activities within the processes to the proper individuals and Branches
    • Customized MOS’s to optimize the efficiency of completing projects on time, on budget, based on schedule attainment, project milestone attainment, and budget attainment

  • In Vehicle Management, developed and implemented work activity standards for all preventative and planned work activities in the Maintenance shops
  • Designed and installed a Master Schedule for all Maintenance shops and stockrooms across the Province to ensure that each shop and stockroom were properly and uniformly staffed based on the required work volumes
  • In Procurement, enhanced the procurement processes such as the Approval Process, Scope Creep, Infrastructure Construction, Fixed Price Contracts, and Pre-Qualification/Scorecard

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • In all areas, the level of proactive supervisory behaviors increased from 4% to 40% by focusing on regular follow-up tours and communication with all personnel by the Supervisors and Managers.

Transportation results achieved included:

  • Improvements in throughput in pothole patching
  • Reduced labor and equipment costs in all maintenance programs
  • Reduced number of divisions per district for both summer and winter activities
  • 5% – 10% reduction in winter maintenance cost per event
  • Implemented asphalt price optimization scenario
  • Improved usage of salt and sand consumption during the winter months

In Infrastructure and Central Office:

  • Reduced the number of back filled positions and funded vacancy allocations
  • Increased stakeholder ownership in the execution of activities to drive Branch accountability for Budget attainment
  • Improved Management Operating System tools based on project management scenarios

In Vehicle Management:

  • Improved workload and resource scheduling in the Maintenance shops by increasing the planned work levels by 26%
  • Identified and implemented a multi-year reduction of 21% to 28% in labor costs across the Provincial shops and stockrooms for Mechanics and Operations crews, Supervision and Stockroom staff
  • Focused on labor hours management resulting in a 74% reduction in overtime
  • Improved outsourcing and parts spending by 14%
  • Reduced oil changes by more than 50% on buses and heavy trucks based on manufacturer’s recommended frequency, creating savings in labor time and parts


  • Developed a 3 year implementation timeline targeting a 5% to 10% reduction in capital procurement spending
  • Processes being optimized with best practices established, improved communication, and enhanced levels of prioritization
  • Approval process streamlined to avoid excessive delays in awarding contracts
  • Scope creep on all projects identified and inter-Departmental recovery plans established
  • Performance and pre-qualification criteria established and being implemented for all contractors used by our Client to increase objectivity in awarding contracts

Improvement in Supervisory Activities

Public Sector Transportation and Infrastructure Supervisory Activities

5% 1% 61% 8% 25%
40% 5% 30% 10% 15%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Manual Work
  • Available

Total Savings

Public Sector Savings by Type

Long Term Work Continuation

  • A Client Coordinator was trained and certified during the PVA engagement
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System was developed for the Coordinator
  • PVA conducted audits over 18 months to ensure compliance to the continued utilization of the Management Operating Systems
  • These Audits resulted in recommendations and action plans to further identify additional opportunities for improving operations

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PVA encouraged us to question our processes, along with our individual and departmental roles in delivering projects and services to other Government Departments. The experience has left us a more focused group and allowed us to reduce or eliminate processes which don’t contribute to the “End product” a Quality cost effective building or affordable facilities services which meet our client’s needs. Staff welcomed the ability to bring forward their own ideas and have the assistance and support of PVA when these ideas were presented to senior Management.

Bob Martin, Assistant Deputy Minister

Implementing the PVA methodology in our field operations has resulted in a number of improvements. A new look at the way we schedule our work and report on activities through Management Operating System reports has helped reduce costs and still maintain service levels. Enhancements to operational communications and an increase in active supervision have made a difference in our productivity and accountability at all management levels. Issues are identified and addressed in shorter timeframes. I am extremely pleased with the success on this project and expect it will continue to grow.

David Cogswell, Executive Director Operations - District / Summer Maintenance

Overall experience with PVA was very good. PVA consultants worked very closely with staff and management to develop a management operating system that provided tools for improved planning, scheduling, work flow management and monitoring of results. The benchmarking tools also enable management to assess the proper staffing levels to meet the demand. The tools and processes established through PVA will enable VMA to continue to improve on the MOS and review benchmarks annually

Extended Shelf Life, VP - Manufacturing and Logistics

PVA's team partnered closely with our plant and adapted quickly to our individual facility's opportunities, while maintaining overall uniformity across installations at our other facilities. The PVA team worked "hands-on" with our staff throughout the Management Operating System development process. The installation and development of formalized Master Scheduling and Opportunity Identification processes has positioned our facility for sustainable continuous improvement going forward.